Nick Cage and the great “wiffle ball in the sky”

So, it’s the holiday weekend. A weekend for cookouts, drinking a beer, catching up on schoolwork and housework and… movies. The big “hollywood blockbuster” season generally starts over Memorial Day weekend, so… my husband and I decided to spend one of the last cool evenings before the deathgrip of summer hits us full-on and go to the drive-in.

We go to the drive-in a couple of times a year — it’s a cheap way to see a couple of movies and usually you can sit far enough from people that I don’t feel the need to stage a mass murder of people who (a) talk on cell phones during movies, (b) talk to each other during movies, (c) have loud sex during movies (in a THEATER!), or (d) bring their loud, ill-behaved, children to the movies so they can ignore them while the kids run up and down the aisles stealing people’s sodas and popcorn. Not that I’m bitter or anything. I just really feel there should be a test before people are allowed into a movie theater. If you can’t sit down, shut up and keep all of your appendages (and I do mean all of them) in your own seat, then you can’t come in. So… anyways… back to the drive-in…

If you haven’t been to a drive-in recently, it’s quite a steal. You get two movies for six bucks… granted, you don’t necessarily get to pick both movies, but you still get two movies for less than one ticket at my neighborhood AMC theater. So last night, hubby and I went to see the new Tom Hanks movie “Angels and Demons” which was paired with the Nicholas Cage movie, “Knowing”. I enjoy Tom Hanks and Nick Cage, so I am happy with this pair of movies. “Angels and Demons” was okay, not spectacular but not a disaster, so I give it a three out of five. It is completely not memorable, however. You don’t believe me? On the way out of the theater after watching “Knowing”, hubby asked me what the first movie we saw was. I couldn’t remember. We’d seen the movie two hours before and already it was gone the way of a jello-mold at a Methodist church potluck.

Then came “Knowing”… a movie that had some promise for awhile. It had an interesting premise and, like I said before, I like Nicholas Cage so I tend to cut him some slack. Yes, sometimes his movie choices are a little… well… okay, I’ll just say it… sometimes they are a little horrific (hello? have you seen “City of Angels”, I may never truly forgive him for that one), but he is Nicholas Cage and you know that even if the movie has the worst ending in human history (City of Angels) it’s still going to be reasonably okay because Nicholas Cage is there being slightly snarky at every turn. I like that.

Well… let me say that “Knowing” HAD promise. The key word in that sentence is HAD. As in, once upon a time it could have been something and then they had a giant wiffle ball come out of the sky and scoop up two kids and a couple of bunnies while beings who might be aliens or maybe even angels begin to glow and wave. It was like the most bizarre turn of events ever. This ending is on a par with the giant “deadlight” filled spider debacle that ended Stephen King’s story “It”. But at least with “It”, I had a few fun, hopeful moments as I prayed that the ridiculous spider-thing would finally kill the annoying woman who was John-Boy’s wife. Yes, I know I’m mixing my character names. I just watched a WIFFLE BALL/ARK COME OUT OF THE SKY AND SCOOP UP TWO KIDS! I’m allowed a little slack here…

And as hubby and I drove out of the drive-in wondering what the first movie we’d seen was, and what the hell the set people were thinking when they said “oooh… let’s make the spaceship/ark/angel thing look like a wiffle ball… that would be SOOOO fabulous!”, I came to the conclusion that there went another four hours of my life I’ll never get back.

Nick Cage, you are on notice. I cannot cut you slack much longer. Pick a damn good movie and make me proud or we are done.

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May 25, 2009 at 3:31 am 3 comments

Give it some freaking time!

I’m so tired of the short-term memory that seems to plague the right-wingers in this country. Remember when the Bush administration was in power? Yeah, it wasn’t all that long ago… just over a month, if I have my dates correct. Well, during the time that George W. was in office we went from having a surplus to being a trillion dollars in debt. We started two wars that still aren’t anywhere near done, and killed countless Iraqi and Afghanistani civilians and thousands of our own soldiers. We allowed the banks and finance institutions to “govern themselves” and inflict their predatory lending practies on American citizens. All of this happened during the EIGHT years of the Bush reign. So, if it took EIGHT years to get us into the shithole that we currently are in, why is it that we all expect that Barack Obama to be able to get us out of it in a month???? The stimulus – or SPENDING bill as the conservatives like to call it – was only passed a few days ago and it’s going to take some TIME for it to do anything. Just because we live in a microwave society doesn’t mean that everything we do takes only 20 seconds to be done. Give it some f-ing time, people. It took years to get to where we are… give President Obama more than a freaking month to start making an improvement.

