Category Archives: Movies

Catching Up

I knew it had been a while since I posted here, but I had no idea it had been nearly so long. Sheesh. I do have a blog elsewhere that I’ve been using more for my adventures in knitting, but there’s just no way I can keep up with two blogs, so I’ll have to decide what to do about that.

In my last post, I mentioned that I had started knitting recently. It’s been about 10 months now, and I’m still loving it. As of today, I’ve completed 19 projects. I currently have four works in progress (WIPs), two of which are very close to being done, and four unfinished objects (UFOs). Naturally I have a bunch of projects that I want to start soon too, but I’m only planning on a couple of them in the immediate near future. One is a gift for a friend, the other something I’d like to have as sort of a housewarming gift for myself if I actually buy a home this fall (a little more on that below).

I don’t yet have photos uploaded to Flickr for everything, but here a few of my favorites.

haruhascarfpic3

I knitted this for a scarf exchange through Facebook, and it uses a fingering-weight yarn. I started knitting it only about six weeks after I started knitting, and loved how it turned out. I loved the colors too, but have the same yarn in a different colorway in my stash ready to knit a second one I can keep.

mithangingtowel1

I’m knitting a bunch of these this year as gifts, but this is the first one, which I made for an exchange on Ravelry. I can probably knit this in a couple of days pretty easily, but when the kitchen cotton ends up doubled at the top, I have to take breaks from it.

wrapmeupblock1

This is actually the very first part of a wrap, which I knit in February. The wrap is sort of a sampler of different techniques (these are mitered squares), without about 19 more parts if I remember correctly, plus a crocheted border (it’s been quite a number of years since I did any crochet), so it’ll be a fun learning experience. Other things keep coming up, but I hope to get back to this wrap this fall.

I actually have a couple of things going on in the rest of my life, which is usually not the case. Last week I started actually going to see homes (townhouses and condos) I might be interested in buying, rather than just looking at them online. I’m going to see one or two more this evening that are more in the area I’d prefer, and one is ridiculously close to the yarn shop I hang out at a bit. I’m not sure if this is a good or bad thing — less mileage for getting there (and if I got it back in condition, I could probably bike there), but so, so close for making purchases. But then again, when I have a mortgage, I’m going to really need to outline a knitting budget and stick to it. It’s not like I don’t have enough yarn for probably at least 20 projects already!

A week from tomorrow I’m heading out to upstate New York to visit my friend Jessica for about 10 days. We’re still working on an itinerary, but our plans include going up to Rochester to see a Red Wings game (probably on Sunday the 30th), spending a day at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, heading to Saratoga Springs for a day to sightsee and check out the horse racing; seeing the new Harry Potter movie (I’ve seen it, but certainly don’t mind seeing it again with Jessica, who has not yet), and taking an afternoon or two to check out the yarn shops around her area. Of course I’ll also be seeing at least one performance at the Glimmerglass Opera, which is where Jessica works, probably La Traviata on the 25th.

Trying Something New

This post has waited a while to be written. The day after the events below ensued, I had a bit of a fender bender on the way to work (only my six-month-old car and pride were injured), then I had a Stampin’ Up! workshop a couple days after that, and I’ve been sick ever since. At first I thought I just had a simple cold, but let’s just say…apparently it wasn’t.

A couple weekends ago I put in several hours of overtime, and I came up with this plan where if I was able to leave early one day, I was going to do something I’d never done: go to a movie by myself. I know, it’s kind of ridiculous, but I suppose I’ve just always felt it was more of a social thing than, say, picking up groceries or watching a movie on DVD, which of course are things I do by myself all the time.

However, I’ve really missed seeing movies as often as I’d like to. I like the environment, I like the big screen, and since the arrival of the new AMC at Rosedale, I even like the popcorn again. And if I’m going to continue winning the Oscar pool at work, let alone enjoy the Oscars show in general, I’d like to see at least some of the movies.

So that was the plan, and last Wednesday I was able to leave work early enough to catch the 3:00 show of Juno. It was a little strange buying a ticket and not waiting for anyone else in the lobby, buying popcorn without deciding if I was going to split it with a friend, and walking into a nearly empty theater knowing no one would be joining me. But in the end, it was actually kind of nice.

The movie wasn’t bad, either.

80th Annual Oscar Nominations

I hadn’t even realized the nominations were today until I was listening to the radio on the way to work this morning. I normally pay a lot more attention than that, practically waiting with bated breath to see who’s receiving the nods this year. Perhaps its the writers strike, the fact that I’ve seen so few movies in the past year, or that I’m just busy with other stuff, but while I want to be excited as usual, I’m just not.

