I can only begin to imagine the effort it took to stay within the lines on this one and honor the talent it took to get it done that way. Some nerve it took, to make a good quality family movie in an era where schlock sells so well. To not succumb to the lower standard in story, talent, and message is really to be commended! And is so very appreciated.
Having never served as a movie critic, I certainly wouldn't offer this as such. While watching the movie, I couldn't help but think back to the Seinfeld nights of my college years. Good times!!! And innumerable catch phrases, some that survive to this day. To think the same brain could contribute creatively to and act so energetically in that genre and this many years later come up with such a phenomenal children's flick... It's extraordinary!!
This is the only method I have to share with you my tremendous admiration for your talent and respect for your professional credibility.
While I do really mean this and hope it finds its way to Mr. Seinfeld, I realize that my urgent need to write this the minute the movie ended was my real self crying out to my Mommy self to get out and do something!!!!! Soon back to our regularly scheduled somewhat mature blogging schedule.
How I got there is simple and it is complicated. The simple part is that my father lied to me. The complicated part is that after 17-1/2 years of his absence from my life, I have little context for interpreting what the man says.
He goes to Cherokee at least once a week to gamble. I don’t get it, but it gives him something to do. So, he mentioned a while back that they were giving away a Cadillac that Friday and he was taking me to Cherokee. With a mixture of childlike yearning and what passes for conviction in his life (don’t go by me, what the hell do I know) he told me not to cancel on him at the last minute “with any sick kids or no babysitter or whatever the hell…”. ‘Course it turns out M’oney was on an “away” week and the in-laws only returning to town that very day after 5 days away… In addition to having the kids and the in-laws’ dogs all to myself until 30 minutes before entering the Taurus, it was move-in day for neighbors sharing our driveway, so I played a couple of games of musical driveway during my various errands and preparations. Not that I in any way want a Cadillac or can work up enthusiasm for 14 wasted hours in Harrah’s Cherokee, but maybe winning something would make all the packing & rushing around worth it. If not, at least I might numb myself with a goodly number of ‘free’ drinks at the penny slots.
But my point is…It was the 3rd hottest day of the summer. I’d been racing around the better part of the afternoon in an effort to leave everything so a trained monkey could take over for 30 hours without wreaking irreparable harm on the children, house, plants, fish or impeding my Mommy momentum in said categories upon my return. I landed in that Taurus a sweaty, greasy (say it the Southern way to get the best visual) mess; ready for a few drinks and the cash-equivalent take-away of winning that damned Cadillac.
My father has a “respiratory affliction” (read: pansy-ass immune system from decades of meat & potatoes, combined with a neurotic fear of exercise and a healthy dose of Catholic-raised martyr drama disease) which was triggered into a ‘full-blown lung/sinus thing’ by the air conditioning on his previous trip to Cherokee. That was the reason that the air conditioning was not on and not GOING to be on in his car. I sagged a bit at that but vowed to catch each moving breath of 97-degree air that managed to slither in through the open windows – and to make up for it with several drinks immediately upon entering the casino…
I endured the ‘conversation’, enjoyed the scenery and tried to stop looking at the temperature controls.
When we arrived at the hotel, I oozed to the did-I-mention-shared room anticipating the whoosh of refrigerated air. No!! Apparently, even in this dry county in the South, they’ve joined the going green bandwagon and turn the air conditioners off unless the room is occupied. Curse!!!!! And when I leaned over to set the controls to appropriately frigid , didn’t the old man holler out another reminder of his respiratory condition and tell me not to set it up past low – and NO fan. Luckily the thing only had cool med, cool high, heat or off. I set it on cool med and splashed some tepid sink water on my shiny face.
I desperately casually mentioned the drinks as we pulled into the casino lot. The laughter that accompanied “You didn’t know this was a dry county?” was symbolically dry and more forced than a Vegas wedding smile. I’d love to see the video of my reaction. Upon entering and locating a check-in machine (unless you’re planning an extended trip to Cherokee, don’t ask!), “we” were informed that the Cadillac drawing had taken place last month. The pretend shock & disappointment on my father’s face was less believable than my 3 yr-old’s ‘remorse’ face – this is when it first hit me about the lie.