February 21, 2009 at 11:53 am 3 comments

Hey Hey Hey… Goodbye

No… I’m not going away. But someone is. And I’m glad.

This week as we get closer to the inauguration of Barack Obama as our 44th President, I keep hearing the song “Kiss Him Goodbye” in my head. It’s a fitting song for our 43rd President as it has barely any words and fills space by just repeating a non-word (Na-na-na-na) over and over. George Bush has been many things, but in my opinion, a great president is not one of them. So… in his final days of office, let’s reminisce about some of the things George Bush is.

George Bush is:

…a creative linguist who has uttered some interesting, bizarre and sometimes downright embarrassing words or phrases.

…a good ducker. He can duck not one, but two flying shoes, without breaking a sweat.

…a positive thinker. In an interview with Pat Robertson he declared, “Oh no, we aren’t going to have any casualties,” while discussing the Iraq war in 2003.

…an educational system pioneer. He’s practically timewarped our education system back to the Pioneer days. No Child Left Behind could have been titled “All Children Left Behind”.

…a dedicated storyteller who continues to read to children during a national disaster. There’s dedication, for you.

…able to read between the lines. The lines of the redacted Constitution, that is.

…a very life-like puppet. Who knew that in 20 years, the people who brought you Kermit-the-Frog could bring us such a realistic Cheney-controlled puppet? Technology is really something, isn’t it?

…gone. In only two days, he really will be.

So who want’s to sing it with me? “Na-na-na-na, Na-na-na-na, hey hey hey… GOODBYE.”

January 19, 2009 at 12:32 am 4 comments

Goodbye 2008.

Goodbye 2008, you weren’t a very friendly year to most of us. On the national scale you gave us foreclosures, layoffs, company bankruptcies, political chaos, the near collapse of both the stock market and the auto industry and the deaths of two celebrities I really enjoyed — Heath Ledger and George Carlin. You brought us the “rebirth” of Britney Spears and several ridiculously named celebrity children (Bronx Mowgli, anyone?). You were the year where people, other than Alaskans, had to listen to Sarah Palin speak. You gave us a deadly earthquake in China and tornadoes in the southern United States. You did, however, bring us Barack Obama and for that I can forgive SOME of your transgressions (perhaps I can turn a blind eye to the Britney and poorly named celebrity baby stories). However, you really seemed to have a bad attitude, and I for one am not too sorry to see you go. Now if 2009 would just learn from your mistakes and behave better. Here’s hoping.

To anyone who reads my blog — thank you. I would write this drivel anyways but it is nice to know that someone occasionally actually reads it. Happy New Year to you and may 2009 bring you much health, happiness and prosperity.

January 1, 2009 at 7:42 am 1 comment

For Sharon

I work for a school and am the supervisor of a small department. My team shares office space with another school department. Though our two teams are very different departments with very different duties, we have become something of a large, closely-knit, dysfunctional family with me as one parent and Sharon (the other supervisor) as the other.

Our “family” had a bit of a surprise when we got in on Monday after the 5-day holiday weekend, and not a good one at that. Sharon died rather suddenly on Saturday. This post is for her.

Sharon loved dogs and bad music (sorry Sharon, but really — Helen Reddy and the Carpenters all day?). She adored her team and they adored her. She seemed to live to bargain shop and loved to tell you just how much something cost (“see these shoes? I got them at Goodwill for $2.00!”) which could have been annoying but somehow wasn’t. Sharon filled me in on the “political landscape” of my job when I first took the position and was amazingly helpful to me during that first horribly difficult year. She loved to host a potluck and boy, did we ever have some good ones. She was a great cook, and loved to bring in her baked goods.

Her loss leaves a very large hole in our office. One I’m not sure that I can even attempt to try to fill. Sharon was the “fun parent” and I was the one who told people to get back to work. Sharon was the one who arranged the potlucks and I was the one who would forget to bring in a dish and spring for a pizza or something when I got there. Sharon was the one who brought in pumpkin bread or muffins “just because”. I’m the one who only ingests caffeine at work and very rarely even remembers to eat. She was the “parent”, the one people hugged and gave gifts to when they left for a holiday. I am the “too busy” boss who barely even realizes it’s a holiday until it’s upon her.

We were a good team, but now the “heart” of the office is gone and I don’t know that it can (or should) ever be filled. Likely a new “Sharon” will come in to fill her office. Her pictures of her dog and grown children will be replaced with someone elses life. And that will be strange. I’m not sure any of us are ready for that. Big shoes to fill. On behalf of our deeply saddened office, Sharon — you will be (and already are) missed.

