Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Way Back Wednesday - Silence of the Lambs

Since today is the last day of September, I've decided to start the annual Halloween edition of Way Back Wednesday. Between now and Halloween, I will highlight my favorite scary/horror movies of the past few decades. I'm starting this out with a classic ...

.... The Silence of the Lambs is a 1991 psychological crime/horror thriller directed by Jonathan Demme. It stars Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Scott Glenn, Ted Levine, Anthony Heald and Brooke Smith. Based on the novel of the same name by Thomas Harris, it is his second book to feature Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a brilliant psychiatrist and cannibalistic serial killer. The film won the top five Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Director and Best Screenplay.

In the film, Clarice Starling (Foster), plays a young FBI trainee seeking the advice of the imprisoned Lecter (Hopkins) on catching a serial killer known only as "Buffalo Bill". Starling is pulled from her training at the FBI Academy at Quantico by Jack Crawford (Glenn) of the Bureau's Behavioral Science Unit. Crawford sends her to interview the notorious Hannibal Lecter, believing Lecter's insight might be useful in the pursuit of vicious serial killer Buffalo Bill (Levine).

Buffalo Bill is noted for kidnapping his victims and then removing large portions of their skin. We see him abduct is latest victim, Catherine Martin (Smith), the daughter of United States Senator Ruth Martin. Then the race is on to find Buffalo Bill before he can kill again.

This movie sends you on a thrilling ride through the twisted mind of a celebrated killer and the climatic conclusion of this wild chase. In my opinion, Dr. Frederick Chilton (Heald), director the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane, is even more scary and evil than Lecter.

Favorite quotes:

Hannibal Lecter: A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti.

Buffalo Bill: It rubs the lotion on its skin. It does this whenever it is told.
Catherine Martin: Mister... my family will pay cash. Whatever ransom you're askin' for, they pay it.
Buffalo Bill: It rubs the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again.

Jack Crawford: Just do your job, but never forget what he is.
Clarice Starling: And what is that?
[cut to Clarice's first trip to the psychiatric prison]
Dr. Frederick Chilton: Oh, he's a monster. Pure psychopath. So rare to capture one alive. From a research point of view, Lecter is our most prized asset.

Hannibal Lecter: You fly back to school, now, little Starling. Fly, fly, fly...

Det. Boyle: [greeting Lecter in Memphis] Welcome to Memphis Dr. Lecter, I'm Lieutenant Boyle, this is Sergeant Patrick. Now we'll treat you as good as you treat us, you be a gentleman and you'll get three hots and a cot.

Clarice Starling: If you didn't kill him, then who did, sir?
Hannibal Lecter: Who can say. Best thing for him, really. His therapy was going nowhere.

Hannibal Lecter: Well, Clarice - have the lambs stopped screaming?

Buffalo Bill: [to a mirror] Would you fuck me? I'd fuck me. I'd fuck me hard.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Darkly Dreaming Dexter

Holy crap, Batman, Dexter was awesome last night. After waiting a full season for my favorite serial killer to return to the small screen, blood splatter expert, Dexter Morgan did me proud. Who would have thought I'd end up rooting for a murderer??

Believe it or not, Dexter (Michael C. Hall) is a family man now - married to Rita (Julie Benz), brand-new baby (Harrison, how cute!) and 2 step-children. Can he really have it all and stay true to his dark passenger? Apparently juggling all the facets of his life is not going to be a walk in the park, and that's what makes him so lovable.

I loved, loved, loved the reworking of the show opening. For 3 seasons we have watched Dexter swap a mosquito, pull on his t-shirt and jauntily walk out the door - well, now he's missing the mosquito because of lack of sleep, pulling a t-shirt covered in baby puke, and yawning so loudly he can't hear himself think. Hehe - typical everyday dad stuff.

But the sleep deprivation isn't all fun and games. Dexter messes up big time when he brings the wrong notes to a murder trial and he falls asleep while staking out a new victim. He is definitely off his game.

