Time To Blog…

Posted in Movies, TV Shows on September 28th, 2009 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

I think I could use a Tivo.  That way, I could Tivo Dr. Phil and watch it when I fold laundry – that would certainly be better on my ears and more entertaining than the screaming parrot.  Well, actually, I don’t know how Tivo works – I could probably only watch what I tape record (I grew up in the 80’s – we “taped” our movies and our music) on the tv that has the Tivo, right?  But anyway, I could pause it when someone needed a diaper change or help with something or a snack or a drink to be able to watch more tv instead of just never getting to commit to watching shows (except really good ones like The Office) because of my lack of time and my lack of Tivo.  I wonder how much they cost; I have no idea.  It occurred to me that I don’t watch much tv anymore; a hobby I really liked as a kid.  It’s not a bad thing, really, I’m busy doing other more worthwhile things.  But I do miss getting to watch Dr. Phil – my tv has been hijacked by the likes of Dora, Diego, and Max and Ruby in the morning when it’s on, and I don’t like not being able to watch the Office until it’s available online.  We try to watch The Office when it airs on Thursday night and without fail, all hell always breaks loose with the kids even though it’s on at 9 and they should be in bed.

I got the movie Mr. Mom from the library for the kids to  watch.  I figured since my husband and I liked the movie as kids, we should show it to our kids – after all, they loved Annie (the 1982 version, the update is awful).  But apparently Mr. Mom came out before the MPAA came up with the PG-13 rating – there were a few scenes (funny how neither one of us remembered they were in the movie) I would rather not be in the type of movies my children enjoy.  At least we were able to skip over the strip club scene without them even noticing, yikes.  I surely don’t remember that from watching that movie as a kid.  Maybe there was an edited-for-television version…  Anyway, all this got me to thinking that they should have a function for dvd players where you can edit the movie to play while skipping certain parts of your choosing.  Maybe this already exists, but I don’t know a lot about the latest gadgets and such.

Well, anyway…  sorry for the randomness, just had a little time to blog for a change, so I just wrote what was on my mind at the moment!  Maybe I’ll check into that Tivo…

Kid Currency

Posted in Kids on August 16th, 2009 and tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Sometimes Dr. Phil does give good advice.  Among my favorite Dr. Phil advice lines is: “every kid has his (or her) currency”.  Unfortunately, our second-oldest daughter’s (age 5) currency (referring to something that can “buy” a kid; in other words, cheer up a sour mood) happens to be one of the girlie things her parents despise most: makeup.  She is starting to encounter the all-too-familiar plight of being a younger sibling: big sister leaves home bound for all kinds of fun adventures that little sister is not old enough to do; swimming at the pool, sleepovers, girl scout outings, the list seems endless when you’re ‘not old enough’…  It’s hard to be the little sister and to get left behind – I know because I was there!

So anyway, the other day, our oldest daughter left for the pool, and Sammie was really upset she couldn’t go with – but I knew just the cure: makeup!  I had bought a few makeup kits on clearance just after the Christmas season, and since I don’t wear makeup, what better use for it than to cheer up a sad little girl?  We don’t want the kids wearing makeup out in public or to school, and we especially don’t want it leading to an “addiction” – a teenage girl who won’t leave the house without her makeup on, yuck!  But for a special play-treat once in awhile to cheer up a left-behind little sis or two, makeup is just what the doctor ordered and works like a charm!

Is Lakeview Terrace Fireproof?

Posted in Movies on September 25th, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I saw the movie Lakeview Terrace yesterday, and I decided to merge it with the title of another movie, Fireproof, for my post title because Fireproof almost stole the show.