December 30, 2008 at 8:52 pm 3 comments

Happy Holidays?

Let me just start by wishing everyone who reads my blog (the handful of you) a very, very happy and joyful holiday. I have trouble wishing people a Merry Christmas simply because it seems presumptuous of me to assume you celebrate Christmas simply because I do. I grew up in an area with a fairly large non-Christian population, and to be quite honest, I think I may have understood more about Hanukkah than I did about Christmas from a very young age. It’s not that I didn’t understand what Christmas was… it just seemed as though it was… I don’t know… polluted, I suppose, long ago and seemed to lose it’s luster in the commercialism that Christmas has sort of become. While I enjoy the idea of Santa and would like to believe that we all have a little bit of the St. Nick spirit living inside us, I don’t subscribe to the idea of populating my home with oodles of red-suited do-gooders with sacks of toys upon their backs. Nor do I have a home filled with mangers and nativity scenes. To be quite honest I’m not really sure what I believe. But I do celebrate Christmas. Perhaps because it’s easier to do so than to stop, or perhaps because it’s traditional.

Tradition plays a huge role in holiday celebrations. I have no family besides my husband and I find holding onto family customs both comforting and depressing. My family LOVED Christmas. I, to some extent, have inherited their passion for the holiday, though work and life seems to have dampened the joy somewhat. Tonight I downloaded a new Christmas cd — “Holiday Spirit” by Straight No Chaser (thank you Scott) and listened to it as I cleaned up after dinner. My mother would have LOVED this music. I found myself crying, not out of sadness per se… just because she’d have loved it. The holidays make us remember things that were joyful and sad. The holidays seem to bring out the memories even in those of us who fight to keep them at bay. I miss my mom, but I know that she would have loved Christmas at my house. I just wish sometimes that I could have shared my Christmas with her. I never got to be a real adult while she was alive and I’m not sure she’d recognize me and my holidays now… I hope she would. I hope she’d cry from joy.

Happy Hanukkah. Happy Kwanzaa. Happy Festivus. Merry Christmas. Happy Holidays. I wish you all the most joyful new year and that 2009 is a year filled with happiness and prosperity.

Much love — ChollaChick.

December 25, 2008 at 9:26 am 3 comments

Cactus Bakery, or something like that…

Yesterday I baked cookies. Not just a few cookies, not just a couple of dozen. A LOT of cookies. And when I say a lot, I really mean a lot.

As noted in my last post, the holidays are my favorite holiday and this holiday is a wee bit less holiday-ish than I might like. No ones fault, but just the weird alignment of the planets or the residual effects of having George Bush in the White House for almost 8 years. Since baking seems to come hand in hand with putting up a Christmas tree and singing carols, I feel on a yearly basis that it is my duty to bake something.

Now, please understand. I love to cook. I like to chop things and sautee, and come up with interesting (and usually good) ideas for recipes and such. What I don’t really care for is measuring ingredients. It’s tedious and I find it silly — “Sure this looks like a teaspoon of garlic” is more my style than precisely measuring out the garlic for a recipe. I mean, honestly, if a recipe has a 1/2 teaspoon too much or too little garlic the world is not going to end. But in baking? Alas, too much baking powder (or God forbid, none at all) is like a disaster of nuclear proportions. So… baking isn’t my favorite thing in the entire world. I do it as if it were a chore that has to be done because it’s December.

This year, however, I invited my friend (who may actually be a blood relative — go figure), Curls, to come over and bake with me. She is the consummate mother/baker/friend and loves to bake and has every baking accoutrement known to man. So over she comes… with everything she’s ever owned that has to do with baking and we set out.

Baking with Curls is far more fun, that I can say. At some point around the 11th hour of actual baking we started throwing confectioners sugar at each other. Hubby came in before it became an all-out Sugar War and we were laughing so hard I’m quite sure I’ve inhaled in excess of 8 ounces of powdered sugar. When I invited her I figured we’d make three or four kinds of cookies and call it a day. I had the insane idea I’d be done by say 5pm or so… at 9:30pm we were still cleaning up. But the haul was pretty spectacular… we made:
Chocolate chip (2 batches)
Snickerdoodles
Peanut Butter Cookies
Butter/Spritz cookies
Chocolate Spritz
Brownie lollipops
Boysenberry pinwheels
Raspberry bars

Impressive huh? Even in my quite spacious kitchen we were running out of room to store the cookies. Maybe baking isn’t so bad if there’s a sugar war to look forward to.

December 14, 2008 at 11:26 pm 1 comment

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