I just did a quick tally, and it looks as though I’ve seen a total of three of the nominated movies: Ratatouille, The Bourne Ultimatum, and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. Yeah, not exactly any of the “big” films. And not a one of the films nominated for Best Picture will be available on DVD before the Oscars, so I suppose I’ll be deciding if there are any still playing that I’m interested enough in to go through the effort of getting someone to go see them with me or just to go see by myself.

Heck of a Crazy Weekend

I must say, this past weekend started off on a great note. Getting together with a few of my closest girlfriends, and just the girlfriends (i.e., no husbands or kids, though I certainly like all of them too), was a too-rare treat. I hope it’s not so long until we can do it again.

Saturday, against my better judgment, I braved the snow storm to drive out to Stitchville USA. I needed to pick up a few items for an Advent exchange with my online cross stitch group, and it’s been so busy on weekends lately that I had already missed the deadline for getting it in the mail. My plan was to get out of the door by 9:30 AM, get to the store sometime between 10 and 10:15, be there no more than an hour, make a quick stop at the Jo-Ann right by the Shoppes at Arbor Lakes in Maple Grove, check out the Teavana in Arbor Lakes, and be home by 1:30 or so. I got it all done, plus a quick stop at Trader Joe’s on the walk to Teavana to see if it’s something I want to check out further on another day (the answer is yes), and was home by 3:15, though not completely without incident.

My new Honda Fit handles even better than I expected in the snow (the freeways I took most of the distance were more or less okay, but the shopping areas were certainly not so much), but it would appear I’m going to have to check into getting better windshield wipers. It never occurred to me that the ones I got with this car would be of lesser quality than the ones that came standard on my Cavalier. Unless I was driving at higher speeds on the freeway, I had a devil of a time getting and keeping my windshield clear, which makes for some interesting driving. We’re supposed to be getting more snow tomorrow, and I can’t say I’m looking forward to driving home from work if it’s snowing then.

The highlight of Saturday was definitely checking out Teavana. My grandma’s a big tea drinker, so I’ve always been intrigued by tea, though I generally tend to prefer coffee. I’ve purchased random tea over the years out of curiosity, but only drink it now and then. Since starting the Tea Shop Mysteries by Laura Childs, I’ve become more interested in everything about tea, from what all the different varieties are to what attributes different teas might have. It’s hard to describe the experience, but if you’re interested, check out the website or, if there’s one close enough, visit one of their stores (here in Minnesota, there’s also one in the Mall of America). I ended up buying some Mrs. Earl Grey for my grandma for Christmas, plus some loose tea filters and a measuring spoon. I bought a fabric-covered tin that not only holds 3 ounces of the tea, but is refillable just by taking it to a Teavana store (the fabric-covered one was about $10, but a regular small tin that’s also refillable is only about $3). I got myself two of the fabric-covered tins, one with Monkey-Picked Oolong, the other with Rooibos Chai. I’ve had a couple of cups of both, and they were delicious. I can’t wait to acquire more! (Hint: I’d love the Teavana Gift Set — or pretty much anything else from there — for Christmas.)

Saturday evening was quiet, just sitting around reading and watching a movie with my parents. It might not be a cinematic wonder, but Night at the Museum is rather fun. I was up pretty late reading, planning to sleep in a bit on Sunday.

At some point, probably a little after 9 AM, I hear my dad yelling about something, but this is nothing new and I fall back to sleep. I’m awoken a few minutes later by my mom explaining that she needs me to get up to help dad get up as he has fallen and can’t get up on his own. That doesn’t sound good: even with the prosthetic left leg, he’s pretty good at getting himself up. I’m not sure I’m really comprehending things, but I get up, put on a robe, and head downstairs. Sure enough, Dad is sort of sprawled on the dining room floor, and it doesn’t look good. He had been outside doing the shoveling between the house and garage, just like he did all winter, but slipped as he went inside the house onto the linoleum. Dad’s saying how his hip hurts…er, a lot (I’ll spare you the actual words)…and I’m thinking that this is something we need trained EMS responders to take care of, and he needs to get to a hospital. Mom agrees and calls 911 while I keep an eye on Dad. A police officer and paramedics arrive in fairly short order, take stock of the situation, and get Dad off to Regions. Sure enough, right hip fracture, for which he had surgery last evening. It’s going to be a while before he’s home again, I suspect, with the rehab and all. Hopefully everything will go as well as it did when he had left leg amputated two and a half years ago.

