Monday, March 30, 2009

Jane Austen, zombies, Bollywood, and a prize

The contest is over. Much later than I anticipated. Spring Break. Kids. Angiograms. Oh my! Anyway...the winner of the movie is Linda from Another Piece of the pie! Congrats! Email me your address and I'll get it right out to you!

I've admitted many times that I have not been able to get through a Jane Austen novel. I have tried. I love romance novels. And so many of them strive to emmulate the penultimate. Especially "Pride and Prejudice." But I just cannot force myself to slog through it. Everyone keeps saying to give it a chance. And I do. But my eyes glaze over. And I end up reading the same paragraph over and over. And I still have no idea as to what I have actually read.

However, I have read all of the incarnations. Watched the movies. Swooned over Colin Firth. Just like the lot of you.

And as a total side many have read "Bridget Jones Diary" with it's own incarnation of Mr. Darcy. But not as many have read the sequel "The edge of Reason." Which in my opinion. Is even funnier. Including a pee in your pants funny interview between Bridget and Colin Firth.Mmmmm. Where were we?

It really is amazing. All of the inspirations that Jane Austen has given to pop culture. Including the most recent "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies." Which apparently, seemlessly introduces zombies. And ninjas. Into Austen's tale of manners. Who knew that "unmentionables" was code for Zombies?

Because I haven't read the zombie version favorite variation on Jane's classic is the musical "Bride and Prejudice." I believe it is quite the antithesis to zombies.

"Bride and Prejudice" transplants Austen's story from regency England to modern India. And uses the full tradition of the Bollywood musical. Including lush and colorful costumes. A scene in the rain and running through fountains. And of course...breaking into song in the middle of the market place.

The movie even has our very own Sayid from Lost. Naveen Andrews plays Mr. Balraj - or rather the Mr. Bingley role. But my very favorite character in the movie is that of Mr. Kholi - in the Mr. Collins role. In the Bollywood version, Mr. Kholi has come from "A-meer-ka" to find a bride. And after he is refused by Lalita (err...Elizabeth), he marries her best friend. After forcing allowing my kids to watch this movie over the weekend. They have taken to imitating Mr. Kholi. From going around saying "whazzz up?" to asking me how I like "their crib" or just random quotes like: "there is no life. Without wife." Complete with hand gestures. I challenge you to watch this movie and not start immitating Mr. Kholi's laugh.

And to complete this challenge. I'll even give you your very own copy of "Bride and Prejudice." (Random number generator will be employed. Contest ends Wednesday night. Just comment to enter)

So...what about you? Have you seen "Bride and Prejudice?" Do you have a favorite Jane Austen book or movie or variation? Will you read the zombie version?

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The further adventures of JT

Madalyn likes Justin Timberlake. Likes likes Justin Timberlake. I am not sure how it all started. But she has had a thing for him for years. And years is a long time when one is only not quite eight years old to begin with.Two years ago, she asked for him for Christmas. Well. Actually. She asks for him for Christmas every year. And she's already asked for him for her birthday this year. But...two years ago I remembered that I could probably find a Justin Timberlake doll. Action figure? On ebay. One from his N'Sync days. Back when he kinda had a fro.

Madalyn loves her JT. I did a blog post about him last summer. When I discovered where she had been keeping him.

In her panty drawer. Because if you had JT. Wouldn't that be where you would keep him?

And then this past Christmas, I got her a Justin pillowcase. So, now the doll. Action figure? Stays with the panties. And she sleeps with the image. Remember. She's not quite eight.

And then last week. It seems that Justin found a new spot to hang out. He came out from under the panties. And into a basket. On Madalyn's night stand. And with him is some lip gloss. JT has the perfect place to store it.Hey. JT. Is that a lipstick in your pocket? Or are you just happy to see me?

Somehow. I am beginning to think that the Warioland Shake-it game may be the least of our worries.

So...what about you? Do your kids have celebrity crushes? Do you have an inappropriate celebrity crush? Do you remember your first celebrity crush?

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

How do I even begin to explain

Santa brought a wii at Christmas. It has resulted in obsessions. Shoulder strain. And a slight case of vertigo.

The favorite game in the house is Mario Kart. And this particular game has led the girls down the path of being interested in any type of Mario game. They got Mario Party for their DS. They have even begun scouring Japanese toy stores for plush versions of their favorite Mario characters.

And now. They are asking for a new game. A game called Wario Land shake it. Can someone please help me arrive at a practical explanation as to why. Why there is no way I can let this game enter my house. Because after you watch this video. You will understand that this will be all I can think about. And I really don't want my girls to be naturals. Not at that.

