Sunday, June 29

dallas buyers club

This was a pretty good movie. I guess that much should be obvious based upon the number of Academy Awards that it won. Though I do question having to lose that much weight for a role. Matthew McConaughey was a good-looking guy before this movie, but he still looks rather cadaverous--even after gaining much of the weight back.

In case you don't know, McConaughey played someone who contracted AIDS before there were effective treatments for it. Frustrated by the lack of treatment options available, he formed a "Dallas Buyers Club" where, for a monthly fee, he would supply AIDS victims with necessary medication. The movie was based on a true story, but I don't know how accurate of a depiction it was.

My rating: 3/5

Saturday, June 28

thunder, interrupted

Due to a work deadline and a boy scout camping trip, our enjoyment of Thunder was a little disappointing this year. We managed to go for a quick ride yesterday afternoon and then went downtown for about an hour later in the afternoon. That was it. Oh well, I guess there's always next year. (Though that mantra is starting to sound familiar...)

Thursday, June 26

social times two

This is a rarity for me--two outings in one day. Yesterday, I met up with my cousin Chris for lunch at Panera. We've been trying to get together every couple of months this year and, I'm glad to say, we've been meeting our goal. And, after work, I went out for drinks with my friend/coworker to celebrate the end of a particularly taxing project at the office.

Tuesday, June 24

garden time

The vegetable garden is doing well this year. I'm a little concerned with all of the rain we've been getting as some of the tomato plants are getting spotty leaves like the past two seasons. Other than that, everything looks good (especially the potato plants--they are huge!).

This was my first year for strawberries and I had quite the harvest. I made Strawberry Margarita Jam a couple of weekends ago and that turned out as good as expected. I'm going to use up the rest of the berries this weekend in my regular jam.

The fruit trees, on the other hand, don't appear to have any blossoms or fruit on them. I'm blaming the winter. On a related not, something (rabbits) ate all of the bark off the lower part of the trees over the winter, so I'm glad the trees are still alive.

Monday, June 23

45

My brother and I treated my parents to dinner yesterday in celebration of their 45th wedding anniversary. The three of us, my brother's crew and my grandmother were there, too. We went to Asiago's Tuscan Italian. I don't normally enjoy eating out, but I have to say that the food there is great! That's my second time there this year and they haven't disappointed me yet.

Sunday, June 22

august: osage county

This was quite an engaging film full of incredible actors (Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor, Sam Shepard, Juliette Lewis and so on). It was a story about a dysfunctional family that is brought together for a funeral. The movie was more about the interactions between the characters and was kind of light on plot, but I did rather enjoy it.

My rating: 3.5/5

Thursday, June 19

all fall down

Sometimes, I have unfortunate timing when it comes to choosing a book. In this instance, I started this book just before my family birthday party in May. Of course, I ended up getting a bunch of interesting books that day that I've been itching to read ever since. And, to top things off, I received the latest Stephen King book in the mail recently, so that gave me even more motivation to finish this book.

Not that there was anything intrinsically wrong with this book (which had a serial killer-type storyline), but I did figure out whodunit rather early in the story, which didn't make it particularly compelling to read. But, I toughed it out and finished last night. I'm going to read the Stephen King book next, but that shouldn't take long, then I can move on to my birthday books!

My rating: 3/5

Monday, June 16

ender's game

This was a fine movie for Family Movie Night, but not my cup of tea, otherwise. Unlike, say, The Hunger Games, I think this movie would appeal more to kids than adults. It did have some great special effects, but was lacking in the plot department. The movie was one from a series of books, so I guess there will be more to come. I can't say that I will watch the next one.

My rating: 3/5

Sunday, June 15

the returned

I mentioned this show a few times in my previous posts. It is a French series about a group of previously dead people from the same town, who reappeared one day. Some of the people were dead for a short amount of time, others significantly longer. When they return, they are the same age as when they died and don't remember what happened the day of their death, so it's like nothing has changed for them. It was quite an interesting season. There were some things in the plot that weren't explained, so I'm hoping that they cover that in season 2, which is supposed to be released later this year.

Saturday, June 14

the confirmed

I failed to write about Jacob's confirmation, which occurred last Sunday. The day started off at church, of course. Jake had a good showing of family members there and we all got to sit through an hour and fifty minute(!) service (which really isn't that much longer than the normal service there, unfortunately).

After church, it started to rain, which didn't make me happy because we were planning an outside party. It didn't rain too long, though, so we still were able to hold the festivities outside. Brian set up a tent on the patio and we also have a big tree (and a table with an umbrella) that kept most of the rain off of everyone.

Despite the rain, it was a nice afternoon. I guess our next big bash will be graduation in four years!

Friday, June 13

fourteen

Alice turned the big 1-4 yesterday. In reality, we don't know when her actual birthday is, but that's the day we adopted her from the Humane Society of Somerset County, so that's the date we use. Yesterday also marked her 8th anniversary of being our dog. We never would have thought that when we adopted an approximately six year old dog that we would have been lucky enough to have her for eight years. But, we are lucky, indeed.

Saturday, June 7

birthday

I had my birthday off on Thursday. I did manage to squeeze in a couple of fun things in between housework and errands. Namely, letterpress and knitting. I received letterpress stuff for Christmas but hadn't really had a chance to use it yet. I ordered some plates for it earlier in the week and made some "thank you" cards on Thursday. They came out pretty well--I was pleased with my efforts. I also took some time to knit and wrapped up a coaster set for Everyone Drinks. Brian grilled up some dinner and, among other things, I received a new chiminea that replaced my busted up one (and we gave it a work out last night).

Thursday, June 5

the graduate

Last night, we went to our niece Erika's high school graduation. Boy, did those 18 years go fast! I'm sure she will be a great success!

It's hard to believe, but we will have another graduation in four short years.

Monday, June 2

work and play

We spent most of the weekend getting the yard into shape. There are still some things to do out there (there always are), but at least it's passable at this point. We also managed to have some fun by going to the PolkaFest yesterday afternoon to catch Alex Meixner, who was completely awesome. He does polka versions of rock songs as part of his show. I hope they are able to bring him back next year.

Sunday, June 1

nebraska

This movie was ok, but it was rather boring. It told the story of a man who took his aging father on a trip to claim his (the father's) "winnings" from a Publisher's Clearing House-type sweepstakes. I guess when you put it that way, it shouldn't be surprising that it was boring. There were a few good scenes in it, but that's about it.

My rating: 2.5/5