Thursday, January 24, 2008

Haylie: The Destroyer of Books!

This is Haylie. She loves books. Loves to destroy them I mean. When I'm not looking she loves to sneak into her bedroom (not really a bedroom, just a hallway in our apartment) and pull all of her books off the self. Sometimes she looks at them, other times she rips out the pages with her amazing 10 month old strength. When she is not destroying books she likes to seek out and eat mouse traps. Lucky for Haylie, when she gets caught in a mouse trap we don't take her outside and cut off her head with the kitchen shears.

Hugh Jackman or Ian McShane?!

The other night Tom and I decided to watch the Woody Allen movie "Scoop". It starred Scarlett Johansen and Ian McShane. Do any of you know who Ian McShane is? I did not and it served to make me look the fool.

A few minutes into the movie Scarlett Johnassens romantic interest arrived on screen. Tom said "oh, that's weird, I didn't know Hugh Jackman was in this film." Then I said "that's not Hugh Jackman, Tom, it just looks like him. It's Ian McShane, the guy who played Hugh Jackmans double in "The Prestige"". I gave him a look that conveyed how foolish I thought he was not to recognize the difference in the two similar actors. He then gave me a look that conveyed that he thought I was an idiot. "No, Jenny, Hugh Jackman played both parts in The Prestige".

Still, I didn't believe him. He made me a $20.00 bet that Ian McShane had no part in The Prestige. He set about immediately to prove me wrong. He looked up the info on the internet and sure enough Ian McShane was not in the film and it turns out Hugh Jackman did play both roles. I don't know how I managed to become so confused.

I guess I shouldn't be too surprised. I tend to make mistakes like that more often than I want to admit. For instance, when I was in High School I was driving along with my friend for a night out on the town. As stated in a previous post I was none to savvy on the Music front. My friend started singing a song which was going to set the tone for our evening out. "wild thing, you make my heart sing, wild thing..". I stopped her midway through and said "Stacey, you are such an idiot, the words are "Swamp Thing"!". She gave me a look like maybe I was from another planet and explained that despite what I though the original song was Wild Thing. I understood that I had been mislead by an advertisement on T.V. for the old horror movie "Swamp Thing". I guess that happens sometimes, where the notes stay the same but they change the lyrics. How was I to know? The only time I heard the song was when it was advertising Swamp Thing, it made sense to me. I know, that's a very sad story. I am embarrassed for myself.

P.S. Is anyone else mourning the loss of Heath Ledger? He was amazing in "Ten Things I Hate About You". Totally overshadowed his female lead, I can't even remember her name.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Target, Chess, and Twilight

Tom came home at a decent hour from school today. That meant one thing, we were going to go to Target. Before you judge me and think I am totally lame to take a family outing to Target please understand a few things.

#1. We do not own a car..we walk everywhere. This means even when I was nine months pregnant I still had to walk to the grocery store and lug them all home. Once when I was about eight months pregnant I was walking home from the grocery store. My homeless cart (that's what I call the wheely cart) was laden with groceries. As I was crossing the street my homeless cart hit a pot hole and sent my cart flying, and the groceries. They were all over the street. I had to bend over and pick everything up as the light turned green and cars started speeding by me. No one even slowed down for the pregnant lady in the middle of the street picking up her groceries. It was sad and pathetic and basically sums up everything there is to say about Jersey City.

#2 There are very few places with in walking distance. There is the Mall, Target, and...oh yeah, that's it. The Mall is totally played out for us. Target, not so much, it's about a quarter of a mile farther than the Mall so we go there a lot less. Target is still a Novelty for us.

#3. It's cold outside, and I don't have a hat or mittens. I had a hat last year, but I put it through the wash and it's completely misshappen and I wouldn't be caught dead wearing it. It makes me look like I should be pushing the aforementioned "Homeless Cart". I also had mittens. In fact I just bought some at the beginning of the season. They were a bright, cheery pink. They were lovely. I left them on the train. I guess I was overly excited about being on a date with my husband. We never go on dates. Finding a babysitter is more work then getting into the Ivy League and just as expensive.

There we are at Target. Walking down the isles, imagining what it would be like to own more than two matching dishes let alone buy new ones for every holiday like Target is always displaying. I stroll down the toy aisle with Haylie and show her all of the cool toys that I am not going to buy for her. I make my way over to the media section while Tom browses the video game aisle. Tom is the lucky one. He has a 50 dollar gift card. He won it during our New Years Game Marathon. He beat me fair and square at Chess. Why I offered Chess as an option for our Game Tournament I'll never know. I am terrible at Chess. I can't think far enough ahead to really succeed. Just to illustrate how bad I am at Chess I'm going to tell a short story.

I use to teach at a High School for delinquent kids in Tempe, AZ. Most of the kids had been kicked out of their regular high school and my class room was their last hope. In the beginning I tried to help the kids in my classroom. The pregnant girls, the boys with home arrest devices attached at the ankle, the girl who dressed inappropriately, and the kids that were never going to succeed where all in my class. One day I challenged one of my students, Marco, to a Chess game. I figured I would win easily. I figured it was a sure thing since he should have graduated the previous year and still had no hopes of graduating the year I was his teacher. Marco and I gathered the other students around the table. I blinked and it was over. Marco, the delinquent, who worked at a discount grocery store beat me in just three moves, check mated me in just three moves. I hung my head in shame and walked back to my desk. They didn't respect me before the game and they sure as H didn't respect me after my devastating loss to Marco. Later that year I was called into the Principals office because some of my students had come to him saying "Miss Pear doesn't give a S***t about us". When confronted with the statement I didn't even bother to deny it. I just shrugged my shoulders and said they were correct. I was quickly demoted to the night teacher and given a teaching partner. It's okay thought, I still received the same pay but had to do even less. It worked out for the best.