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Monday, March 16, 2009

Heaven in a carton

I don't grocery shop. Mostly because my motivation to go is hunger. And I am an impulse shopper. And I forget things. Like coupons. Maybe it would be more accurate to say that I am not allowed to grocery shop. Michael has been doing that chore for years. Because he gets some sort of adrenaline rush from cutting coupons and saving money. And my rush is more about Little Debbie nutty bars catching my eye.

But ever since January when Michael had his aneurysm. I have been doing the grocery shopping. I have been going through his coupon book. And actually using them. I have been trying to stick to the list. And making sure that I have eaten lunch before I go.

But this week. I had finished my list. And was making one last stop. Down the frozen foods aisle. Bryers ice cream was buy one get one free. And I was going to pick up a new flavor for Madalyn. And as I walked down the aisle. I saw it.

It was like a light shined down from heaven. I heard a chorus of angels. And right there in the freezer case. Manna from heaven. Do you think that I'll be struck by a bolt of lightning if I use another religious metaphor?

It is my very favorite ice cream. One that I have never seen for sale here in Georgia. I have only found it when we vacation at St. George island. And now it's here. Prayers have been answered. It's truly a miracle. Okay. I am hearing cracks of thunder.

I'll be back after I have recovered from my ice cream headache. And diabetic coma.

So...what about you? Do you like a hard to find food? What's your favorite ice cream flavor? Do you do the grocery shopping?

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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Picture Puzzles

My favorite thing about going to the doctor's office when I was a kid was getting to read Highlights magazine. I just loved the hidden pictures.Then when I got older...there was the advent of "Where's Waldo." I have loved introducing my girls to these books.

And now. I have discovered that I have my very own version of Waldo here at my house. And my very own hidden picture. It's called: What does not belong in the pantry?

Please ignore the state of my pantry. I think I might have discovered something else for Michael to do during his all-nighter. I am sure he'll have lots of helpers.

So...what about you? Do you keep your pantry neat and tidy? Or does it look like a bomb went off? Do you check the dates on your food labels? What is the strangest thing in your pantry?

Click here to find the winner of the 10 Book give-away.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

888 Challenge: Prize and Prejudice

**The contest has ended. Thank you so much for all your wonderful comments. The winner of the 10 books is Angie from SevEn cLoWn CirCuS. Congrats!!**

I am a voracious reader. Voracious. Book a day voracious. Until last year. February to be exact. Because that is when I started blogging. And went from a book a day. To a book or so a week.

Which is actually rather ironic because right after I started blogging I took up the 888 challenge. The challenge was rather simple in concept. To read 8 books in 8 categories in '08. 64 books. Easy peasy for a voracious reader like me. Except I had not counted on the distraction. (My complete list with categories is over on my left side bar)

If you look over my original list for the books I planned to read you'll see that I dreamed big. One of the big things I wanted to do was to read Jane Austen. I wanted to read Pride and Prejudice. Sense and Sensibility. Northanger Abbey. And those two others that I cannot think of. I tried to read them. Really. I did. My eyes glazed over. I yawned. And then I couldn't remember what I actually read. I read more of Sense and Sensibility. Because it was one of my book club books. But not all of it. I just couldn't bring myself to do it.

I wanted to read award winning books. To see what sets them apart from others. What makes something a Pulitzer? A Newberry? A National Book award winner? And what I discovered is that these particular award winners are really good. Eye opening. And even entertaining. I sort of felt like I cheated though. As the year began to wane...I found my list a little too ambitious. So I replaced some titles with Newberry winners so that I could finish my list. And actually here is where you will find one of my worst books of the year. The one where I am not sure why it won an award: The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing. Yuck.

I wanted to read books that I actually had bought that were sitting on my shelf. Books that I had not started because I set them aside for library books. Because those have a due date. Rationalizing that the books I had on my shelf I could read anytime. But don't. This is the category where I really cheated. Of the books that I read here...I think that only one was there at the beginning of the challenge. The rest were on my shelf. But just because I brought them home from the library and stuck them there. Or because Rhea mailed them to me. (And just an aside. Ummm. Rhea. I giggled at you. Because you forgot that you mailed books to me. Like "The Hunger Games." And then lamented about your missing copy in the comments of Lula's blog. I am still giggling. Sorry. *snort*)

Another category was non-fiction. Which I like. Sometimes. Like "Devil in the White City." Fabulous. But his other book - "Isaac's Storm." Not so much. Or I was caught up in the title. Like "Sin in the Second City." A book about madams. Sex. Politics. Intriguing, no? Sort of. It had its moments. And I had my own copy that I read in the pool while at the beach over the summer. It is rather water logged. Still. And then there is Tucker Max. I think that I still need some brain bleach to get some of those stories out of my head.