Blah, blah, blah. I won nothing. Spent about $70 of my own money. Ate 3 desserts at the buffet. Shared a hotel room with my once-estranged father – not as bad as it could be because once the hearing aid is out and the glasses off, it’s almost like having a moment to oneself…
And sweat all night on top of the covers!!!! If sweat is the word for that really unpleasant coating of oily film that never evaporates because it is too molecularly thick to be lifted by air and must be absorbed back into the skin or cleansed by fast-moving water and a loofah. Is that flop sweat?
For the record, this is how temperature controls should be set for optimum relaxation and comfort!!
This photo was taken during one of several brief stops on the drive home – gas, bathroom, one more bottle of water, during what should have been a one hour and fifteen minute drive - when I seized the precious moments to blast freezing air without getting caught!!
It's a bunny with a gardening glove protruding. Happy Wednesday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
..just wild turkeys showing up in our subdivision for the first time. Out there all hours of the day, hangin' out in the 'hood.
My lovely urn!! With actual real-live flowers blooming. Still!!! In late August. I'm so proud. Look.
This will be my third beautiful, bold hibiscus thingy!! Maybe I'll remember to show you a picture tomorrow or Saturday.
While I'm feeling up to the abuse, I'd also like your commentary on this:
Speaking of my sister's someday child...M's friend Kn has a friend she refers to very often by the name of Arissa. I don't know the child. I don't even know the correct spelling. At first, I thought it was Kn's speech. Then I heard her Mom say it that same way - Arissa... All I know is that every time I heard about Arissa, I pictured a little Asian girl in ethnic dress with ponytails sticking out from the sides of her head. I know, it's bad. But no worse than the number of times I've laughed since meeting Arissa at Kn's birthday party. She IS Japanese!!!! Who's worse, me or her parents???
If you were here with me, it would be easy to tell because it is noon and I'm still in my pajamas. Miss G was up and doing who-knows-what at 1 am. I gave up at 1:44 and got out of bed, brought my book and pillow out to the couch. 3 trips up the stairs to get her back in bed. Then she appeared in the family room. There was loveseat squiggling, an excess of blanket rearranging, a brief attempt at Mommy cuddling, more blanket shoving and then, finally, rhythmic breathing. She woke when I tried to remove my half a butt cheek from the edge of the couch by sliding backwards ever so slowly to the floor. So I told her I was trying to make more room for her and she closed her eyes in queenly satisfaction. I read for a bit on the loveseat to make sure she was out and then returned to my bed at 4-something. I saw, but I forget. So she's back and in full effect.
Meanwhile, M had a successful first dayof first grade.
Despite the soap-opera type lead-in - which I will blog about in the next week or so - it was an uneventful occasion. Exactly what I needed. No reaction from M yet on anything except Miss L
doesn't give them as much play time as in K. Note how exhausted M looks. My attempts to work into the school year bedtime routine failed. So then I went for just setting the alarm 10 minutes earlier every day. Whatever force it is that operates my children fought back by responding with later & later requests for more light or one last snack or something each night until we were almost staying up for the alarm. By the night before the first day, I think we were down to 5-1/2 hours of sleep.
There you go, so we are back to normal. All is well with the world. Everyone is where they belong and Mommy is grumpy, exhausted, unshowered and lacks the willpower to clean, water plants, or stick to her diet.
more baffling than deciding between magnet, charter or private Kindergarten...
more stressful than picking the proper root touch-up color...
is explaining the concept of phone numbers to the 6 year-old.
Yes, you can just press 2 for Daddy, 3 for Grandma & 5 for Nammie (central number, signifying home), but that's just on MOMMY's phone. You can't just pick up any phone and press 2 for YOUR Daddy. He has a number.
No, I mean a longer number; it has 10 digits.
Digits are like a single....Listen, trust me. If you were ever somewhere and needed to reach Daddy, you need to know all of his numbers. They're six-one-nine-eight-six-seven-five-three-oh-nine*. And mine are...
They just don't understand the whole concept of phones and safety and memorization!!!! And here's something that really bothers me...If I'm in the house by myself with the kids and I succumb to a brain aneurysm (or pulmonary embolism or whatever - medic/crime solver shows are my thing!!), they will not only need to know how to dial 911 (and hit send!!!) but first and foremost, they will need to FIND MY PHONE!! Scary! This could be easily solved with a landline, I understand. And there's been discussion. But there's been no transaction. DH is reluctant to part with le monee for a red-line phone. 'Member when the cell was for emergencies only? Now we need a $29.95 a month landline for it.