As Tom 50.00 gift card was burning a hole in his pocket I was searching for something to occupy my lonely hours at home while Tom is at school. That's when I found myself reaching for something scandalous, something I am completely against, something I have balked out for months, something that I'm almost ashamed to admit to. I reached for "New Moon". Stephanie Meyers sequel to Twilight. I was disgusted with myself. Of all the books in all the world that is the one I hate the most. I read Twilight when it first became the "it" book to read. I couldn't figure out why so many people liked it. It was horribly written, the plot was thin, and Bella was a disaster. Never have I met a character I cared less for then Bella. I found her romance with the vampire shallow and mediocre at best. I would put it just a notch below the trashy romance novels people buy at the grocery store. Now, all of those Twilight fans out there, please don't get offended by my distaste for Stephanie Meyers novels, there are certainly books that I love that you may not, and that's okay. I put the book back on the shelf and backed away, and bought "The Giver" instead. We walked out into the night, Tom with his StarWars game and I with my book, and Haylie empty handed and braved the wind and the rain for the journey home.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Top 5 songs of the 90's And a Few Other Things to do With Music

Last night was a late night..I mean really late, like going to bed at 3 am late. That's because we tuned into VH1's Top 100 songs of the 90's countdown. We came in about half way, and since Tom has no control when it's a VH1 countdown special, we watched the whole thing all the way to number one.

This was an interesting program, especially for me. You see, dear readers, until I was in the sixth grade I didn't know there was such thing as FM radio or Rock Bands. I was led to believe there was only AM talk radio or rock and roll records from the 50's and early 60's. The Beach Boys were my favorite band, followed closely by The Carpenters. That Karen sang like an angel! Little by little I figured out how wide open the music world was by listening to Debbie Gibson and Tiffany. Boy could they sing! I remember the first time I heard Paula Abdul. I was on the Synchronized swimming team at Kino pool and we preformed a routine to her song "Forever Your Girl". I fell in love! I don't think Paula had any songs in the countdown.

Tom claims he bought the single to the song "Shine". "Oh, was it a good CD?" I asked. He laughed and told me it wasn't the CD, but the tape. Oh how that brought me back. I remembered my first tape...I was going to Smitty's (the local all purpose Target of Mesa) and was going to buy myself a Beach Boys tape. Yes, I am totally lame, I know, but I really wanted their California Girls song for myself so I wouldn't have to beg my friend to let me listen to her album on her Holly Hobby record player! They didn't have the tape I wanted so I decided to get the "Pet Shop Boys" tape instead. Even though I'd never heard of the group I figured a group with a sweet name like that had to sing totally cute songs! My Mom wouldn't let me get the tape of a group she didn't know. I was sad, but quickly realized I'd rather have Tiffany's new tape, Hold an Old Friends Hand, so I got that instead.

Does any one remember how cool it was to have one of those state of the art tape decks in your car. You know the ones that you can fast forward, or rewind but it will automatically stop when it comes to a new song. That was great! No more coming in half way through my favorite Eagles song. Oh no, from there on out we started at the beginning of the song. That was some amazing technology. My family suburban "Polly Pollution" had a tape deck like that. It was pure bliss until the said Eagles tape become permanently wedged in the tape player. From there on out it was "Tequila Sunrise" everyday until my littlest brother Dallin took over the vehicle and spray painted a skull and cross bones on the tailgate and upgrades all of us to the a CD player.

When my sister Kori and I were in high school CD's had just started to become available. She and I went to the store one day to buy a Reba album. Instead of getting the CD she opted for the tape. I asked her why didn't she start getting CD's instead. She told me, and I quote "CD's are a fad, they won't last". It was probably a year or so later that she relented and admitted that CD's were indeed here to stay!

Now Here it is, the moment you have all been waiting for...the top five songs of the 90's!!!

#5 Madonna "Vogue"- I didn't think that was even close to being as good as the song she wrote for "League of Their Own", "This Use To be Our Playground". That is a great song, heartfelt, real, and tender, like you've never seen Madonna before, until she adopted that kid from Africa.

#4 Whitney Houston "I Will Always Love You". Yes, the song from the Kevin Costner film. There is no way on earth that song deserves to be in the top 5! She is totally lame in every way, including that song she ripped off from Dolly Parton!

#3 Back Street Boys "I Want It That Way"- I guess I can agree with this one. Not only do they have some amazing arm dancing ( I think I might have spotted "spirit fingers") it does define a whole generation of teenie boppers. Plus you know when you hear it on the radio you don't change the station, you sing along and muse "what is 'His' way?"

#2 U2 "One"- I've heard this song is about a Mormon girl Bono wanted to marry. She wouldn't marry him unless it was in the Temple. Proof of the truth of this rumor lies in the lyrics "love is a temple, Love, the higher law". Yeah, sounds like the Temple to me. (Are Mormons really this lame that we have to do this to all celebrities...Steve Martin is not a Mormon, neither is Prince..Paul Walker is!)

#1 Nirvana "Smells Like Teen Spirit"- I didn't know who this band was until after this guy died. This song disgusts me..remember girls of the 90's, the deodorant brand called "Teen Spirit"? I do, and that's all I can think about when I hear that song....smelly, berry scented, sweaty under arms. That's gross.

I wonder..who is it exactly that gave this program the authority to proclaim the top 100 songs of the 90's? Most of my favorites weren't even included. Maybe that means I'm not nearly as cool as I hoped I was. That's okay, I'd rather hear "California Girls" then a Marky Mark song any day.
P.S. Tom just informed me this was voted on by the people..people who have nothing else to do except listen to old Vanilla Ice tracks all day.