Super(fun)Bowl

Posted in Sports on February 3rd, 2009 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I am much more of a baseball fan than a football fan (see my countdown timer to the first game of Cubs spring training to the right).  But I will admit that I love watching football; mainly because my husband loves it, and I love to see him enjoy things that make him happy.  Oh, that and the fact that whenever he watches football, it’s become sort of a tradition with us that he gives me excellent backrubs!  So while I couldn’t care less who won yesterday’s Superbowl,( although I chose the Cardinals to root for because it’s always fun to pick a team and scream and shout and get into the game) I did have a great time watching it.

We had decided to have a get-together; a fun evening filled with friends and food (too much food!  We had to have pizza for dinner again Monday and will have it twice more this week  just to get rid of all the extras!).  Because I have 4 kids, I didn’t get to see all of my favorite part of the Superbowl – the commercials.  But that’s ok, I’m sure I can catch them online somewhere if I’m so inclined.  The ones I did see were pretty good – I especially liked the Potato Head one (think it was for tires).  It just cracks me up when Mrs. Potato Head changes into her ‘angry’ eyes, hehehe!  I also really liked the careerbuilder.com commercial with the moose head on the wall – I won’t spoil the rest of it because I recommend you go out and find it yourself if you haven’t seen it.  I missed the newest E-Trade.com commercials with the talking baby, so those I will have to find because I always enjoy those.  Oh, and I’ll have to see the latest chapter in the saga of the Budweiser Clydesdales…

As for halftime, I’m not a fan of “The Boss”, so I wasn’t paying attention to Bruce Springsteen’s performance.  I am glad to note, however, that he didn’t incur a wardrobe malfunction ala Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson circa Superbowl XXXVII in 2004.  Also during halftime, there was a special 3D event.  We had picked up enough pairs of 3D glasses for the party at a store ahead of time (we actually got enough to last us until Superbowl L!), but in my opinion, they should have given a few minutes warning for people to get their glasses ready.  We had ours ready because they did mention it in the 2nd quarter, but I didn’t get a chance to get my regular eyeglasses to wear underneath, which guaranteed an absence of 3D for me.  But other people seemed pretty impressed…  I have seen the preview for Monsters Vs. Aliens in the movie theater and it looks really funny – I’m looking forward to that movie coming out.

Well, anyway, much fun was had by all.  We had originally intended to make this a game night / Superbowl party, but by the time the big game ended, there wasn’t any time for board games.  Next time!  And oh yeah, I should report that the Pittsburgh Steelers won the Superbowl, in case you’re using my site for a news report 🙂

My Bloody Valentine 3D

Posted in Movies on January 18th, 2009 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

It’s almost embarrassing to admit that I saw a movie called, “My Bloody Valentine 3D“.  But the reason I’m writing a blog about it is because I actually liked it.  A true slasher film; the grisly violence was excessive.  But I actually didn’t find myself rolling my eyes at the constant gore fest, which is what I did during the last few movies in the Saw franchise.  In the poorer quality Saw movies, some of the violence doesn’t really even make sense.  It’s almost like they’re trying to see how far they can go, how shocking they can be, and what they can get away with, even if it’s not integral to the plot.  My Bloody Valentine 3D actually has a well-developed, interesting plot.  If you don’t pay attention to the newspaper headlines that come out of the screen in the beginning of the movie (very cool 3D effect – definitely more on those later), the plot might actually be hard to follow.  I know, a good plot is unheard of for a slasher flick, but I was even left to piece together some plot details after the movie was over.  Not that it was too hard to follow, just a lot of continuous action that makes it difficult for one to think about character relationships and how they relate to the plot while also watching the movie.  So for my best attempt at a plot synopsis, here we go…