Just goes to show: you think the most exciting thing that has happened to you in a weekend is narrowly missing a car that spins out ahead of you on an exit ramp, and then your dad goes and breaks his hip.

Happy Feet

I’m finally caught up with all the old Netflix stuff I had (this week I put DVDs from March, June, and September in the mail), finishing with watching Happy Feet last night. What a cute movie! And the animation was spectacular. I will admit that I was a little irritated with the agenda-pushing at the end (not that there’s necessarily anything wrong with the agenda being pushed, but it seemed a bit forced to me), but the special features made up for that.

For one, I had no idea Steve Irwin had been involved with the movie. The first special feature is a nice tribute to him, while also being sort of a deleted scene.

And you’d certainly expect Savion Glover to show up somewhere in the special features, but instead of going into the technical aspects of his involvement (which I wouldn’t have minded seeing), it was a fun little dance lesson. I’m not going to be taking up tap dancing anytime soon, but the “heart song” message was kind of nice.

I start receiving new movies today! Since I hardly ever get out to see movies anymore, I have a long list of stuff I want to see soon.

P.S. Not that I expect she still pops over to my blog ever, but happy belated birthday, Theresa! Hope you got better stuff than Blazer, who turned 3 yesterday and only received a new cardboard scratcher.

The Long Weekend

Having four whole days away from work was wonderful. There are just a lot of little things there right now that are perturbing, though I’m sure they’ll work themselves out soon.

On Wednesday evening I finished reading a couple of books. First, The Shakespeare Stealer by Gary Blackwood is the first of three books written about Widge, an orphan who ends up in the acting company Shakespeare wrote for and performed with through a series of misadventures. I stumbled across this book a few months ago while at the Red Balloon Bookshop for a reading and signing by Anne Ursu, and thought it would be good for my middle nephew’s birthday. He turned 9 nearly two weeks ago…I suppose I should get this in the mail to him! Whether or not Allen likes this, I’m planning to read the other novels about Widge eventually.

Second was Meg Cabot’s Size 12 Is Not Fat. I have loved everything I’ve read by Meg Cabot until this point, so I was really looking forward to her first mystery. It certainly wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t all that I was hoping for either. I’ll likely read the next in the series since I already own it, but if it’s not better than the first I’m not sure if I’ll continue past that.

On Thursday I read The Ritual Bath by Faye Kellerman. This was a recent group read for one of my online reading groups that I didn’t participate in, but the book caught my eye when I was at the library one day and I figured I might get around to checking it out. I’m so glad I did! I enjoyed the mystery, but even more I enjoyed learning a bit about (from what I gathered) Orthodox Judaism, and in particular what a yeshiva is. The Ritual Bath was written a little over 20 years ago, so I’m not sure if any of this information is dated, but it’s fascinating nonetheless and overall the book didn’t feel very dated. This is just the first of what is currently a 16-book series, and I can’t wait to read the next one.

On Saturday night I finally got around to watching a movie I’ve had from Netflix since March. Yeah, March. Sadly, the movie wasn’t worth the wait. It certainly had some critical aclaim, but Sherrybaby just left me feeling sad and dirty. I was glad I had a DVD from season 2 of Grey’s Anatomy to cheer me up afterwards.

Over the weekend I was also able to finish up a couple of pending projects, catch up with some TV I’ve been woefully behind on, and read most of another book. A few more 4-day weekends and I might be caught up with all kinds of things!

One Productive Weekend

Well, I’ve got to have one every now and again, but this time I’m pretty sure it was because I made myself not turn on my computer once, not even to check on my fantasy baseball teams, which was incredibly challenging.

  • I read an entire book. Sure, it was a short book and technically I started it Wednesday night, but I had barely read any of it by the time Friday evening rolled around. I rarely read a book that fast just because I have so much else going on.
  • I’m now 75% done with my cross stitch model project, so I should have no problem meeting the deadline.
  • I caught up with 6 episodes of CSI, plus a number of other random shows I had on my TiVo.
  • It wasn’t one I have from Netflix right now, but I watched a movie I found when I was flipping channels Saturday night when I couldn’t get to sleep.

On the other hand, I didn’t:

  • Do any laundry
  • Watch any of my Netflix movies
  • Do any cardmaking/designing
  • Clearing out of my bathroom in preparation for contractors

But that’s all okay, because that modelstitching job is, besides my day job, the most important thing I have going on right now.