Dexter's little sis, Deb Morgan (Jennifer Carpenter), at least seems happy with her new boyfriend from last season, former CI, Anton (David Ramsay), until her former lover from season, Special Agent Frank Lundy (Keith Carradine), 2 shows up. Things will probably get messy. And what's up with LaGuerta (Lauren Vélez) and Batista (David Zayas)? I mean, I love Batista, but he seems like the last guy LaGuerta would take up with, but who knows?

The special treat of this season is the introduction of the Trinity Killer. John Lithgow is the special guest star this season and he plays Arthur Mitchell, a.k.a. the Trinity Killer. Lithgow has played some great parts in his time, but he is so eerily spooky as this mild-mannered killer, I was almost afraid to turn the light off last night. Watching him set up a bathroom for a romantic bath put me at ease, until he startled the unknowing woman. Next thing you know, they are both in the bathtub naked and the Killer has is Victim in a choke hold before slitting her femoral artery. Cold chills ran down my spine.

Just knowing Dexter and Trintiy will be dancing a minuet this season is thrilling and I can't wait to see what the writers have in store for us. Buckle your seat belts, it's going to be a bumpy ride!

*Photo: Julie Benz as Rita Morgan and Michael C. Hall as Dexter. Credit: Jim Fiscus / Showtime

Fall is in the Air

Hello, Autumn! It took you long enough to get here!

I'm one of those people who get more creative when the weather is cooler. Most people like sunny, bright days - I love cloudy dark days. Projects and stories are flowing through my brain and all I have to do is harness one of them and I'm off and running.

Of course, along with the cooler weather is the fact that Christmas is just around the corner - seems to sneak up on me faster and faster the older I get. I swear, there must be faeries in the house shaking my hourglass because time gets away from me in the blink of an eye.

I'm strapping on my roller skates and taking a deep breath - I know it's going to be a bumpy ride, but I want to enjoy as much of it as possible.

See ya on the other side ...

Friday, September 25, 2009

Free Flowing Friday

Because I haven't felt well this week, most of my thoughts have migrated to the dark side. So, to save you from my icky mood, I thought I would highlight a few new books I've enjoyed this week.

Prophecy of the Sisters (Prophecy of the Sisters Trilogy, Book I) by Michelle Zink
Twin sisters Lia and Alice Milthorpe have just become orphans. They have also become enemies. As they discover their roles in a prophecy that has turned generations of sisters against each other, the girls find themselves entangled in a mystery that involves a tattoo-like mark, their parents' deaths, a boy, a book, and a lifetime of secrets.
This book takes place in the late 1800s and Zink has a refreshing writing style I am finding enjoyable. This easy to read book is a true page turner that has left me eagerly awaiting the next book in the trilogy.

Evermore (The Immortals Book 1) by Alyson Noel
Seventeen-year-old Ever survived the car crash that killed her parents, younger sister, and their dog. Now she lives with an aunt in Southern California, plagued not only by survivor guilt but also by a new ability to hear the thoughts of all around her. She tries to tune out all these distractions by keeping her hoodie up and her iPod cranked loud, until Damen, the cute new boy at school, convinces her to come out of her shell. Damen, however, is frighteningly clever—and has the strange ability to produce tulips from nowhere and disappear himself at critical moments.
For readers looking to fill the void left by the Twilight series, this is a different variation on the girl meets boy love story. Where Twilight has vegetarian vampires, the Immortals has immortal beings. Noel's truly captures the teenage voice. You can read my book review at: Bobbi's Book Nook.

Eli the Good by Silas House
Bicentennial fireworks burn the sky. Bob Seger growls from a transistor radio. And down by the river, girls line up on lawn chairs in pursuit of the perfect tan. Yet for ten-year-old Eli Book, the summer of 1976 is the one that threatened to tear his family apart. There is his distant mother; his traumatized Vietnam vet dad; his wild sister; his former warprotester aunt; and his tough yet troubled best friend, Edie, the only person with whom he can be himself. As tempers flare and his father’s nightmares rage, Eli watches from the sidelines, but soon even he cannot escape the current of conflict. From Silas House comes a tender look at the complexities of childhood and the realities of war — a quintessentially Southern novel filled with music, nostalgic detail, a deep respect for nature, and a powerful sense of place.
I was lucky enough to attend the national book launch of this book by one of my favorite Kentucky authors. House has an authentic Kentucky voice and his writing flows off the page in lyrical form. This is truly a beautiful book.

