mama kumquat

A blog from someone who has little of importance to say

Monday, July 30, 2007

On things i like and did not like

Things i liked/Loved: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I hear you Molly. I, who so often check out the last page of a book, dedicated myself to keeping the ending a mystery. Amen to a little self-control as i finished the book last wednesday, holed up in my room reading while my childcare provider had Charlie. I obviously can't say too much until i know that those three of you who read this blog and who plan to read The Book, have completed it. But i think it is my favorite book of the seven. Tied with the 4th--Goblet of Fire. I reread what i just wrote and i sound like such a dork, but i don't care. This series was indeed a children's series. I didn't have to use my dictionary at all. But, Rowling understands the wistfulness for adventure, for fantasy that adults have as they become adults. The other thing that i appreciate about these books is that it clear she understands death and what it means for those left behind. This book made me cry a few times. That's all i'll say. Except, oh wait. If you all haven't read the Philip Pullman trilogy, then honestly, you better run out and get it now. Those books, i dare say, and i might catch some guff for this, are better than Harry.
I liked being back in Pittsburgh. We went to my hometown for a week and got back last weekend. Molla, sorry i didn't text you back. We WERE at church, the one my grandfather was a minister at, and Charlie was playing with my phone. He wanted to say hi to you!!!! Sorry i did respond but it was a busy trip! I am back and just getting a handle on job searching again. But as for pittsburgh, one of the most surreal and wonderful moments was just driving around town as if i had never left. I never even drove much out there as we moved when i was 15 but for some reason, i knew all the routes, remembered street names, never got turned around. It was as if i had dreamed about it so many times in my head that it just felt so familiar when i was there. We had a blast. It was hard in many ways, due to Charlie and jet lag but really, upon reflection it was a great trip. I got to be with other bibliophiles who were also jazzed about Harry P. (before the book came out) and we spent hours discussing our hypotheses on what would happen, who would die, etc. Charlie met his great grandma, which was so very special. Sister and i got to spend some good time together. I got to spend some time with Carrie and it turned into being one of the best days i had there....we talked about things that are deep and dear into late at night (for us mommies, which was only 1:30am!) A really meaningful visit.
I also liked berry picking yesterday with my hubby and baby. We got raspberries and blueberries and i, the domestic diva, made jam with the raspberries. That was really cool.

Ok, now to what i didn't like: Ok, i am wondering if i have really lost my edge because i swear everyone else liked this movie. The other night we checked out Pan's Labrynth. Ok, i can admit that there were some amazing scenes, that it was inventive, creative, well done, mystical. But sweet lord, that movie had to have been one of the bleakest, darkest, depressing movie i may have ever seen. There was not one element that added levity or hope or inspiration. I really did enjoy the mystical scenes with Pan but really, it was a war movie with these scenes interspersed, not vice versa. I checked out Netflix to see what people were writing about it, like, maybe i missed a profound theme or something but from what i could gather, people really dug it despite its hopelessness. Ok, you all know me. I like dark humor, i like clever and bleak wit. I even have enjoyed some depressing movies (though overall, pretty tough to handle). So i guess, i am saying that i'm not a complete Barbie in that everything must be cheery but this movie brought me down in a serious way. Anyone? Thoughts on this? I am open to different opinions/thoughts/perspectives on why this movie was the best ever.

That's it for now. I have to eat. Still no job, BTW.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Dude, i've not written in about three months. I could talk about how busy life has been and how stressful things are but the reality is that for the last few months, i have been a useless homebody, a lost planet revolving around two moons--work and home. Friends, reading, emailing, cooking....sacrificed for sanity and space. April was hellish as my son barfed up blood and was not gaining weight.We got to spend a completely freaking useless afternoon and evening in the hospital where inept nurses could not start an IV line in my 11 month old as he is being pinned down on a table by his father and a nurse. This happened twice. We demanded that we be discharged since they were doing nothing to replace his fluids anyway. Several months later, we get a bill for $600 for treatment at the ER and hosp.. For what, i can't fucking tell you since all we did was sit there and had a few labs done. His vomiting continued on and off for another six weeks or so. He is finally gaining weight and seeming healthy. They think it is acid reflux for which he still takes baby zantac. There is some discomfort prescribing meds for a baby that really have not been tested on kids.....i know you feel my pain, molly.

