Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas Y'all

I was feeling all "Bah Humbug" ish this year. Work was really hectic. Last year, the boss went out of town for half the month of December; so, it was an automatic vacation for me. I was able to complete all my Christmas tasks early and had some quality time to play. This year, not so much. He took off last Friday, is off today, and will return Wednesday just to start doing procedures for those people who want to get their colonoscopies in before a new deductible kicks in. I took off Thursday, but spent it catching up on the 30 dictations for the new consultations we've had in the last two weeks. I had done 10 here and there during those two weeks, but couldn't sit down long enough to string together coherant thoughts for the others. Well - after a few hours of that fun activity - my Christmas began!

I finished up most of the Christmas shopping on Friday. I also treated myself to a pedicure. The tootsies were tired. Saturday, I finally found the husb's Christmas present. It was after I had treated myself to a massage at the Coldwater Creek Spa. That was really an experience in relaxation. First, you check in, you change into a robe and slippers, and you are treated to a foot soak. They put a warmed neck roll on you. You sit in a room with comfy chairs and the lights are turned down low. There's one of those fake waterfalls on the wall that makes the light sound of water dripping into water. After 55 minutes of a wonderful massage, I went back into the relaxation room. You can stay as long as you want. I stayed for about 30 minutes while I calmly thought about getting the husb's present and getting home to start wrapping. It was soooo nice. Meanwhile, the weather outside turned windy and cold! Luckily, I had packed a warmer jacket into the car. So, I bought the gift, stopped by the local women's shelter in Denton to drop off a donation of clothes that no longer fit, ran by the store for nuts and raisins and headed home. I wrapped presents in between my chores around the house. I finished wrapping by 9:00 that night. Yay!

Yesterday, my mother and I baked some Christmas cookies. I baked a birthday cake for her. We had the in-laws over for supper and we celebrated...Happy BD Momma! I spent the rest of the evening on the couch knitting. I finished a pair of fingerless mitts for a friend for Christmas.

Today - I have a few errands to run that do not involve going to the mall.

There are a few good movies opening or have opened in the last couple of weeks. I have a list a mile long. I hope to see Enchanted, Charlie Wilson's War, There Will Be Blood and Sweeney Todd this week. I will leave you with an account of the movies I have seen.

In the last couple of weeks, I saw Dan in Real Life. Steve Carrell plays a widower with three girls. He writes a parenting advice column. Juliette Binoche plays a woman he meets in a bookstore. Emily Blunt and Dianne Wiest also star. It was almost as funny as Lars and the Real Girl, but definitely more predictable. The 40 Year Old Virgin was funny and very crude. This movie is funny and inteligent. I give it two thumbs up. The Golden Compass was really good. Nicole Kidman, Sam Elliot and Daniel Craig star in this adaptation of the best selling trilogy by Philip Pullman about parallel universes and fantasmagorical elements. If you like the Chronicles of Narnia, you will like this movie. I thought it was good. Finally, I saw Juno – I really liked this movie, it was funny, sad and smart. It is about a 16-yr-old girl, who gets pregnant and decides to put the baby up for adoption. The character has some really good, witty lines, but it made me wonder if a 16-yr-old could really be that witty and mature. Other than that, it was good.

Then, there's the list of DVDs, in case you are looking for something to watch while the weather outside is frightful:

Hairspray – If you wanna see John Travolta in panty hose – this movie is the one to see. It’s a cute adaptation of the Broadway musical. If my memory serves (and that’s iffy), Rikki Lake played the lead on the stage. Nikki Blonsky, Michelle Pfeiffer, Queen Latifah, Christopher Walken and Amanda Bynes also star.
Waitress – Keri Russell stars in this movie about a waitress who bakes unbelievable pies inspired by events in her life. She finds out that she is pregnant, and she is not too thrilled about the prospect, because she is in a dreadful marriage. Cheryl Hines is also in it, as well as the writer/director of the movie, Adrienne Shelley. It was a cute movie, but on a sad note, Adrienne Shelley was discovered murdered in her NY apartment just months after the film debuted at the Sundance Film Festival.
Evening – Vanessa Redgrave, Meryl Streep, Claire Danes, Natasha Richardson, Toni Colette, Mamie Gummer and Glenn Close star in this movie about a dying woman (Redgrave) who is surrounded by her daughters (one played by her real-life daughter – Richardson) as she remembers a one-night stand she had so long ago that she kept secret all her life. Danes plays her in the flashbacks. Mamie Gummer plays her good friend in the scenes when they were young. Meryl Streep, Gummer’s real mother, plays the character in the present. It was very good.
A Mighty Heart – This movie is based on Mariane Pearl’s memoirs about her husband’s murder in Pakistan by terrorists. Angelina Jolie stars as Mariane. She does a great job, as usual. Daniel Pearl was a journalist going out for another story, when he didn’t return home. It was a terrible tragedy, and my heart goes out to the whole Pearl family, but I really didn’t like this movie.
Pan’s Labyrinth
– Is it real, or is it Memorex? This movie, in Spanish with English subtitles, is set in
Spain following the Spanish Civil War. It is about a little girl, Ofelia, who may be the lost princess of an underground world. Her earthly mother has married a cruel army captain who is trying to finish off the remaining guerilla forces of the opposition. Her mother is pregnant and bedridden, when Ofelia sets off to complete three tasks that will return her to her real family. The big question, is this story just fantasy and we should just go with it and suspend a little belief, or is it alive in the imagination of a little girl caught in an impossible situation who uses fantasy as a coping mechanism? It was very, very good.
The Wind That Shakes the Barley – This movie is set in
Ireland in the 1920s. Two brothers have differing opinions about the issue of British rule in Ireland. An incident unites them and both join the Irish Republican Army, using violence to push the Brits out of Ireland. It was alright.
The Italian – cute little movie in Russian with English subtitles. It’s about a little boy who is about to be adopted by an Italian couple. He decides to run away and try and find his birth mother before it is too late and she is lost to him forever. I really liked it.
Imagine Me and You
– A rather dumb flick about this woman who catches the eye of her female florist as she is walking down the aisle to get married. Meh…

Everything is Illuminated
– Elijah Wood plays this guy who collects all kinds of things that pertain to his family’s history. He travels to the
Ukraine to meet the woman responsible for saving his grandfather from the Nazis. His guide and the guide’s grandfather provide some humor on this quirky little road trip that they take.
The Hoax – Richard Gere stars as Clifford Irving, in this based on fact film about an author (Irving) who tries to convince McGraw Hill to publish his biography about Howard Hughes. He tells them that he has the blessing of Hughes to publish this exclusive story, and in exchange, they write a check to Hughes for one million dollars. Many other well-known actors star in this picture – Hope Davis, Alfred Molina, Marcia Gay Harden and Stanley Tucci. It was pretty good, although frustrating to watch this guy dig himself deeper and deeper with his lies.
– This documentary is another Michael Moore perspective on a very real problem – financial barriers to health care. It’s rather slanted and it does not give the complete picture.
The Namesake – Kal Penn plays a guy who is born in
New York to Indian parents. He grows up becoming very westernized and ignoring his roots. Things happen and he has to grow up quickly. It was very good. There is a lot of Hindi spoken, especially in the beginning, that is sub-titled, but the majority of the movie is in English.
Breaking and Entering – This film was a stupid movie with good actors. Juliette Binoche, Robin Wright Penn and Jude law star in this movie. A teenager breaks into this business owned by Jude Law. Jude is dating/living with Robin Wright Penn who has this autistic daughter from a previous marriage. Juliette Binoche is the robber teen’s mother. The actors did well with the material, but it was a big, fat “who cares” in my book.
– Oh.My.Gawd. This movie was pretty bad. Samuel L. Jackson, Edie Falco and Julianne Moore star in this film about a woman (Moore) who reports that her son was kidnapped by a black dude who hijacked her car. It was just bad.
Ratatouille – cute, cute animated flick about a rat who can cook. It is set in gay
The Nanny Diaries – cute movie with Scarlet Johanssen who plays a nanny for this
New York couple – Laura Linney and Paul Giamatti. I liked it, but it is rather fluffy.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

Merry Karma out.

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