The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown
I'm not going to give much away about this book because many people have not had a chance to read it yet, but you can check out my book review at Bobbi's Book Nook. Let's just say that it was a real page turner for me, but I was a little disappointed. My infatuation with the fictional character of Robert Langdon is now over.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Thursday 13 Television

It has been a long time since I've done a Thursday 13, but with the new fall line-up of TV shows premiering, I thought this would make a perfect topic. So, without further ado, here are my top 13 reasons to watch TV this fall:

1.) BONES - Yes, Booth and Brennan are back for their 5th season and this cast runs like a well-oiled machine.

2.) FRINGE - This was my favorite new show of last season and what could be more perfect than pairing it up this year with BONES. This cool science-fiction show has moved to Thursdays nights at 9pm and we will be traveling into parallel dimensions. If you missed any of this great show last year, season 1 is available for purchase or to rent from Netflix.

3.) CASTLE - This was my 2nd favorite new show of last season and I am delighted to have the character of Richard Castle to entertain me on Monday evenings. The premise of this show is a bestselling fiction novelist (Castle) is paired up with a police officer (Beckett) and she becomes the muse for his newest book character. Starring Nathan Fillion (Castle) and Stana Katic (Beckett), the real star of the show is Molly Quinn who plays Castle's 15 year old daughter Alexis. She is charming and gets along better with adults than with kids her own age and enjoys school.

4.) HEROES is back for another stab at saving the world. This weird little enigma of a show just keeps getting better and better. You never know what new super power will emerge.

5.) GREY'S ANATOMY - Will Seattle Grace ever be the same without George? I've never been a fan of Izzy and I would have much rather seen her leave the show than George, but our society has an obsession with blond-haired, blue-eyed women, so Izzy stays.

6.) ROBIN HOOD - This BBC is largely overlooked by most Americans and it's really a shame. There is just something about the legend of Robin Hood I find appealing. Although I was not at all happy with the season 3 finale, it is great to see Robin and the gang back in action.

7.) MEDIUM - Boo to NBC for dropping this wonderful series - Kudos to CBS for picking it up! I think NBC has made a bad decision dropping so many of its drama shows in favor of Jay Leno every night at 10pm. Sorry, I digress ... I'm happy to see my favorite "dreamer" find a new home, even if it is on Friday nights.

8.) DOLLHOUSE - I can never get enough of Joss Whedon, so I was thrilled to hear DOLLHOUSE would be back for a 2nd season. Eliza Dushku is one of my favorite actors - I feel in love with her when she played Faith on BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER. I'm anxious to see how her character evolves this season.

9.) VAMPIRE DIARIES - Based on the book series "Vampire Diaries" by L. J. Smith, it is not really a surprise to see another vampire show hit the airwaves. For die-hard vampire lovers like myself, I have been in awe of the recent resurgence of vampire related movies, television and books. I'm not sure how I'll react to this series because I've only seen the first episode, but I am DVRing them for a marathon session, so time will tell.

10.) HOUSE - Because of my hectic schedule this week, I have not watched the season premiere of HOUSE, but hubby and I plan to watch this weekend. House seems to have gone off the deep end, so it will be interesting to see how this warped character functions.

11.) DEXTER - I love my little serial killer - does that make me a bad person? Hehe ... Michael C. Hall is a fabulous actor and he has embodied the character of Dexter Morgan. This show is based on the "Dexter" series by Jeff Lindsey.

12.) EASTWICK - I've been looking forward to this one, but I didn't get to watch the premiere last night. I loved the book "The Witches of Eastwick" by John Updike, but I wasn't crazy about the movie adaptation.

13.) LOST - Last, but not least, LOST won't start again until January, but I am so looking forward to the final season. Will all our questions be answered? Did the gang reverse time back to the beginning? Is Juliet really dead? Can't wait to find out.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Way Back Wednesday - The Wizard of Oz

Beacuse it is the 70th anniversary of the film release, I'll be highlighting an American classic, THE WIZARD OF OZ.

