Monday, November 24, 2014

Mockingjay, Part 1

This post contains spoilers about the movie Mockingjay. However, if you've read the book... very little will be a surprise.

Whoa. I went to see Mockingjay with two friends last night. We had an amazing moms night out. One of our local theaters has a "fork and screen" option where you can order food and watch the movie. My friends had gone to Fork and Screen before but I hadn't. I was totally cravings red meat and fried stuff, so I had a hamburger and fries. It was a little better than Applebee's quality but totally fun for a MNO and a movie the three of us wanted to see.

And. Whoa. Some amazing stuff:

  1. Haymitch and Effie. They deviated from cannon here and had Effie take the part of Katniss' prep team. She was awesome and the banter between her and Haymitch was a much needed reprise from the very serious nature of the film. One of Effie's best lines? "You know what needs a revolution? That hair."
  2. The Hanging Tree. Why this isn't in the official soundtrack that you can purchase, I don't know. Jennifer Lawerence says she can't sing and, true, she's not Taylor Swift or Lorde but she does have a pretty voice. In the books, Katniss' singing voice is a Big Deal but not so much in the movies. Still, the took The Hanging Tree and ran with it and the effect was so powerful. It's a motif that carries through the entire movie. Listen closely to the background music when Katniss and Finnick are talking during the bombing of D13. It's The Hanging Tree! (Random note: I've had this song stuck in my head for two days and I've been humming it around the house. My four year old likes the song!)
  3. Gale. I feel like the movie rounded out Gale's character well. In the books, he comes across as a possessive jerk. I wanted to reach through the pages and smack him, telling him to leave Katniss the heck alone, the poor dear had been through enough and didn't need to pick a lover! In the movie, Gale is always in the background, seemingly protecting her. There's a brief scene when they return to D12 where they kiss but it seems like Gale knows her heart isn't into it. In fact, in the movie, it is Gale, not Boggs, who tells Katniss to be with Peeta when he wakes up. He seems to know Katniss loves Peeta in a romantic way and while it doesn't thrill him, he's resigned to it.
  4. Peeta. Someone needs to give Josh Hutcherson an award for the last fifteen minutes of the film alone. We know he's a good actor but he blew me away with hijacked!Peeta. 
  5. The rescue scene and stuff with Snow. Snow is completely revealed as someone who likes to eff with Katniss' mind. I mean, we knew that but to see the evil of this man...I also loved the rescue scene, which was different from the book. In the book, Katniss is out for most of it or hiding with Finnick. In the movie... well, watch it. It's good. Moving. Imposing. Powerful.
  6. The ending. Again, give J-Hutch an award for this acting. I was basically correct as to where they cut it but they cut from Peeta in the hospital to a speech to Peeta and... THE FEELS, people. THE FEELS.
What I wish we had seen more of:
  1. Coin as the evil mastermind she is. Okay, maybe evil is too strong... naw, evil. We learn more about her back story, which makes me wonder if she wants/hopes/is using Katniss to be a replacement for her family. And when that ends.... In the book, Katniss tolerates Coin for the sake of saving her friends and family but in the movie, it seems like Coin really likes Katniss and tries to help her. They're going to have to do some major stuff in movie 2 to make her killing Coin justifiable. 
  2. Finnick. There is no "Finnick Odair in his underwear" scene, which is so funny in the book! That makes me sad! We don't learn much more about his character and his involvment in the Capitol. I guess we don't need to but new info would have been interesting. Annie is in the movie for about five seconds, total, and we mostly see her hair. Because of where they cut it, this is to be expected but I still wish we had seem more of them together. Maybe in movie 2?
I want to go see the movie a second time to pick up some stuff I missed (follow the link above. Dandelions!) I don't know if I will have time so I guess I just have to sit on pins and needles until the DVD comes out!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Overheard: The Weaslys and manliness

I have a swimmer who says the most random and hilarious stuff. The most recent: I'm somewhere between manliness and bar mitzvah.

I just laughed. The kid in question is about six!


There's a girl who I refer to as my Honorary Fifth Child because I used to watch her in the AM before school. We carpool to CCD together and like to chat about Harry Potter and Doctor Who. Last night, the little boys were running down hallways at the school and she said, "You know, you're family reminds me of the Weaslys, minus three kids and the ginger."

