Saturday, December 31

house of 1000 corpses

Brian and I were divided on this one. He liked it. I didn't. I mean, it was ok, but I'm not a horror movie fan, so there you have it. This one was definitely a horror movie. Its sequel, The Devil's Rejects, was more of a thriller (almost). It was at least a little rooted in reality whereas this movie had some weird shit going on at the end. The reason that I generally don't like horror movies is that they just don't scare me. I find reality much scarier than any of these films, which is why I like thrillers--they are more reality-based. And as far as the gore in horror movies goes, I'm not into that, either. It's not like it grosses me out--I just don't find it interesting. Take away the gore and the weird monsters and you aren't left with much.

Thursday, December 29

doodleman pinscher

It took a poodle to do it, but they finally found a way to sully the fine reputation of the doberman. I introduce to you, the Doodleman Pinscher. Remember the days when these types of dogs used to be called "mutts" and were given away rather than purposefully bred and sold for $500 a piece?

I guess that makes Lizzy a LaBeagle if you want to get fancy with it.

Wednesday, December 28

the taking

This is another recent one from Dean Koontz. I don't know if his writing has gotten better in the past few years or if I just needed a break from him, but I really enjoyed the last two books I read of his. This book was seemingly about an alien invasion of the earth. I'm not so much into aliens, but this story had an apocalyptic tinge to it and I really liked that. The story had me on edge until the very end. He borrowed a trick from James Patterson for this novel--short chapters. As you're reading, you keep thinking, "I have time for one more chapter." 50 pages later you finally put down the book and go to bed. It only took me a few days to read, and that was over the busy holidays, so that's saying something.

I was a little disappointed in the ending, though. I thought more could have been written about the transition that occurred at the end. The book clocked in around 400 pages, so he probably didn't want to go much longer than that (a weak excuse if you ask me). Anyway, this was a great read and I definitely recommend it.

Tuesday, December 27

christmas 2005: a whole lot of visiting

As previously mentioned, we kicked off the Christmas weekend by visiting with Judy Friday evening. Saturday, Christmas Eve, was a nice day since it was on a weekend (Christmas Eve is not considered a "holiday" by either of our employers). That gave us the morning and afternoon to do whatever it is we do on Saturdays and then we went to my parent's for supper that evening. After that, we came home, changed our clothes, then headed to church. We went to the 10:30pm service. It's a little rough keeping Jake up that late, but our church only has Christmas Eve services, so we didn't have much choice.

Jake was all pumped up for Christmas this year. He only asked Santa for one gift, and he got it. He was so excited! Note: I learned a very valuable lesson last year--do not buy the kid what he asks for in the summer or fall. Wait until November because that is what he's counting on getting. Later that day, we headed over to Brian's parent's house and had supper with his parents, grandmother, and brother's family. That evening, my parents and brother came over to visit. Then last night, Brian's parents and grandmother visited.

I took today and tomorrow off to recover from the festivities. To celebrate, I took a long nap on the couch this afternoon. I'll probably be up all night tonight. Poor Brian had to go back to work today because he can't take any time off yet with his new job.

Normally my favorite part of Christmas is putting away our loot. I've been procrastinating a little this year and I think it's because I have no idea where to put all of Jake's stuff. Someone needs to buy that kid a bigger bedroom for Christmas next year.

Saturday, December 24

family guy presents stewie griffin: the untold story

We are recent converts to the Family Guy phenomena. I never watched the show, much less heard of it, before this year. This is probably due to its timeslot--Sunday nights at 9pm. Normally, I can be found watching whatever HBO Original Series is on. Anyway, the show is ridiculously funny and I especially love all of the pop culture references in it (whether archaic or not). I'm sure we're missing a lot of the jokes, but it's funny anyway. Since we're a few years behind on the series, we've been renting them from Blockbuster. While doing the search for the show, the Family Guy movie came up. I had it on my list for a long time before we got it, but it was definitely worth the wait. It was less movie-like and more like and extended version of the show. So, like the show, it was ridiculously funny. If you like Family Guy, it's definitely worth checking out.

christmas starts now

Last night, actually. Judy came over to exchange gifts and partake in food and drink. We had a pleasant evening sitting around chatting. Of course, thanks to Jake, we had to open our gifts immediately. But, at least that gave him something to do the rest of the evening. He proclaimed himself to be the offical "opener of gifts". I had to put a stop to that nonsense. I don't care how cute you are--you're not opening my gifts.

Jacob was very excited at the prospect of Judy's visit. It partly had to do with the gift thing, but he does really like her. All day, he asked "how long until Judy gets here". By 6:30 that evening, it got a bit ridiculous--19 minutes, 17 minutes, 13 minutes...Finally, the clock chimed 7:00. Where was Judy? I think she was about 30 seconds late. I guess she's going to have to set her watch to ours before she visits again as to not cause undue stress to Jacob.