THE WIZARD OF OZ is based on the 1900 children's book, THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ by L. Frank Baum. The film adaptation is a 1939 musical / fantasy film directed mainly by Victor Fleming and starring Judy Garland, Ray Bolger, Jack Haley, Bert Lahr, and Frank Morgan, with Billie Burke, Margaret Hamilton, Charles Grapewin, Clara Blandick, and the Singer Midgets as the Munchkins. It was released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

The movie follows 12-year-old farmgirl Dorothy Gale (Garland) who lives on a Kansas farm with her Aunt Em and Uncle Henry, but dreams of a better place "somewhere over the rainbow." After being struck unconscious during a tornado by a window which has come loose from its frame, Dorothy dreams that she, her dog Toto, and the farmhouse are transported to the magical Land of Oz. There, the Good Witch of the North, Glinda (Burke), advises Dorothy to follow the yellow brick road to the Emerald City and meet the Wizard of Oz, who can return her to Kansas. During her journey, she meets a Scarecrow (Bolger), a Tin Man (Haley), and a Cowardly Lion (Lahr), who join her, hoping to receive what they lack themselves (a brain, a heart, and courage, respectively). All of this is done while also trying to avoid the Wicked Witch of the West (Hamilton) and her attempt to get her sister's ruby slippers from Dorothy, who received them from Glinda.

Like most people, I love this movie, but because I am a book purist, I have always been disappointed because many things are much different than the way Baum portrayed them in the book. For example:
  • Dorothy's slippers ARE NOT ruby - in the book they are silver.
  • Glinda is not the Witch of the North - she is the Witch of the South.
  • The Tin Man started out life as a real man, but because of a curse, he was turned to tin.
  • The Scarecrow was only one day old - in the movie he is said to have been in the field a long time.
  • Glinda did not save Dorothy and the Lion from the field of Poppies - an army of mice did.
  • Everyone in the Emerald City had to wear a pair of Emerald colored glasses.
  • Dorothy did not dream her trip to Oz - in the book she really traveled to Oz.

There are also 15 more books about Oz written by Baum and 2 dozen more written after his death.

So while the WIZARD OF OZ is a timeless film classic, the book series offers much more for the imagination. Check them out - you won't be sorry.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Lost Weekend

Yesterday was one of those rainy kinda Sundays where all you want to do is by lazy. I spent my entire Sunday curled up with a book.

My hubby surprised me Saturday afternoon with Dan Brown's new book, THE LOST SYMBOL. From the first chapter, I was hooked - I've even had trouble taking potty breaks. I've read lots of great books this year, but it has been a while since one demanded my constant attention.

Even though I'm not finished with the 500+ page tome - I'm still fighting the creepy crud, so my brain is working in slow motion - I couldn't resist checking out Amazon to see what kinds of reviews the book is getting. Man, was I surprised!

Of course, there were plenty of raving reviews for the book, and although I probably won't give it 5 stars, it is definitely a 4+. Some people just like the book because it was written by Dan Brown. Some people, like me, just enjoy the thrilling, escapist ride the story takes. Then there are the people who dislike Brown and all his work - it is these people who have loved picking the book to pieces.

I guess my point in this post is to say, don't let reviewers persuade you into a negative opinion before you've had a chance to read the book. This is no work of great literature, but it is an entertaining mystery that will provide hours of fun and I really can't ask more from a popular book of fiction.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Free Flowing Friday

I can't believe it's Friday again - where did the week go?

1.) I got a double dose of great TV last night with the return of BONES and FRINGE. It's been a long summer of re-runs, so I was very happy to settle in with my hubby and watch these great shows. On BONES, Booth is readjusting to life after a coma and trying to sort out his feelings towards Brennan, and she is her normal, analytical shelf. On FRINGE, we are lead to believe Olivia is dead, but things aren't always what they seem. Must see TV indeed!