An action thriller starring Samuel L. Jackson, Lakeview Terrace is about a tough Los Angeles cop who does not like his new neighbors, seemingly because they are an interracial couple.  He makes indirect threats, among other things, and the couple has trouble at first determining whether or not they’re making something of nothing.  As the tension escalates however, it soon becomes clear that their neighbor is in fact mentally unstable, and as he comes closer and closer to cracking, the couple has no one to call for help because of the camaraderie between police officers known as the “blue wall of silence”.  The movie was entertaining to watch; it wasn’t as good as I had hoped but just as good as I expected – one of those movies where they showed most of the good parts in the previews.  It was very predictable yet also very good at establishing mood throughout.  For instance, at times, the tension that was built in the movie – and the theater – was so thick you could have cut it with a knife.  They did a nice job of setting the mood of the neighborhood also; a nice homey-like cul-de-sac, complete with barking dog nestled in the California hills gave it both a nice family feeling and also played up the isolation factor.  I thought Samuel L. Jackson was really good in this movie – the way he delivered some of his lines was effective in subtly portraying his disdain for his neighbors.  And the reason for his racial prejudices was surprising and an interesting addition to the plot.  The movie did put the spotlight on many racial issues in a thought-provoking manner.

Overall, a very entertaining movie, even though some of the events that I think were meant to surprise the audience did not because the movie was predictable.  The other criticisms I have with it are that none of the characters were likable – it was difficult to root for the couple who was being picked on by Jackson because they each had some serious character flaws.  Also, it was not believable that an LA cop would have enough money to be able to afford the house where he resided – nestled in the hills outside of Los Angeles, the houses featured in the movie had spectactular views, gorgeous landscaping, and the neighbors had a beautiful in-ground pool.  How the neighbor could afford what would probably be a multi-million dollar house as his “starter home” on a grocery store management position’s salary, I do not know.  Hey, Jamiahsh, when you get your house in the hills of LA with your in-ground pool and luxury patio furniture, can we visit?

Another thing I found strange about Lakeview Terrace was the impending wildfire that threatened the neighborhood – I didn’t see the point in it.  Maybe to further illustrate the isolation the couple felt as their neighbor tormented them?  I don’t know, but it fits in well with the title of my post because of another movie that’s coming out called Fireproof.  As we bought our tickets, the worker at the movie theater asked if we had heard of Fireproof and gave us a flier.  We hadn’t heard a word about it, and she said that some church bought up all the vouchers they were selling for the movie.  They weren’t going to get the movie if they didn’t sell enough vouchers, but apparently they sold well over what they expected.  I was intrigued because I hadn’t heard of the movie before and wondered why it was getting so much underground buzz.  Since we got home late last night and went right to bed, before I had a chance to look it up it was talked about on the Dr. Phil show this morning.  Apparently it stars Kirk Cameron, and it’s about a firefighter who tries to save his marriage by doing a 40-day experiment called “The Love Dare”.  Hmmm, I still don’t really get it, but I think it’s neat that it’s getting so much buzz without being a mainstream movie and showing previews and all that jazz.  It’s supposed to be a really good movie, thought provoking and well-written, and that isn’t just coming from Kirk Cameron – it’s on imdb.com.  Hopefully it will be at the theater for longer than its limited run so I can check it out.  A bit of interesting trivia I found out about it – Kirk Cameron made a promise to Chelsea Noble, his wife of 17 years that he wouldn’t ever kiss another woman, on screen or off.  So in the part of the movie where they needed a shot of him kissing his movie wife, his real wife was a stand-in so they could get the shot of the husband and wife kissing.  I think it’s sweet, but some people used it as a reason to pick on Cameron saying he doesn’t understand acting…  Oh, well, you can’t please everyone!

Collecting… or Hoarding?