And then. My high brow category. To read the classics. Note. No Jane Austen's on this completed list. But I was quite pleasantly surprised with my list. Dracula. Fabulous. Orwell? Genius. Brave New World? Amazingly ahead of it's time. Lost Horizon? If you are a LOST fan...this is a MUST read. The only book I had issues with is "Little Women." So freakin' saccharine sweet, I think I fell into a diabetic coma.

And for the rest. Well...the rest is all part of my usual repertoire. Because I love to read. For me, reading is about pleasure. Escape. Entertainment. I don't want to struggle with a book just because I should read it. I want to read it. Enjoy it. For it's own sake. I want to be lost in a story. I want to be so engrossed that I stay up all night. And neglect everything that I am supposed to be doing. Those are the signs of a good book.

In honor of SITS and their Spring Fling...I am giving away 10 of the books I read for the challenge. It's a mixed bag because I get most of my books from the library. So what you are getting are well read...slightly water logged...books.

Included are: Dead until Dark by Charlaine Harris (the first of the Sookie Stackhouse mysteries - and the inspiration behind HBO's "True Blood"); Lost Horizon by James Hilton; The Lost Duke of Wyndham by Julia Quinn (fabulous, sexy, funny Regency romance); How to Teach Filthy Rich Girls by Zoey Dean (a very intelligent and witty chick lit book); Sin in the Second City by Karen Abbott (quite water logged. Didn't quite fulfill it's potential. Still. Rather interesting.); Interpreter of the Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri (FABULOUS Pulitzer Prize winner - and if you haven't read her other novel - The Namesake - you need to add it to your to be read pile!); Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen (wonderful, lyrical. Read it and email me. I want to know your impressions of the ending.) Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips (fun romp with the Greek Gods in modern London. Could have been better); Austenland by Shannon Hale; and The Year of Living Biblically by AJ Jacobs (a hysterical look at a man trying to live EXACTLY as the Bible dictates).

So...what do you need to do to win? Simply leave me a comment. Have you ever done a reading challenge? What kinds of books do you like to read? What are you reading right now?

I'll do a random drawing and announce the winner on Thursday.

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Monday, March 9, 2009

Progress Report

Did you notice that I only posted 7 times in February? And not even all of those were my words. Not only am I going to need to re-learn how to cook...but I am going to have to get blogging back into my schedule. I have however returned to my wild book reading days. Reading a book a day rather than blogging. Hmmm...more about that tomorrow.

The better portion of last week was spent visiting with various doctors and therapists. None of whom came to the same conclusions. We had one who said to go back to work. Carry on with life. Do all the things that you used to do. That directive was quickly followed by a different doctor with a "are you kidding me?" And a "what did they do to assess you?" And "That doctor was not qualified to do that."

Back to square one. Well. Not really. It was pretty much decided by someone with big girl panties. That Michael would have a month of intensive cognitive therapy. And then he would probably go back to work the middle of April.

And let me tell you about the cognitive therapy. It seemed so silly. But it was really telling. The therapist showed Michael a picture of an alien. The aliens name is Joff. Then she flipped the page and there are about 10 aliens on this page. And Michael had to find Joff. Simple, no? Well. Then she showed him another picture of an alien. This one was Delton. Then she flipped the page and he had to find both Joff and Delton. Next we met Megoy. And then Kriptick. Michael was doing okay identifying his new alien friends. And then he met Plick. Apparently his brain really didn't want to think about any more aliens.

Aliens. Schmaliens. And the brain promptly forgot Kriptick. Megoy. Delton. Even though he went on to meet 7 more aliens. He couldn't keep any of them straight. He was on overload. On the fritz. And the circuit blew.

And I think that the therapist thought smugly to herself that doctors really don't know what they are talking about.

On the next day we met with a neurologist. We were referred there after our little visit to the ER on the day Michael was discharged from the hospital. Because he might have had a seizure that caused all of his confusion. Evidently they really have no idea if he might have had a seizure or not. But if he did, the law states that he cannot drive for 6 months. When the neurologist told him that he could not clear him for driving yet, I think that for the first time, Michael was actually depressed.

However, they are going to do a test next week. They are going to do an EEG...and if they get an excellent reading, they will clear him for driving. A slow. Baby step. New driver type okay. No free ways. Not at night. And a gradual increase to what he was used to.

This EEG test. It's at 7:30 in the morning. Next Wednesday. He has to get up the day before. On Tuesday. Have no caffeine. And not take a nap. Stay awake all night. So that he can fall asleep while they administer the test. is my question to you all. Help me think of things to put on his honey do list. Things he can do in the middle of the night to stay awake. While the rest of us sleep. What would you have your husband do if your house was already clean. And all the laundry was caught up. Ideas? Anyone? Anyone?

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