2.) Finished a great book this week by Karen McElmurray, THE MOTEL OF THE STARS. It is a heartwarming tale of overwhelming grief and the path two different individuals as they embark on the road to understanding. This book was the 2007 winner of the Linda Bruckheimer Series in Kentucky Literature through Sarabande Publishing. McElmurray has a unique voice and writing style and I think we will be hearing more about her in the future.

3.) I've been fighting some kind of creeping crud all week long - overall aches and pains in addition to congestion and shortness of breath. How can the human body produce so much snot? I thought it was just normal seasonal allergies or sinus problems, but then other people made me start worrying about inhalation problems due to the fire and cleaning. Called the doctor on Wednesday and he said if I wasn't running a fever and my drainage was a normal color, it was probably just allergies. Hopefully I'll feel better this weekend.

4.) I finished up my first book review for KENTUCKY MONTHLY magazine this week and I'm looking forward to doing more. Currently, my local public library is closed so they can move to their temporary location. Having the KENTUCKY MONTHLY gig will keep my book reviewing skills sharp until the library reopens.

5.) Looking forward to going to Silas House's book launch next week for ELI THE GOOD. It's scheduled for Tuesday, September 22nd at 7pm at the Carnegie Center in Lexington. Several members from my writing group are planning to attend.

6.) I'm working on a historical essay about French fashion in Harrodsburg for my local Habitat for Humanity. The big fundraiser for HFH will be October 30th and world renown fashion designer, Alexander Jullian will be the guest. He is going to present a workshop and project runway thru the local schools for young fashion designers. Later that night a dinner will be held at the Anderson Circle Cow Palace. So much to do, so little time.

7.) I've sent off 2 separate submissions this week for 2 writing contests - KENTUCKY MONTHLY and NEW SOUTHERNER magazines. Keeping my fingers and toes crossed. I also have 2 more submissions almost ready to go, but these are both for poetry contests. I have never entered a poetry contest, so this will be interesting.

8.) Cleanup from the fire is still moving slow, but at least it's moving. A big thank you to our friend, Will Ed, for helping to get our new dryer up and running. Hopefully we will be ready to start painting next week - I am not looking forward to that.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Way Back Wednesday - Dirty Dancing

To honor the memory of Patrick Swayze, I am rerunning my Way Back Wednesday on Dirty Dancing. May he rest in peace ...

Dirty Dancing is a 1987 Academy Award winning romance film, written by Eleanor Bergstein and directed by Emile Ardolino. The film features Jennifer Grey (pre-nose job), Patrick Swayze, Cynthia Rhodes, and Jerry Orbach.

The movie takes place in 1963 and is the story of a teenaged girl and her relationship with an older dance instructor during a family summer vacation at the Kellerman Resort in the Catskill Mountains. Frances "Baby" Houseman (Grey) is swept off her feet by the sexy dance instructor, Johnny Castle (Swayze). Although her father forbids her to have anything to do with Johnny, Baby finds herself falling madly in love.

Some of my favorite scences include: Baby practicing her dance moves on the boardwalk, Johnny and Baby dancing on the log and in the lake, and of course, the last dance of the movie.

Favorite quotes from Dirty Dancing:

"Oh, come on, ladies. God wouldn't have given you maracas if He didn't want you to shake 'em."

"Look, spaghetti arms. This is my dance space. This is your dance space. I don't go into yours, you don't go into mine. You gotta hold the frame."

" I carried a watermelon."

"God, I'm so sick of this rain. Remind me not to take my honeymoon at Niagara Falls."

And the infamous: "Nobody puts Baby in a corner."

Last dance of the movie. (Photo from movie is copyrighted)

Dirty Dancing won an Academy Award for Best Song - "(I've Had) The Time of My Life" performed by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes; composed by Franke Previte, John deNicola, and Donald Markowitz. Of course, my favorite song of the movie is "Hungry Eyes" performed by Eric Carmen; composed by Franke Previte and John deNicola .

Dirty Dancing is one of those movies that I have to stop and watch when I find it while flipping through the channels - it never gets old.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Weird Weekend

It's been a weird kinda weekend 'round our house. I've felt the first waves of some virus or cold or something because I've had a sore throat and congestion with aches and pains all weekend. Not running a fever, so I don't think it's the swine flu. You know I was feeling bad when I declined to go with hubby and daughter to see the new Tim Burton movie 9. I've been waiting to see this movie, but I just didn't think I could do a trip to Lexington (it's not in Danville) watch the movie and then ride home. So I've spent the afternoon reading and resting, but I don't feel too much better.