I've tried to explain how, back in the olden days, a family had a phone in their one bedroom apartment where they shared a single bathroom with just a metal stall shower and it (the phone) was connected to the wall. And the part you put by your ear was connected to the part on the wall and you needed to STAND STILL, inside the house! to talk on the phone. There was an actual dial which is why they call it dialing the phone and kids were not allowed to use it during business hours.
They're already lost when I try to explain that you used to call a phone, not a person. If you called their number and nobody was home, no one would answer. The 3yo pipes up with "so weave a meshage" and I know they've written me off as a kook! I'm not though, right?? You guys had a phone attached to the wall, didn't you?? And your parents didn't get an answering machine until you were in 6th grade because buying those refill mini-cassettes was too expensive, right??
* some numbers have been changed for Daddy's privacy - and Mommy's amusement
When commenting, please keep the discussion to technology, children, fond childhood memories and the perplexing ringtone/texting/pic phenomenon. Let's leave my kookiness out of it. I'm hip!!!! I'm blogging aren't I??????
Here in the first week of August, the Fam is off on the first of many adventures – “camping” in a cabin at Table Rock State Park. There’s no TV (we brought DVD player), very little cell phone service and no internet (unless you count the free wifi we can get if we go out of the campground, cross the highway and hang out at the Welcome Center – which D & I will both take turns doing at some point this week).
At cabin #5, there are rockers on our screened porch, Adirondack chairs around the firepit, central air and a small but full-service kitchen (if you count the fridge in the livingroom). A short stroll from the cabin is a Mack Daddy playground; beyond that is the swimming beach. The highlight of that is a floating dock with high & low diving boards and the whole thing made almost perfect by the fact that the roped-off area is designed for the containment of non-swimming child-types, not the generic forbidding of all humans to go out over their heads like at most places these days. The trip in its entirety is made all the more enjoyable by evil giggle fits that keep overtaking us when we think about our friends I & KC who went tenting with their 2 kids (4 & 6) last week and endured all of the disasters encountered by suburbians in the woods.
While here, enjoying the nature and the peace, I’m hoping to catch up on some overdue blog posts/family adventures; some of which may include (all from July):
Cherokee – possibly several on this alone
Carl Sandberg Home
Art Center Performances
Aah, Sunday Morning
More Saturday Woodcrafts
Neighborhood Happy Hour
2 Themed birthday parties in one day
The Parks Service is in the midst of a multi-year program of renovating these already fantastic cabins. They’re going to rewire, put in new heat & air systems, and I don’t know what all else. We’ll be down here at least once a year. Hope to see you on the high dive!!!
That's NOT Cilantro
2 Aspirin & 3 glasses of water don't help
Get out bitch, that's my cab
Was this really the 80s???
That poor girl forgot her pants!!!
If they can't handle a little vomit in their driveway, F 'em - they shouldn't a bought the house.
Oprah don't know Jack - aka Don't think you can win the Daddy didn't love me game!!!
I almost drank out of Spencer's glass....
I have to be a Fairy tomorrow!!!!
You guys rock!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! thank you for everything
Here's to neighbors
Doug and his crack PR team (Diana) got themselves on the front of the business section of this past Sunday's paper. The story ran over onto the third page as well. We'll have paying customers any day now!!!
Shortly thereafter, we headed home to snack on soy milk and cookies we baked yesterday. Now she's making cards for upcoming birthdays, etc...while I research a martial arts program for her to begin in the fall.
Of course we drove, I used a plastic grocery bag to gather the trash, and the cookies were Pillsbury dough, but we've come so far since suburban Charleston!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Rachie had a wonderful time!! He rescued Maris' shoe each time it "fell" into the water (thank you G) and did his best to make a deep end.
If you would like to buy some, let me know by June 15th as I can get a 10% discount.
The weekend was spent cleaning and prepping for the onset of "Summer". Yikes!!!! Now that I've got this down, I will attempt to chronicle more of our dynamic lifestyle. Just now, though, the Mommy Hours have set in and I must use them more wisely.