Then i got laid off. Restructuring at my agency. If anyone has ever worked at a nonprofit, you might have an idea that a bunch of social service providers deciding to restructure and making a reasonable and well thought out plan for it is like the equivalent of us getting out of Iraq. I could spend literal days deconstructing what happened and how but it was just a complete disaster from start to finish--well, my finish happened yesterday. Last day of work. It ended up being a humbling, humiliating, pride-choking experience for which i am enormously grateful is over. Fortunately for my future (though unfortunately for my rage which wanted to go postal), i remained professional through it all. I was not the only one completely bent over on this either but i was the only one who chose to leave over it because other people decided to stay on and take other positions which would require pay cuts. My whole position was slashed. I opted for unemployment benefits.

So here i am with the summer off, living off the dole. Everyone at work kind of envies me but i never wanted to be a stay at home mom. I love my baby desperately but hell, being with a 1 year old all the time can be a little dull. But i can be a glass half empty person anyway.

here are the answers to molly's movie post---don't know if i can answer it all very well, but here goes:
Name your (current) top 5 movies of all time.
The Wonderboys, Monsoon Wedding, The Usual Suspects, Singing in the Rain (i love it too molly), Secretary
What is your favorite movie line ever?
"Did we give up when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?"
Who is your favorite movie character?
Maybe Han Solo? So cocky, with the twisted smile. I heart him.
What movie do you love that most people hate?
I am so easy to please that there are many, many movies that i find pleasing enough (ie, don't loathe it) that alot of people hate. I think a lot of romantic comedies are like that.
What movie do you hate that most people love?
I wouldn't say i hated this movie (see above--pretty easy to please, i like most things) but i really didn't guffaw or howl at Meet the Parents or Meet the Fockers. I just found the comedy to be really painful to watch, which isn't really my type of comedy. I mean, it's the same reason why i get frustrated with Shakespeare's tragedies. I am far too practical and i want to scream at the characters, "Just TALK to them! Tell them the truth and all this confusion and misunderstanding would be gone!). I thought of another! I had to walk out of Cape Fear because i was so freaked out. M, you remember that in high school?
What is the last movie you saw in the theatre?
Knocked up. It was surprisingly good.
What was the last movie you watched on DVD or via Video OnDemand?
The Queen. We finally rented it. It was really good and Helen Mirren was truly fantastic.
Can you remember what the first DVD that you purchased was? What was it?
I can hardly remember, but it may have been Star Wars.
(For us old fogies ... ) Can you remember the first VHS movie you purchased? What was it?
I remember recording movies from TV. Like, i had When Harry Met Sally and the Adventures of Natty Gan and Anne of Green Gables. But as to what i bought? I know i was just sifting through VHS tapes to get rid of them and i saw Mystic Pizza. That may have been the first one purchased.
What movie have you seen that you never want to see again?
The Accused. Also, the Deer Hunter. Do you really want to see a rape scene again? Cause it's not a short scene. It's long, and detailed. Not something you'd just pop in on a saturday night. Same goes for the Russian Roulette scene in the Deer Hunter. Can't do it.
What is your least favorite movie ever?
Seriously, molly, Crash? I can think of so many more! Hmmm, Shoot, i can't remember what it was but brendan and i rented a movie and stopped it short because it sucked so bad. I wish i could remember!
What song or soundtrack would you choose as your life's theme?
That's a really great question. I know it's in a car commercial but i really am enjoying the song "Orange Sky" by Alexi Murdoch right now and i think it's got good lyrics.
Which actor or actress would you like to look like?
Hand down, i can answer this question in less than a New York second. Salma Hayek. A close second would be Kate Winslet.
What classic movie are you embarassed to admit you've never seen?
Bonnie and Clyde. Faye Dunaway looks really hot in that movie!
What is your favorite movie genre?
Hmmmm, i really like comedies these days or intelligent comedies, like Rushmore or something. I like dramas but am finding that as i get older and have baby, i just don't want to be stressed out or depressed after work. I sound like such an average american. i hate sounding like that but it's an honest response.
What is your least-favorite movie genre?
I can't stand horror movies. I just don't think that it's at all funny or cool to see how many ways a human body can be tortured, dismembered, killed. Also, again, as i get older, i hate this genre even more. I just can't find humor or entertainment in serial killers stalking women and mutilating their bodies.
Is there an actor/actress/director whose movies you refuse to see?
I can't stand Pauly Shore
What is your favorite movie concession stand snack?
No question: Dots
Front row, back row, center seats, aisle seats - where do you prefer to sit in a theater?
I like being in the middle section but on the aisle for easy exit.