Hubby did a wonderful job of laying the new floor in our laundry room. The drywall is finished and the floor is done - now we'll be ready to paint, hopefully this week. The washing machine is up and running, but our dryer has the wrong electrical plug, so that's holding us up. We lost our cedar wardrobe in the fire, so that can't be replaced - instead we're going to turn the corner where the wardrobe was into a pantry. It will be nice to have shelves for food storage outside of the kitchen.

Christine took the ACT again on Saturday - she was so nervous. She is trying to get her score up as high as possible so she will qualify for more scholarships. She has a 3.69 GPA and is a straight A student, but she has severe test anxiety and that always messes her up. She is very strong in English and History, but weaker in Math and Science. It's going to be a long fall and winter weeding out colleges and getting all the applications in on time.

I got a phone call Sunday from a lady who works with teaching English to Japanese women. They meet regularly and for their late October meeting, she wanted me to come and demonstrate pumpkin carving. I have carved elaborate pumpkins for years and it is something I enjoy doing, but this is one of the things I've quit doing over the past four years and I've only ever demonstrated to school children or Girl Scouts. I told her YES, so now I'll have to pull myself together and work up a program. This will be another one of those steps to get me out of my comfort zone.

My writing has been going slowly since the fire, but I'm finally starting to write again. I have recently sent in submissions to Kentucky Monthly and New Southerner magazines. I'm also finishing up some poetry for a contest that closes in October.

Okay, I guess a weird weekend has lead to this weird post - it's reading more like a free flowing Friday because my thoughts are rambling all over the place. I'm just trying to stay sane in an increasingly insane world. It's a good thing my family loves me the way I am.

Oh, and it's my oldest daughter's 27th birthday - gosh, how did I get so old?!

Happy Birthday, Amber Dawn Huffman Wilham

Friday, September 11, 2009

Free Flowing Friday

1.) Remembering the sadness of 9-11. I can still remember where I was when everything started happening. I was supposed to start my new job at the Harrodsburg Hospital the next day, so after seeing Christine off to school and Keith off to work, I was watching the TODAY show. When the first plane hit, I got on the phone with my good friend, Linda, and we talked all morning. I get a lump in my chest just thinking about it.

2.) Not only did my daughter get chosen to be on the Student Council at Mercer Senior High School, but now she is contemplating a run for Vice-President. She thought abut being President, but when she found out she would be in charge of all the class reunions, she didn't want to talk on that much responsibility. This will mark the first time one of my children has run for any type of office and I am so proud of her!

3.) Tim Burton's 9 opened on Wednesday and we plan to see it this weekend. I can't wait! Burton is one my my favorite directors, so I have high hopes for this stop-animation film.

4.) Nomadic Ink meeting tonight - the Community of Mercer County Writers will be meeting at the home of Tony Sexton for our monthly meeting. The topic for tonight will be 9-11. I'm not sure about the topic because it brings up so many bad memories for me.

5.) Having a hard time believing my oldest daughter, Amber, will be 27 years old on Monday. Happy early Birthday, Amber!

6.) We will probably be ready to start repainting the house tomorrow. This is a job I'm dreading because I don't really like to paint. Right now, we're trying to decide on colors - decorating is not my strong suit.

7.) Did anyone watch The Vampire Diaries last night? Based on the books by L. J. Smith, I've been eagerly awaiting the debut. The show was okay and it does show some promise - we'll see how it goes the next few weeks.

8.) Flu shots - swine flu shots - is anyone getting flu shots this season? When I was still nursing, I got a flu shot every season to protect me and my family. Now that I no longer work in the public workforce, I don't feel the same need to get a shot. I have contact with very few people during the day, so I don't think I'll be carrying any germs home with me. I'm also a little skeptical about the vaccine for H1N1 - has it had enough testing? Every day we see drugs being pulled off the market because they are unsafe - how are we to know we won't be safer without this vaccine? For me, I'll keep disinfecting common objects, washing my hands and sneezing into my elbows.