Anyway, it was a very pleasant evening and a great way to start off the Christmas weekend.

Wednesday, December 21

bathroom remodel: days 42 & 43

Between last night and tonight, Brian installed all of the sink plumbing. I thought it went pretty well, though he'd probably tell you differently. It would've been done last night, but as it goes with all of our plumbing projects, we didn't have some of the right parts. After the installation was complete, we had a few minor leaks, but stuff just needed tightened more, so it wasn't a huge deal. One thing is still leaking ever so slightly, but we're going to reassess it tomorrow (sometimes plumbing problems just go away--believe it or not). Jake was so happy to be able to brush his teeth in the new bathroom before he went to bed. I'm looking forward to that as well.

There's still a good bit of work to do in there--the vanity needs doors and drawers, the ceiling needs wood trim, the new door and trim need to be made, and all of the little stuff needs to be attached to the walls. We attached one thing this evening--a framed poster of the Gashlycrumb Tinies. It hangs proudly above our toilet.

Sunday, December 18

bathroom remodel: day 41

Today, we installed the vanity and the top. We also put the faucet spigot and handles in. However, we did not have time to hook up the plumbing. We still need to go to the hardware store for supplies. As long as the plumbing is hooked up before Christmas, I'll be happy (sound familiar?).

blow

This was a movie that didn't blow. It told the story of George Jung, who is credited for bringing cocaine into America. I didn't really know what the plot was going to be about, but since Johnny Depp was in it, I figured it had to be worth watching. And it was. The movie also featured one of my favorite actresses, Rachel Griffiths, this time sporting a New England accent. She's from Australia and played a Californian in one of my favorite HBO shows, Six Feet Under. So, she sounds different every time I see her. Anyway, this movie is definitely worth checking out. It's more of a character piece than anything else, but I thought it was a really good movie.

Saturday, December 17

bathroom remodel: day 40

Today was supposed to be the day that the bathroom vanity was installed, but Brian ran into his buddy PJ at my work Christmas party last night and invited him over today to watch the football games. But, that's ok, because eating junk food all afternoon (topped off with some Italian sausage sandwiches for supper) was a lot more fun than working in the bathroom anyway.

I spent the week finishing the vanity so that it would be ready to install this weekend. The vanity is made of maple and birch plywood. I put two coats of blonde shellac on to seal the wood and then topped that off with three coats of Waterlox Original Sealer/Finish. It turned out pretty nice, if I do say so myself. Brian still has to make the doors and drawers, but at least we'll have a functioning sink soon.

Anyway, we did some work this morning before the game started. Brian disconnected the old shut-off valves and sink trap and finished preparing the vanity for installation. Everything is upstairs and ready to install. We need to make a run to the hardware store for some plumbing supplies and then we'll be ready to go. Hopefully things will go quickly for us tomorrow.

Friday, December 16

mean girls

This was a movie written by Tina Fey (from Saturday Night Live). It also featured a bunch of SNLers. It was a story about the cliques that exist (with girls) in high school. Nothing quite this extreme occurred when I was in high school, but I could relate. The movie was actually pretty funny. It was a good thing to watch on a Thursday night, which have always been devoted to sitcoms in our house. Sitcoms have been woefully missing from the Thursday night lineup since the advent of The Apprentice.

You know, I'm getting tired of writing movie reviews.

Tuesday, December 13

bowling for columbine

I just realized that we watched this movie last week and I did not post about it. We can't have that, so here goes...

This was another documentary from Michael Moore. This time, it was about gun violence in America. He made quite the compelling argument that Americans kill out of fear, which is perpetuated by the media and the government. Like I said before, you can make the statistics work any way you want them to, but he did bring up some good points. It also helps to be leaning to the left while you are watching this film.

This was another Blockbuster rental. Brian's two month gift subscription ends next week. But, I've decided to extend it another month or two so we can see the rest of the movies on our list. Damn Blockbuster, anyway. I guess that's how they get you, though. I will definitely be cancelling after we see all that there is to see. We have HBO and Starz, so there's really no reason to continue on with the subscription indefinitely. After Jacob was born, we fell really behind on our movie watching. We should be caught up in a month or two so then we won't need it anymore.

Sunday, December 11

more christmas preparations

Last night, Jake stayed at my parent's house. This gave Brian and I the opportunity to wrap his gifts plus the ones we're giving to each other. I wrapped the rest of our gifts this evening. We also put up our new tree and decorated it. I was worried that we wouldn't have enough ornaments, but the tree looks great. Jake had fun decorating it. I'm surprised at what a pain in the neck it is to get an artifical tree to look good. Had I known that, I might've stuck with a real one. Oh well, at least I won't have to vacuum pine needles every day. Plus we put the tree up a week earlier than we usually do since we don't have to worry about it drying out. So that leaves me with just a few more things...baking cookies and making some decorative envelopes for the large amount of gift cards we bought this year.