Harmony is a small mining town where everyone knows everyone else, and the mine is the lifeblood of the town.  The filmakers very successfully give the audience a good feel for the sleepy little mining town.  Decades ago, there was an accident in the mine which was initially blamed on the owner of the mine, Hanniger.  When it was found that the victims of the mining accident were actually brutally murdered, it was blamed upon the sole survivor of the accident, Harry Warden, who is left in a coma.  A few decades later, he wakes up and slaughters 22 people, including a group of teenagers having a party at the mine.  Four of the revelers make it out alive, and flash forward 10 years to now.  Hanniger’s son (he was one of the 4 survivors) returns to the town as a new rash of murders unfold, and he finds himself accused of the brutal crimes.  There’s actually more to it than that, but this kind of gives you an idea about the movie.  The plot and direction of the movie allow the audience to never be sure who to suspect of the murders, and there are various twists and turns.  Very well done for a horror movie, especially one belonging to the slasher genre.  Now on to the 3D effects…

3D does not often work for me because my eyesight is very uneven – I have near perfect vision in my left eye, and terrible vision in my right eye.  But I was sure to bring my eyeglasses, which kind of levels the playing field for my eyes, and so when I wore the 3D glasses on top of my regular eyeglasses, the 3D worked very well.  I’ve been to various 3D shows at Disney World and Universal Studios, and I would say those are the best of the best – but even they don’t always work for me; sometimes I have to squint to be able to see the 3D.  But now it seems there have been some advancements in the technology, and it’s clear the movie industry wants to showcase these advancements given the rash of 3D movie previews I’ve seen in the theaters recently.  Among the 3D features that will be out in 2009 are: Monsters and Aliens, Up, Disney’s a Christmas Carol 3D, Ice Age 3, and Toy Story in 3D.  But anyway, My Bloody Valentine 3D was very cool – the entire movie was actually in 3D for me, and all I had to do was sit there – no fiddling with glasses, no squinting…  and that was a first for me.  The murderer’s weapon of choice is a miner’s ax, and there were many times it would actually appear to come out of the screen (along with disgusting bits of gore, of course)!  Besides that effect, other things about the movie were cool because of the 3D as well; even scenes that consisted exclusively of dialogue.

As one reviewer on imdb.com mentioned, My Bloody Valentine 3D does not take itself too seriously – and that’s a good thing.  In fact, a few months ago when we first saw the movie’s preview and tagline “Nothing says ‘date movie’ like a 3D ride to Hell!”, we thought it was a joke…  you know, one of those “previews” that actually ends up being a commercial.  But it was for a real movie, and so we couldn’t resist venturing to the big city to utilize a  free voucher we had gotten on a previous visit to see the otherwise expensive 3D ride to Hell.  If you are a fan of horror movies, My Bloody Valentine 3D is a must-see.  I’m not sure how this movie would translate to a regular screen.  It might still be a good horror movie, but given the 3D effects, it was nothing short of awesome!  I would almost classify it as a sort of haunted house experience, except you’re sitting in a seat and not walking around.  If you look at it that way, the $13.50 price tag ($11 matinee) would be a bargain for the over 90 minute experience compared to admission at most haunted houses.  Of course, haunted houses don’t have the extra-long, very gratuitous nude scene, which I could have definitely done without, but since that’s my only complaint about the movie, overall I would definitely consider it an afternoon well-spent with hubby (no we did not take the kids to this feature!)  After all, nothing says ‘date movie’ like a 3D ride to Hell!  Apparently so!

Happy New Year!

Posted in holidays on January 2nd, 2009 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Happy New Year!  Holy cow, 2009 already!  I hope you had a good New Year’s.  Ours was wonderul.  We hosted a bash, which is always great so that we don’t have to pack up the kids and all their luggage just to haul them out somewhere to stay until the wee hours of the morning.  We played charades and other games and ate lots of yummy treats.  Our kids – #2 and #4 in birth order – fell asleep way early.  The older one stayed asleep all night, but wouldn’t you know it – the baby woke right as we crawled into bed at 4 in the morning.  I was able to sleep for a few hours, but that’s more than I can say for my husband who woke with the baby.  But then he got a short nap while I ambled downstairs to do some much needed cleanup from the party.  After that, we were ready to drag ourselves over to a friend’s house for a New Year’s Day chili feast – I’m told the beans bring good luck in the new year.  More food, more fun, and we didn’t plan on staying long but ended up getting home about 7 in the evening.  I did miss the hockey game at Wrigley Field, but the Red Wings beat the Blackhawks anyway.  I’m not a big hockey fan; I just thought it would be cool to see Wrigley all decked out for hockey.  I wonder what they would have done if they had gotten some of that freak 60 degree weather again – how to maintain an ice rink in those conditions?  Oh well, that’s a tangent, good thing this site is called tangents.org