9.) To hell with polite society - or as my Granny would say, "Were you raised in a barn?" Although I think the media has blown out of proportion the outrageous comments of Sen. Joe Wilson during Pres. Obama's speech, this is just another prime example of the decreasing civility in our culture. I equate this with something yelling at the preacher during church - it was both inappropriate and uncalled for. I realize all Republicans are not impolite and uncivil, but it is the "fringy right" that is giving all the rest a bad name. You know what they say about one bad apple?

10.) I just finished reading Karen Rose's newest book, I Can See You. It was another spooky thriller with great characters. This book made you feel like anyone could be the killer. It revolves around an Internet reality game where a serial killer is stalking his victims. Rose is one of the best thriller writers out there right now and this one is definitely worth a read.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Way Back Wednesday - The Little Mermaid

The Little Mermaid was released in 1989 by Walt Disney Feature Animation and based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale of the same name. Can you believe it's been 20 years? The film is given credit for reviving the animated feature film genre and starting of the era known as the Disney Renaissance.

Ariel is a 16-year-old mermaid princess and dissatisfied with life under the sea and curious about the human world. With her best fish friend Flounder, Ariel collects human artifacts and goes to the surface of the ocean to visit Scuttle the seagull, who offers very inaccurate and comical knowledge of human culture. Ignoring the warnings of her father, King Triton, and court musician, Sebastian the crab, that contact between merpeople and humans is forbidden, Ariel still longs to be part of the human world; to this end she has filled a secret grotto with all the human artifacts she has found.

Of course, what Disney movie would be complete without a hero and a villian? Prince Eric is the human love interest of Ariel. After saving Prince Eric from drowning, Ariel falls hopelessly in love, but King Triton refuses to accept the "human." In a fit of misery, Ariel visits the evil Ursula and makes a deal.

Ariel is transformed from a mermaid to a real girl and has 3 days for Prince Eric to give her "loves real kiss" or she'll be turned back into a mermaid and become Ursula's slave. Payment for this service is Ariel's singing voice.

Like all Disney movies, this one has a feel-good meaning and a happy ending. Beautiful animation and uplifting songs help bring this classic story to life.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

We've Done Good

You realize you've done a half-way decent job of raising your kids when one of them offers to go to town and do laundry. With the fire clean-up still occupying the majority of our time, some things have gone by the wayside. Laundry, for instance. We have finished hanging the drywall in the laundry room and the handyman is supposed to come today to replace the windows, so we don't have the new washer and dryer installed - hence the reason for going to town to do laundry.

Most of the day Friday and Sunday, we spent on overdue yard work - bushwhacking, weeding and mowing. Because Monday was a holiday, I hadn't thought too much about laundry, but my daughter was one step ahead of us. When she came and suggested going to MaMaw's to do laundry, I was overwhelmed. Christine has been great with helping out since the fire, but with her heavy school load this year, I didn't want to give her too much extra stuff to do.

So, off she went to MaMaw's house with 3 baskets of laundry and hubby and I finished up the yard work. Almost 3 hours later, Christine returned home with clean laundry. By this time, I was so exhausted I could hardly move - I think my hubby was beyond exhausted. Christine then proceeded to cook supper.

We've raised a great kid and I am so proud of her. She is continually amazing me with her kind-hearted ways and desire to help others. We've done good with this one - we've done good.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Free Flowing Friday

At least this has been a better week than the past 2 weeks! We are finally back in our house, although clean-up is far from over. Here is what's cluttering my mind this week:

1.) Hypocritical people drive me insane! Some people just need to get over themselves - the world is not all about you. Okay, it may be all about me - but it's definitely not all about you! LOL!!

2.) Finished a wonderful young adult book this week - Graceling by Kristen Cashore. This book was released last year, but I'm just getting around to reading. This was the perfect kind of book for me: a great female heroine, believable characters, thrilling adventures, a tad bit of fantasy - an action packed read I didn't want to end. According to Cashore's website, she has a new book coming out, Fire, which will be a prequel to this book - it is already on my TBR list and will move right to the top as soon as I can get my hands on it.