Posted in Uncategorized on May 20th, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , , , ,

When does a collecting hobby cross the line?  I’ve heard of people who collect things and sometimes get kinda crazy about it…  Like this one guest on Dr. Phil who collected Star Wars stuff.  No problem there, but once he started talking about the details of his obsession, it became obvious he had an unhealthy problem.  His wife felt like she came in second place to the Star Wars stuff all the time, and he even had a storm trooper costume he wanted to be buried in.  When Dr. Phil pointed out the fact that the guest would never fit into the costume, he insinuated that he would be dismembered or whatever it took to get his body into the costume for burial.  I guess it’s easy to say you’ve crossed the line when your spouse or the people you live with start to get annoyed and ask you to give them more room for their  stuff and to get rid of the things you collect.  Or maybe it’s obvious you have an unhealthy addiction when you start to spend more money on your collection than things you should be spending it on to ensure a healthy lifestyle, like food or clothing.  Anyway, the reason I’m bringing this up is because my husband and I are developing an extreme board game collecting hobby.  It started years ago when we visited a few garage sales and saw some games we both had as kids, so we picked those up.  Then we started visiting thrift stores in the area, and we enjoyed doing that so much that we visit often and pick up several games each time we go…  it’s kind of like treasure hunting – you never know what you’ll find.  Games are anywhere from 25¢ to $3 and since they usually have all the pieces, it’s a pretty fun hobby to check out all kinds of different games.

Now, we’ve moved to a bigger house and have allowed ourselves a big game closet.  The problem is, we’re getting so carried away that we’ve outgrown the game closet – there are games now stacked on the floor since we’ve gotten so many that they no longer fit on the shelves.  When we go out to thrift stores, I can’t even remember what games we have and I’m always tempted to buy more, but my husband says, “we already have that one”.  It’s really not that big of a problem, I guess we just need a bigger closet…  we do invite friends over nearly every weekend to play games, so we are getting use out of them; it’s not like they just sit on the shelves (or floor!) collecting dust…  And the only family member whose living space is getting crowded because of all the games is the parrot.  He’s been screaming at me while I fold laundry so much lately that I don’t mind if he gets crowded out!  But I can just tell that it’s becoming an addiction because when we’re at the thrift stores, I always feel like getting new games, even if we already have them apparently…  I don’t see an end in sight, but I think it’s still in the collecting stage; it hasn’t graduated to hoarding yet.  After all, the duplicate board games we have are only for spare parts, and the other day, I had a brainstorm:  If we knock out one of the walls in our game closet, we can combine it with another large closet and have more than twice the space for all the games!  For some reason, my husband doesn’t share my enthusiasm for this idea…

When Technology Attacks

Posted in TV Shows, Uncategorized on May 9th, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , , ,

I have a love/hate relationship with electronic technology.  I love and appreciate the advances that have been made in the world, and I use lots of technologically savvy stuff every day.  But I hate learning the new stuff, and if I procrastinate, it seems that when I finally break down and learn it, something new immediately comes along to replace what I have just learned.  And I am married to a technology addict.  I know it’s a common thing for men to be into electronics and the latest gadgets and all of that, but I think our house is exceptionally up-to-date on the electronic gadgetry, especially when it comes to computers.  My problem with it lies where the technology becomes more of an inconvenience than it is a convenience.  I have a few examples I will share:

1.  Hi-Def Tv – My husband will sit and flip channels in the middle of a show just to try to find the hi-def version of the show.  Of course he doesn’t choose to do this during a Chicago Bears game or something he is inclined to watch.  For those shows, he will actually think about it ahead of the show’s start time.  He’ll sit and flip looking for high-def while I’m watching something, during shows like Dr. Phil or pointless reality shows.  I know, these are dumb shows, so I shouldn’t care about missing them.  But if I’m going to sit and watch something, then I want to watch it, I don’t want to miss any of it, otherwise I’m wasting my time.  So, if I’m watching Dr. Phil, and hubby comes over and tries to find Dr. Phil in hi-def, I might just miss the backround of a guest’s story and not know what is going on for the rest of the show.  Like I said, it’s not like we’re talking about high quality tv here, but who needs Dr. Phil in hi-def anyway?!?