Saturday, December 10

bathroom remodel: day 39

This afternoon, Brian installed our new ceiling. I helped a little, mostly, by handing him things. The ceiling is from Armstrong's WoodHaven series (laminate ceiling planks) and looks like maple. The job went pretty well and looks awesome. Cross another one off the list. The nice thing about completing this is that now we can put all of our wall stuff up, like the poster we're hanging above the toilet, magazine rack, towel racks, etc. So, it should start to look more like a finished bathroom very soon. The only major thing that is left is to install the vanity and I'm planning on doing the finishing work on that this week.

Is that a light at the end of the tunnel?

mr. & mrs. smith

This was a movie with something for everyone. Namely, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. If you don't find one or both of them attractive, it's time to make an appointment with your eye doctor. The movie was about a pair of assassins who were married (neither of them knowing what the other one actually did for a living). Things came to a head when they were supposed to assassinate each other. They prevailed in the end, of course. The movie was OK--a perfect "date" movie, if you will (or the married person's equivalent--margarita and a movie night). Definitely nothing to ponder the next day. After all the hype, I thought it was going to be better, but it was entertaining enough.

Monday, December 5

putting the x in xmas

Yesterday, when I was getting the Christmas decorations out of the attic, I got out one of our nativity sets. Jake, seeing the picture on the box, said, "What are you getting that Jesus stuff out for? That doesn't have anything to do with Christmas."

I guess we shouldn't have skipped church yesterday...

doberman banned?

Here's a solution. I'll have to keep this in mind for down the road when we get another dobie. You never know what laws our township will pass till then.

It's funny every time.

Sunday, December 4

christmas decorating

Brian went to the Steeler game today (which was almost a good game). This left Jake and I at home to fend for ourselves. I had wanted to go to the Westwood Plaza Theatre and Cafe for lunch and a movie, but they weren't open this afternoon for some reason. So, instead, we put out the Christmas decorations this afternoon--everything but the tree.

We also played many board games and, of course, watched the football game. I did other fun things like clean the bathroom and kitchen. Now, we're just sitting around waiting for Brian to get home. Jake just threw in a videotape, so hopefully this will buy me some time to do some things for myself.

Saturday, December 3

bathroom remodel: day 38

And you thought I was done with these posts? After a brief hiatus, we're back to work.

Brian has been working diligently on the vanity. It's almost ready to be turned over to the finishing department (perhaps as early as this week).

This afternoon, we installed the furring strip grid for the ceiling. It went up pretty quickly--it only took a few hours to complete.

That is all for now.

the colorado kid

Stephen King has a new book out. So much for retirement. This book was published in paperback from Hard Case Crime. One of Brian's coworkers had the book otherwise we probably wouldn't have heard about it. It was a story about a man who died on a beach and how he finally was identified thanks to the work of two newspapermen. The story was told from the perspective of the newspapermen to a woman they were hiring to work at their paper. As usual, the characters were good (when doesn't Stephen King have good characters?). I had a little trouble following the book at the beginning because I was reading it at the veterinarian's and was having trouble concentrating (because I had other things to worry about). But, once I got into it, it was a pretty quick read. The ending kind of sucked, though. Brian, in particular, really didn't like it. Still, it was definitely worth reading.

i heart huckabees

This movie sucked.

Friday, December 2

ready for christmas

Well, I'm somewhat ready for Christmas at this point. I finally finished up my shopping today. Thank God for the internet. Normally, I complete my shopping by Thanksgiving, but I guess a week later isn't too bad. The issue is that I'm out of ideas for a number of people, so it's hard to decide on something to buy for them.

I'm ahead with my cards this year, too. Not only do I have them addressed and stamped and ready to go, they're all hand-made as well. They've been done for a few weeks. I guess the time I saved on shopping enabled me to get ahead on the cards.

I always said I would never have an artifical Christmas tree, but guess what we bought this year--an artifical Christmas tree. It looks pretty nice, too. I'm looking forward to not having evergreen needles all over the house this year. We usually put our tree up and do the decorating in mid-December. Now that we have the artifical tree, I wonder if these things will happen earlier this year. I guess it will depend on our schedules.

I always do a little baking--a couple of batches of cookies. We get a little bit of company over the holidays, so it's nice to have something to put out. Not sure when I'll do those. Most of the time I like to do them early and throw them in the freezer. In previous years, I always made a bunch of dog treats for my pooches and the other ones I know, but I don't think that is going to happen this year. The thought of making all of those treats and Ripley not being around to enjoy them just makes me sad.