More Emma Time

Emma’s been back to visit, and I’m happy to report that she just keeps getting smarter and cuter. She got here, looked up at Dwight, and said “Wite, I gotta go crazy!” Apparently her daddy told her that when she got here she could go out in the backyard and go crazy. She took it to heart. She was busy looking at birdies, and talking about birdies. There was an old bird’s nest in the yard, and Dwight told her about what it was for.

Emma ran around a lot. She’d start at the deck and run all the way to the fence, and then turn around to look at us, almost like for further “going crazy” instructions or suggestions.

All that talking about nature reminded Dwight of a turtle he saw at work, so he showed Emma the picture he took on his phone.

Emma’s a keen listener. Even when she’d rather be hunting lightning bugs.
Dwight and Jeff got some exercise. I’m happy to tell you that Emma’s arms are still in their sockets, and the giggles abounded during this segment of the evening.

Then it was creative time. This was pretty funny. Jeff said, “Emma can you draw a one?” Emma did. Then Jeff said, “Can you draw a two?” So she made two tick marks. Dwight jumped to her defense. “That’s a Roman numeral two! Good job!” So Jeff tries again. “Emma, can you draw a three?” Emma utters a cherry, “Yep!” and proceeds to scribble furiously. A long, straight line. Now, keep in mind that this child is almost three. She knows her ABC’s, she can count to very high numbers. She knows lots of stuff. In fact, she is the brightest almost-three-year-old that I’ve ever met. That’s saying something, since I used to work with kids her age professionally. So I’m not making fun of her. Just to clarify.

Plus, that’s a heck of a good sun…

The goodbye ritual was as cute as ever. After a chorus of “see ya”, “toodleoo” and “see ya later alligators”, Emma put her little hand to her head and said “Peace Out”. Jeff told us later that she was sitting in her car seat on the ride home and she kept saying “Daddy, I gotta peace out…I gotta peace out.” Cuteness.
Next blog up: more movie reviews and an earwig update (that’s not about earwigs)

Earwigs (Subtitle – I’m a goner)

So we have this infestation of earwigs. First they started showing up in the mailbox, then in the house (*presumably from bringing the mail indoors, where we can read it without bursting into flames from the heat) and now I’ve found them in the bathroom, the kitchen, and in the den.
I am supposed to be working on a movie review blog, but I find myself googling earwigs, because I felt something crawly on my neck a moment ago, and then a thundering wonkiness in my ear, and now I am convinced that an earwig has taken up residence in my ear canal, ready to shoot it’s eggs into my brain.
I’ve googled earwigs, and they call the ear-canal-brain-laying-of-eggs thing an “old wives tale” but that doesn’t offer much comfort, as a dropped dish towel has yielded a visitor, and an itchy nose has resulted in a spanking (though that’s a story for a different blog…)
I wonder if I will smell the hatchlings before they hatch. If I will hear their tiny buggy voices crying out for nourishment. If they will feast on my brains and drown in my own sorrows.
Crap. I’m getting poetical. Time to stop, and wait for the eggs to hatch.

Movie Review – The Air I Breathe, I Love Your Work, Strange Wilderness, How To Deal, and Flakes

A couple weeks ago I watched several movies and therefore felt compelled to review them here, on my very own corner of the internet, for something to write about and to illustrate one very surprising point. That is that it is possible (not likely, but possible) to watch 5 movies in one week and for a Mandy Moore movie to be the most enjoyable out of all of them. Some time has passed since then, but the date on this blog will not reflect that, since it will say the date posted is the day I started this blog entry, but today, for the record, is June 18 and I am finally finishing this one. So, here is a rundown of the movies I watched that week.