So the chili and rest of the food at our friends house was great, but I wish I could have enjoyed it more – seems I partied a little too hard the night before and felt a little tired and queasy come chili feast time.  But it’s my own fault – I should know that I’m getting older and can’t handle the late nights (or early mornings for that matter) like I used to.  But oh well – my friend did give me some delicious chili to take home, so hopefully it will be more enjoyable now that I was able to rest last night.  Now I’ll just have to get used to writing 2009 instead of 2008 all over the place…

Road Kill Etiquette?

Posted in Kids on December 16th, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Saturday morning started off completely crazily of course – it was the morning of our oldest daughter’s ninth birthday party.  We were running around like lunatics, trying to take care of our own 4 kids and getting last minute details for the party worked out – we didn’t even know how many kids were going to show up since people refuse to RSVP, but that’s a separate post altoghter.  I had invited 25 kids – I know that sounds completely crazy, but my daughter’s school has a rule that you have to invite the entire class if you’re handing invitations out at school (understandable, don’t want any kids’ feelings hurt) – so with the 17 in her class + Brownies + outside of school friends = meant almost 30 eight and nine-year-olds could have shown up at my house on Saturday.  But thank goodness, only about 6 or 7 showed up (they never stood still long enough for me to count them), which is another reason why I invite every kid my daughter knows – if we had only invited 5 kids, none of them would have been able to come probably.

So Saturday morning was hectic, to say the least.  Various kids were melting down in anticipation of the party, and adults were scrambling to decorate and plan games for somewhere between 5 and 25 kids.  My husband is brilliant and came up with an idea to do a craft, and luckily we have a pretty big supply of craft items.  So we threw a bunch of stuff together, and the kids made Christmas ornaments out of small red plastic cups and whatever else we found and had an awesome time doing so.  I was feeling much better after the craft idea was hatched, because it was almost time for kids to arrive and now everything was ready.  My dog started barking, so I went to the window to see what the barking was about this time.  Just as I got to the window, a squirrel ran out in front of a car and got hit – right in front of my house and my eyes – ugh.  What an awful way to start a birthday party – I’m really sensitive about those kind of things.  I wanted my husband to go out and move it – it was right in front of our house – but he refused.  I can’t say I blame him, I wasn’t going to go near it for anything, and I made him tie the party balloons out front.  But I knew at the very least, kids (especially boys) would be talking about the dead squirrel for the entire party.  At least it wasn’t warm out, which would have increased the chances of the party spilling outside, further leading to more attention on the poor unlucky squirrel.  So I don’t know, what’s road kill / birthday party ettiquette?  Should we have removed the squirrel?  Never had to deal with THAT problem before.  And I hope I never have to again; it cast a terrible shadow over my day.  But as it happened, no need to worry about the squirrel – by party time he was flat as a pancake and no one noticed him.  By the end of the party, he had disappeared completely.  I’m just glad none of my kids had to see it happen; I think that would have been rough on them.  And I’m happy to report that the birthday party was a HUGE success with several kids exclaiming that it was the best birthday party they had ever been to…  of course one of those comments came from a kid who was at his first birthday party ever.  But we did catch one kid lying about calling her grandma to come pick her up.  She said grandma wasn’t home but it turns out that she had never dialed – I’m glad I’m well-informed of that trick now.  This same kid’s grandma didn’t show up last year until an hour after the party was over, hmmm…  As President George W. Bush would say – Fool me once, shame on…  fool me twice….  if you get fooled, you’ll be fooled again.

Happy 9th Birthday Taylor!