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Archive for November, 2006

I have a massively overused Netflix subscription. I’ve found since I’ve laid off the intense gaming I have so many hours in the evening to fill.

Since my family is 45 minutes away now, and my students dwindling over the Christmas season, it’s not unusual for me to watch one, sometimes two, movies a night. So I’m taking advantage of this opportunity to see movies I’ve always wanted to see, movies I’ve never heard of, and broadening my horizons by trying some new and interesting approaches.

So, I’ve also decided to review some of these movies – who knows, maybe you will find something interesting to watch as well.

Shadows In The Sun:

I was unsure of this movie. The cover described it as a “Comedy” yet the description is about a young man who journey’s to Italy to find a famous writer, Weldon Parish, and discovers himself and love along the way.

The movie opens up with a very strict view of the modern world. A neat, bare, dismal in it’s beauty apartment and the perfect grooming of a young business man. His walk to work, a ride in a glistening elevator and the coldness of people surrounding him immediately struck me. Is this how we all look – going to work daily, functioning with as much creativeness and spontaneity of a robot? How would my life look to someone watching me from the outside? Would they think I was just the beginning of what would prove to be the most boring movie made by mankind?

The young man is an editor, and the publishing company he works for assigns him to a mandatory “vacation” in Italy in an effort to sign a great writer who has not written anything for 20 years. The difference between the small town in Italy and the cold bustling of London is incredibly marked and made me wish for a simple life, in a place where there is the smells of warm bread, the laughter of men and women filling the streets and the warm colors of a sunset with no electricity and headlights to block the view. How easy it would be to be creative in such a place – when surrounded by the magnificence of God’s creativity?

The movie had a serene, amusing and poignant setting. It was relaxing and heartwarming and ended all too quickly. Settle down for this one with a mug of hot tea, a blanket and a few pillows and prepare to be completely overwhelmed with the sheer beauty of the scenery and touched by the story of discovery being told.

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Four Things

Four Jobs I Have Had:
Popcorn and Soda Vendor – Disneyworld
Piano Teacher
Waitress
Legal Secretary

Four Movies I Could Watch Over and Over:
Notting Hill
Sense and Sensibility
Pride and Prejudice
The Princess Bride

Four Books I Could Read Over and Over:
Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
Angela’s Ashes – Frank McCourt
Crimson Roses – Grace Livingston Hill
The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien

Four Places I Have Lived:
Stanley, Iowa
Omaha, Nebraska
Laramie, Wyoming
Chillicothe, Illinois

Four TV Shows I Watch:
Battlestar Galactica
30 Minute Meals – Rachael Ray
Heroes
American Idol

Four Places I Have Been On Vacation:
Disneyworld
Disneyland
Seattle, Washington
Atlanta, Georgia

Four Websites I Visit Daily:
Blogger.com
Gmail.com
Myspace.com
Foodnetwork.com

Four Favorite Foods:
Anything with Zucchini
Crab and Corn Chowder Mac (mmmm)
Unusual Salads.. any kind.
Mom’s sausage breakfast casserole that she only makes Christmas morning.

Four Places I’d Like To Be Right Now:
Seattle!
Winsen, Germany to kick a boy’s butt
Disneyworld
Cape Cod

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Black Friday: Part 2

(Picking up from Black Friday: Part 1)

Kohl’s:

The toy aisle’s in Kohl’s leave much to be desired. About 4 1/2 feet wide – barely enough room to move by yourself, let alone with a cart. After battling for a cart of her own near the entrance, Lydia took off running (in slippers!) to the back of the store and the toy department. (Next year I am bringing knee pads, elbow pads and an oxygen tank.)

Grabbing first two large Hot Wheels boxes and shoving them into the cart, Lydia was accosted by a woman who began berating her for having a cart in the toys section – while completely ignoring the 10 other carts surrounding her – including the one that she was shoving toys into while her husband/boyfriend/whatever held on to it and wheeled it behind her.

Candace had arrived at this point, and Lydia thankfully pawned the cart off on her and banished her to a safe section of the store. Stripping off her coat and pushing her purse into Candace’s arms, Lydia then stated she was “going back in” and dove back into the sea of people to emerge victorious.

Toy’s R Us:

Having been successful with their Disney Store mission, Mom and Abby made their way over to Toys R Us. With toys in hand, and while telling Lydia over the cell phone that they were on their way soon, they stood three people from being checked out when the manager approached them and informed them they had to go to the back of the line – as they were redoing how the lines were set up.