Strange Wilderness was first. This is a Happy Madison Production, so I’m assuming that means that Adam Sandler was OK with making it so that it came out, but didn’t want to participate himself, which is totally understandable, considering it was a pretty crappy movie. Although I understand that Sandler’s latest flick isn’t all that great. I will reserve judgement. Anyway, this Strange Wilderness flick stars Steve Zahn, who I actually happen to like a lot. He plays the slacker/stoner son of an iconic animal/wilderness show star who died and passed the show on to him. Supporting roles were played by the fat, curly-headed kid from Superbad (Jonah something?), the dumb guy that is in every Adam Sandler movie, the other, slightly less dumb guy who is in every Adam Sandler movie, some pretty blonde girl, the kid from Dodgeball (aka Drew Barrymore’s boyfriend – I think his name is Justin something), and some other folks. It’s ridiculous, and I wouldn’t recommend it. There are no surprises except for bad ones.

Then came The Air I Breathe. Star-studded cast with Kevin Bacon, Forrest Whitaker, Brendan Fraser, Andy Garcia, Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy!), Julie Delpy, and Emile Hirsch. It’s based on a Chinese proverb or something, and it’s DEPRESSING. The performances are actually amazing, but DEPRESSING. And I generally like really well done depressing flicks. This one wasn’t gluey enough to hold you to the story enough to take you with it. So there you are, trying to figure out exactly what this filmaker is trying to say, and you’re too depressed to do it. Check it out, if you want to, but be warned. Forrest Whitaker is so amazing that you feel for him, and given what happens to his character, you don’t want to feel it.

OK. I rented I Love Your Work because it had a lot lot of people I like in it – Giovanni Ribisi, Jason Lee, Judi Greer – and because I learned that it was written by Adam Goldberg. I’ve liked him ever since he played the zombie guy that did Christopher Walken’s bidding in The Prophecy. This one was weird as well. Giovanni Ribisi is a famous actor (really famous, like Tom Cruise) and he’s married to a not-as-famous actress (or to be more PC, actor) played by Franke Pontente (Run Lola Run). The movie is all about his decent into madness, or some such thing, and it’s a big confusing story with Jason Lee as a would-be-but-not-really stalker, that kid from Dawson’s Creek (not VanDerWhoever, the other one) as a video store owner who the big actor guy starts to hang out with because his girlfriend (the video store Dawson’s Creek guy) reminds the actor guy of Christina Ricci’s character, who is the actor guy’s wife or girlfriend in his fantasy world. Elvis Costello plays himself, who is pursuing the actor guy’s REAL wife to appear in some muscial he’s making. It’s not really the kind of movie you can multi-task during, yet it’s not quite interesting enough to just watch. You could maybe eat something complicated while you watched it, like crab legs or something. That might be pretty good.

Flakes. Zooey Deschenel and the guy who was Pyro in the X-Men movies play a young New Orleans couple bent on an Airstream trailer off-the-grid adventure through America, but she’s stuck making politically-themed tie-dye clothing and he manages a cereal store. That’s right, a CEREAL store. That sells CEREAL. It’s owned by Christopher Lloyd who plays an old stoner-type guy. One day this guy comes in asking lots of questions about the cereal shop. Next thing you know that guy opens up a cereal shop RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET. Outrageous. There was a lot of crappy “I’m too cool” young angst and Zooey’s character was named Miss Pussy Katz. Yeah. Not her best work.

So the Mandy Moore movie, How to Deal, was the most enjoyable of all of them. Teenager movie, angst-filled, drama-ridden, with plenty of romantic montages and heart-wrenching stuff. The wonderful Alison Janney does a great job as Mandy Moore’s recently-divorced and imittered mother, and Peter Gallager does a creepily fun job as her married-to-a-younger-woman-radio-dj-with-a-Peter-Pan-Complex father. Alexandra Holden (point of reference for me was her hilarious performance in Drop Dead Gorgeous – she was the incumbant Mount Rose Teen Princess permanently hospitalized for anorexia) played Mandy Moore’s best friend, who suffers a personal tragedy and then…well…I won’t spoil it, in case you want to watch it. It was no brain-buster, but it was satisfying like an ice cream bar or a Hershey’s miniature.

There you go, Internet. Some movie reviews for you. Because I know how much you care about what I think about things…