I jokingly said, "Do I look like Molly Weasly?" and did a, "NOT MY DAUGHTER!" imitation.

And that, dear readers, is why our parish thinks we are nuts.

I have lost my desire....

to move near my cousins in Buffalo. I remember insanely cold winters and heavy snow when we lived in Upstate New York but nothing like this "lake effect" storm. I mean, we get nutty weather in the midwest but since there is a distinct lack of lakes in my area... no lake effect storms. We also get ice storms more than snow storms. Nothing like this!

I am not going to complain about how cold it is here, how cold my husband keeps the house or how I'm kinda glad the boys are insisting on sleeping with me all night because they keep the bed toasty! I'm thankful we don't have 70+ inches for snow!

Happy birthday George!

Our giant monster preemie turned SIX this morning! He started the day off with a bang, fighting with his brother over a dollar bill. No. Really.

Adam is out of town all week so we had his family party a few days early. My parents and in-laws came over for dinner, presents and cake. We had beer and cheese soup for the grown-ups, hot dogs for the kids and Minecraft cake for everyone. George got two new pairs of jammies (one with a yeti on it!), LEGO, a new shirt and a scooter. He was pretty happy and pretty spoiled!

On Sunday, Mom, Camille and I went shopping and I got some Christmas shopping done. We took my mom into Justice and I think we scarred her for life. She's still seeing neon and glitter. We picked up some take-and-bake pizzas on the way home and Adam left for the Frozen Tundra early the next morning. Mom stayed two days to help me but I am on my own today and tomorrow. (ACK!)

It's been an "all about George" week. We went to Bass Pro to look at the holiday decorations and the
fish. We went in the afternoon and the place was dead. He had free range of all the games and did really well shooting ducks with a bow and arrow. I joke that he's ready for The Hunger Games!

Tuesday was busy because it was a (damn) early release day. I had to explain pick up and drop off times to my mom 10-20 times AND write them down AND I'm still not sure how much she understood. She now full gets why I complain about those days all the time! Still, she picked up the kids at the right time and place so all was well. We hung around, made popcorn chains to hang on the tree for the birds and helped the kids with homework until I had to leave for work, Then Mom made them a full breakfast for dinner, including bacon and sausage! Nice! Our pancake loving six year old was in heaven!

Wednesday brought Grams leaving and a busy night with piano (George) and CCD (everyone). I normally leave Cole with Adam but he went with me that night. Cole actually did really well, sat nicely and listened to the story. George's CCD class is nuts, though, so it was a typically busy night. I think we all fell asleep as soon as we got home!

Today's been a "the more things change, the more they stay the same" day. Six years ago our oldest was four and a half; now, our YOUNGEST is that same age! Six years ago I read Edward's story on-line and was planning on seeing Twilight in theaters. Now, I'm reading stuff about THG on-line and going to see Mockingjay tomorrow night with some friends. I picked up turkeys for the NICU Thanksgiving today; George is the reason for the Thanksgiving. All in all, pretty cool.

His party with his friends will be Sunday (just a small, at home thing) and then Adam's brother is coming into town. Having his uncle here will be so much fun for him! I think we're going to put up Christmas decorations on Black Friday and we're going to meet some friends that Saturday. He's going to be happy and worn out!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Huh, there's a game on tonight?

The World Series begins tonight. You can literally feel the excitement in the air! The entire town is decked out in Royals colors and my kids are wearing their shirts and jerseys. It's funny to think that the last time they were in a World Series, my sister-in-law wasn't even born yet. Neither was my sister! My brother was in diapers. Only five or six states had seat belt laws and babies were still put to sleep on their tummies.

The game starts at seven, local time, so we should still have plenty of swimmers tonight, although I wouldn't blame them if they skipped practice to watch the game.

Once I get home, I will probably put Cole to bed and write, since my writer's block seems to have broken. Here's hoping they win AND I get lots of writing done.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Update on us all

Wow. Long time, no blog. I knew it had been awhile but I didn't realize how long. I kept thinking of things to blog about but never got around to it. My days have been super busy and now I am gone two+ nights a week.