2.  GPS –  I cannot tell you how many times our GPS guy has gotten us lost.  Yes, we have a GPS system in our car with a male voice – he was on sale.  I’ve always thought I was pretty good at navigating; pretty good at being a human compass and learning the layouts of strange cities and towns pretty quickly.  In the years before we had GPS (and kids!) we used to travel by car A LOT, and I was always our navigator.  I’d like to think I got us out of more than a few scrapes with just my sense of direction and an atlas…  But my past experience gets me no where compared to the GPS guy.  He has taken over.  My husband will insist that we follow Mr. GPS’ directions, even while I’m saying they don’t make sense.  For one thing, he’s led us into a lake before, literally.  Well, luckily common sense did prevail there at the last minute…  my husband stopped the car before he drove into the lake, but he was tempted to trust Mr. GPS, and drive into the lake, I know it.  Maybe it sounds like I’m jealous of Mr. GPS, but I’m not, really I’m not.  I just suspect that he might have it out for us, or that he is a practical jokester who gleefully directs us into predictaments just to see how we get out of them…  Kinda sounds like a dumb sitcom – tune in each week to see how we maneuver our way out of whatever mess Mr. GPS has finagled us into this time…

Don’t get me wrong – I do appreciate all the technology most of the time, in a way.  If my husband weren’t so into all these things, I wouldn’t have all the cool gadgets that I have, and I would not know how to use anything, including my computer probably!  But how ironic is it that this post has been sitting in my drafts for weeks now, not getting finished, just because other things kept coming up that I wanted to write about, so I wasn’t getting a chance to finish it.  But how ironic, that today when I went to tangents.org, I got the following message about learning new technology?!?  If you don’t hear from me for awhile, I’m just procrastinating learning the new “back end” of tangents!

Well my friendly bloggers…  I have some great news that is going to make you all very mad!  Yes, you read that right.  Tangents will be updated with the latest versions of the blog software by next Friday and as soon as today (whenever it is released).  Why will this make you mad?  Because the backend you have worked to learn is going to look significantly different.  But don’t worry!  You have the basics down.  Once you take a few minutes to get used to the new layout you will be comfortable again and blogging on Tangents.Org will be better than ever!

Dr. Phil

Posted in TV Shows on February 20th, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Dr. Phil is one of my favorite tv shows, especially during the writers’ strike.  Thank goodness that’s over because my FAVORITE show is The Office, which I also plan to write about once they start airing new episodes – CAN’T WAIT!  I also enjoy Lost and what I call “junk tv”, meaning whatever is on like Moment of Truth, other fly-by-night reality shows, and shows like Cops and Dateline.  Enough of the tangents (wink, wink ;)) – back to Dr. Phil.

First, let me talk about how lucky I am to be a Dr. Phil fan living where I live, in the middle of rural Ohio, halfway between Toledo and Fort Wayne, Indiana.  That means we get two of each of the major networks, one out of Toledo, and one out of Fort Wayne.  Dr. Phil is on in Toledo at 10 am, and it’s on in Fort Wayne at 3 pm AND 7 pm.  The 10 am and 7pm airings are the same episode, so if I miss the morning one, I have another chance to catch it.  And if I miss both of those, the 3 o’clock airing from Fort Wayne is a week behind the others, giving me yet another chance to see a missed episode!

Anyway, today’s episode was disturbing.  Not like people-who-harm-children disturbing, but there was this husband who was a “right-fighter” and a “bully” – if you’re a frequent Dr. Phil watcher you will know that these are two of his favorite terms.  These and “hero”.  Hardly a week will go by when he doesn’t say “this relationship needs a hero”.  So anyway, today’s “right-fighter” was probably the worst husband I’ve ever seen on the show.  I don’t understand the point of their marriage, to be honest…  I can’t believe Dr. Phil didn’t pull out another of his favorite sayings – “Children would rather be from a broken home than living in one.”  This guy verbally and emotionally abuses his wife about her weight, cleaning, everything, then justifies his every action.  I think you probably had to watch the show to even get the severity of what was going on…  If you live near Fort Wayne, catch it next Wednesday at 3!