Toys R Us did not receive any Presley or Bushnell money on this Black Friday.

Wal-Mart:

Alec, having failed in his mission, began wandering the store looking for Dad. After two trips around the store he spotted a buddy of his emerging from the back with a pallet full of 20″ flat screen tv’s. Alec hailed him and immediately grabbed one of the TV’s off the pallet and went to find Dad.

Dad at this point has found the Ice Hockey table and has it protruding from his own cart. Alec shoves his cart with the TV in it at Dad while stating he thinks he can get another and bolts back. Sure enough – the buddy hung around long enough for Alec to grab another TV and book it back to Dad.

Meanwhile – Dad has found a woman with a certain toy in her cart that was on Dad’s list. He asked the woman where she found it and she whispered the location – and that there was only one left.

Alec and Dad formed the Electronic Train at this point (Alec in front pushing one TV cart, pulling a second TV cart behind him while Dad pushed it and pulled his own Ice Hockey cart). They found the toy (score!). There were only two to begin with. Thank you Lord for nice people!!

Kohl’s:

Lydia and Candace (having finally loaded up their cart + all four arms with items) are standing in a store wide line. They are three from being checked out with no Mom in sight (which means no money in sight). A phone call confirms that Mom and Abby are at Target (where Abby is shopping out of people’s carts!) and Lydia and Candace are to walk the five feet from the front of the line to get into the back of the line all over again.

———–

Aside from a few other small incidents, that was our Black Friday experience. We got home around 8:30 a.m. that morning and most people slept it off… I however did not sleep until 10p.m. that night.

Am I glad we did it? Yes. Black Friday is always a fun experience to reflect on the day after it happens and the stories are hilarious. This Black Friday was another success in the long run of things – we walked away a little tired, bruised and beat up – but the following laughter and the gratitude of our wallets is always a good thing.

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Black Friday: Part 1

People have heard the rumors, I’m sure. I’m sure the one or two people reading this post have experienced it in one way or another – but I’m going to introduce you to the Presley way of handling black Friday. First, the cast:

Mom – Head organizer of all. Handler of all newspaper ads, co-ordinater of schedules and rides and overall head boss.

Abby – Co-organizer. Sister of all sorts of deals and writer of lists.

Lydia – Resident sleepy-head, robot and chauffeur of Candace.

Candace – 14 year old drama queen – lead sprinter

Alec – 18 year old linebacker type – good for big stuff

Dad – Older and wiser linebacker type – lets Alec do the big stuff.

Scene 1.
Time: In the wee small hours of the morning sometime between 1am and 5am.

Candace and Lydia are standing outside of Kohl’s Department Store with instructions to grab two 7″ portable dvd players and numerous toys. Huge deals, must not fail. They are third in line and freezing their tushes off (Lydia especially because it’s laundry day and all she has to wear is a sweatshirt, a jean skirt (no socks) and slippers).

Mom and Abby are outside of the mall – having been told that the Disney Store will open at 4:30 a.m. and the mall police firmly stating that they will not open the mall doors until 5a.m.

Dad and Alec have pulled Wal-Mart duty. Need I say more (but at least they get the warm inside to wait in).

Kohl’s Department Store:

Candace and Lydia are third in line and waiting anxiously as the doors are unlocked. Candace mentions something about knowing she’s about to die in Kohl’s. The doors are unlocked. Lydia has mentioned to Candace that Candace may need to sprint for the players. Candace insists that power-walking will do.

Candace’s Mission: The DVD players
Lydia’s Mission: The Toys.

Candace makes a beeline for the DVD players, by-passing the cart and making it to the back left corner of the store with one other person along side of her – her old librarian at school (they only powerwalked about 3 seconds, then broke into a run as they saw the people behind them start to sprint). They are intercepted by another man who grabs the first of 50 dvd players off the stack. Candace then grabs two and spins around to see the mass descending upon her. The librarian hits her shoulder and says “Run”. And the horde descends.

A large, frizzy haired, blonde woman immediately ascertains that Candace is the weakest of her prey and thumps the top box held in Candace’s arms attempting to dislodge at least one of the players. It promptly drops to the floor and Candace promptly drops and sits on it. The frizzy haired woman is then chased away by a Kohl’s associate.

Meanwhile . . .

The Mall:

Mom and Abby are impatiently waiting outside. The mall cop has been called over to Sears to break up two skirmishes that have occurred and has been called over to Circuit City across the street to help break up several more then.