Let's see: ME! I'm coaching a pre-competitive program now. I wasn't sure I wanted to take this position as I wanted to COACH and be on deck and this sounded more like swimming lessons. It isn't; it's more of a hands on swim team. We're halfway through the season and I hope my contract is renewed for after the holidays. I'm learning alot from the head coach and I really enjoy the swimmers.

Adam is lukewarm on me working at night, especially since there are weeks where I am gone every night. He basically told me that interferes with his time to do stuff, to which I said, "tough cookies." I wasn't as nice as that, though. With the Royals in the World Series (yaaaay), it means he can't come home, walk the dog, and watch baseball. He has to help with homework and do stuff around the house. HOWEVER, I am much, much happier coaching. I really enjoy getting out without the kids and doing something for me. Plus, it bring in money and I've lost a little weight. I think my days are typically more organized because I know I can't put off XYZ until the next day or night. I need to get the kids started on homework, have a snack and dinner ready to go if I want to come home to a decent house and happy family.

My book is... coming along. No bites from agents yet and I'm currently on hold with queries while I work on some scenes. I'm still ahead of my goal to really be seeking representation by the new year. However, I am so brain dead by the evening that many times, I don't have the energy to write anything.

Joe: Oh, this child. This child. I went to schools on military bases or ones with a high military-kid population. I had a mouth and a temper. And I never, ever got into the trouble this child is getting into. I'm not sure if the school is unreasonably strict, the policies are not developmentally appropriate  or there's other stuff going on. I suspect the answer is "yes." We have a meeting about all this during conferences. He's being an archer for Halloween and his costume came out FABULOUS!

The Princess: She's in a holding pattern and doing well. I'm still looking for books to motivate her to read but I haven't found That Book yet. For Joe, it was Percy Jackson. For me, I think it was The Baby-Sitter's Club. We'll find it; just need to keep looking. She's going as Princess Leia... when she gives medals to Luke and Hans. Way to make it easy on me, kid. ;P

George: IEP meeting coming up. He is doing SO WELL in kindy and has friends. I have a few points I want to make at the  meeting, like how we should ask George to point to letters instead of saying the name. F and X sound exactly alike when he says them, so there's no way to tell if he knows which letter is which! He's a blue Power Ranger and his costume is DONE.

Cole: Speaking of this kid... he's scared of Halloween decor. That means any plans to get him OUT of our bed at night have been halted. He also lives off sugar and dairy. He did NOT find it amusing when I went back to work but is adjusting to me being gone. I mean, he's with Daddy so it's not like he's with a sitter 24/7. He's going as the most adorable Captain Rex ever!

In spite of these complaints, everything is going okay around here.  I know coaching two nights a week has been good for me. I'm hopeful things will get straightened out with school soon. And maybe I can get Halloween costumes will get done....

Friday, September 12, 2014

Quick Takes Friday: Gettin' Old and Funerals

1. So my hairdresser said she didn't see any grey hairs last night. Now, she has no reason to lie to me because she would make MORE money off me if I was gettin' grey. I should rejoice, right? No because YOU KNOW WHAT THIS MEANS? My eyesight is going! I'm as blind as an eyeless bat so it's not like I have sight TO LOOSE.


2. Our church called today and asked if Joseph would be an Alter Server at a funeral tomorrow. He's already serving the daily Mass before that, so I said yes. He's fine with it. I'm not sure if I should be like, "Yay, Joe! They think you're good enough to serve at a funeral!" or be all, "that's sad," because, um, funeral.

3. Yep, one of our kiddos is an Alter Server. You have to be in the fifth grade to be one. Camille is bummed but it will be her turn soon.

4. Ninja Alter Server Picture:

Taking "defending the faith" to a whole new level.

5. The adorable Elf on the Shelf:

If this kid doesn't come up with a decent Halloween costume idea, I'm sticking his red sweater on him, red sweat pants and sending him as the Elf on the Shelf. He picked out the color and yarn and my mom made the sweater. It just happens that he look HILARIOUSLY like the Elf!

6. Fall finally arrived, weather wise. I have not, however, had a pumpkin spice latte. That is just sad.

7. The official Mockingjay trailer is out in a few days and I am DYING. Can't wait!