(By the way – how funny is it that people are getting into fights before they even get to the merchandise. I picture those fights as happening like this:

Shopper 1: I can’t wait to get 3 of those laptop computers.
Shopper 2: Uh, you better not take the last three because I promised my wife I’d bring home at least one.
Shopper 1: Well I’m in front of you moron, and I plan on taking as many as I can get my hands on!
Shopper 2: Oh yeah? Well.. if I knock you out of commission first then you won’t get any and I won’t get the doghouse!)

Wal-Mart:

Alec and Dad have discovered that all of the merchandise is already out on the floor. However, it is wrapped tighter than duct tape on a tailpipe with plastic wrap. They are unable to make out any of the merchandise.

Alec’s Mission: 20″ flat screen TV’s.
Dad’s Mission: Ice Hockey Table

Alec stands in line for 45 minutes. There are two lines formed. One for the TV’s, one for another electronic device. Alec watches as a woman goes to the front of the line to ascertain which line is for which item, then comes back and takes her place in the line opposite Alec while informing her son that she verified it was the TV line. Alec almost cries.

“I’ve been standing in this line for 45 minutes thinking it was the TV line!” he says.
“Well, I don’t really want one so fine, take a spot in front of me”, the woman replied – and apparently not in a very kind manner. It was probably sarcasm, but Alec took her up on her offer.

The line begins to move. All six 20″ TV’s are immediately snatched up – three of them to the first family in the line. Bummer.

End of Part 1 of Black Friday.


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Insomnia

Last night I fell asleep around 8:30 p.m, which could have been a blessing or a curse (I was so incredibly exhausted).

I woke up at 3:30 a.m. and was unable to fall back asleep. I ended up lying in bed watching reruns of Farscape and trying to force myself back to sleep. It didn’t happen.

So today I am thoroughly exhausted and have a ton of busy work I need to focus on at some point or other and I am longing for the holidays to begin. I haven’t had a vacation in over a year at this point and I am beginning to think I am going to need one fairly soon. (Of course for me fairly soon is still February!).

On top of the busy work the wierdo’s are coming out of the woodwork today. Between the crazy lady who’s attempting to guilt trip me into forcing my boss to give her free advice, the smelly man who comes in repeatedly and stands at the window staring at me, and the fact that I get to spend this afternoon in a hospital witnessing a Will for a man with a tube in his side. My stomach is churning at the thought of it.

But all I have to remember is just 48 hours and I’ll be smelling Thanksgiving pies and turkey and all the fixin’s and playing with my nieces and nephews.

I just hope I don’t end up sleeping through the holiday!

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Divorce and Thanksgiving

Today is Monday. Not just any Monday, but the Monday before Thanksgiving.

I work in a small law office. It’s the perfect size for keeping me busy (generally) and allowing me to learn. One thing I’ve learned over the past few years is business suffers Thanksgiving and Christmas weeks.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m happy that people are setting aside their differences at least two weeks out of the year and calling their lawyer is the last thing on their mind. However, like the question about the undertaker being happy if business is slow (otherwise wouldn’t he be hoping people die faster? Seriously, how do undertakers justify hoping that business will boom), should I be happy that people have set aside their differences this week and are focusing on being a family? Of course!

But experience has also taught me that next Monday all hell will break loose in this office. Fights will happen, and family’s will fracture and break on Thanksgiving Day. So this is my prayer this year – that next Monday will be a slow, incredibly dull day and that tempers will be given time to cool before the lawyers are called.

(But would it be wrong to hope for a few real estate closings or something to keep my hands busy? I would imagine not. =)

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The Lost Entwife

First, where the title of this blog comes from.

I have an insane level of patience. Two months is a sneeze in time for me. It takes me two years to bring myself to the point of making a decision to pierce my ears. It took me 10 years for me to move 30 miles from my parents. I wasn’t always like this, but as time passes the more time it takes for me to make important (and some not-so-important) decisions. A friend of mine, as a result of me saying February is not that far from November for a visit) deemed me to be a “Lost Entwife” as a result.

After a period of a few years I finally made the trip this last weekend to reconnect with an old friend from my jr. high years. I met with Chris, his wife Becky, his two daughters, his brother, Andrew, and sister Rebecca. The last time I saw both Andrew and Rebecca they were toddlers. Amazing how things have changed.

My sister, Candace, and I made the trip to Iowa together and thoroughly enjoyed our time together in the car. Overall it was a fun weekend together, between a hair cut, a movie, a piano lesson, a parade, a long car trip and several episodes of Farscape.

I’m glad it’s the work week so I can finally relax before the holidays!

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