3.) I don't understand the uproar many parents are having over President Obama's address to school children. People, he is going to be talking to kids about staying in school and furthering their education! This address is similar to other President's: Bush Jr. asked school children to give $1 for Afghanistan children and Bush Sr. talked to children about the evils of drugs. Presidents Clinton, Regan, Carter, Nixon and Johnson all addressed school children. Obama is the freely elected President of the United States - you may not agree with his policies or politics, but give him the respect the Commander in Chief deserves.

4.) I'm upset with Democratic lawmakers because I'm afraid they are going to "cow down" to fringe Republicans and not pass a health care reform bill. Citizens of the USA should not be dying because they can't afford health care. Citizens of the USA should not have to go bankrupt because of astronomical health care bills. Citizens of the USA should not have to choose between buying their prescription drugs and buying food or making a house payment. Citizens of the USA should not be denied health care coverage because of a preexisting condition.

5.) On a lighter note, have you seen the new opening for the Late Show with Craig Ferguson? I love watching Craig!! They have kept the original song - with the missing line reinserted - and the opening has Craig in different situations singing the theme song. I bet you didn't know Craig wrote the theme song and sings it himself? I know ... he is great!

6.) Our daughter will be away from home tonight, so it's date night for me and hubby - it's been too long! I think our plans are to go to the drive-in - 2 movies for $5, you can't beat that anywhere. Twin Hills Drive-In is playing Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds and Rob Zombie's Halloween II. We've already seen Inglourious Basterds, but I can't wait to see it again.

7.) I am stoked about seeing Tim Burton's 9 next week! It is a post-apocalyptic nightmare in which all of humanity is threatened. Tim Burton is awesome!

8.) Oh, I forgot to mention this earlier in the week - I got a new writing gig! I will be doing book reviews for Kentucky Monthly magazine. I'm so excited! The first book I'm reading is Lincoln's Advocate: The Life of Judge Joseph Holt by Kentucky author Susan B. Dyer.

9.) If you haven't checked out my Lexington Gardener page at, come on over and see what's happening in gardens around the Bluegrass. I appreciate all the visitors I can get.

10.) I almost forgot, my youngest baby, Christine, was elected to the Student Council at Mercer County Senior High School. Congratulations Christine!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Way Back Wednesday - Raiders of the Lost Ark

Raiders of the Lost Ark - also known as Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark - is a 1981 action-adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg, produced by George Lucas, and starring Harrison Ford (a strong trio for successful movies). It is the first film in the Indiana Jones franchise and my favorite of the 4 movies. Raiders was the top grossing film of 1981.

In Raiders, Indiana Jones (played by Ford) is up against the Nazis, who search for the Ark of the Covenant, in an attempt to make their army invincible. The film, Karen Allen played Indiana's former lover Marion Ravenwood; Paul Freeman played Indiana's nemesis, French archaeologist René Belloq; John Rhys-Davies as Indiana's sidekick, Sallah; and Denholm Elliott as Indiana's colleague, Marcus Brody.

From IMDB:
The year is 1936. A professor who studies archeology named Indiana Jones is venturing in the jungles in South America searching for a golden statue. Unfortunately, he sets off a deadly trap doing so, miraculously, he escapes. Then, Jones hears from a museum curator named Marcus Brody about a biblical artifact called The Ark of the Covenant, which can hold the key to humanly existence. Jones has to venture to vast places such as Nepal and Egypt to find this artifact. However, he will have to fight his enemy Renee Belloq and a band of Nazis in order to reach it.

Favorite quotes:

Indiana: Here, take this,
[hands Marion a torch]
Indiana: Wave it at anything that slithers.
Marion: The whole place is slitherin'!

Maj. Eaton: [sees a picture of the Ark with rays of power coming out of it] Good God!
Brody: Yes, that's what the Hebrews thought.

Satipo: Let us hurry. There is nothing to fear here.
Indiana: That's what scares me.

Marion: You're not the man I knew ten years ago.
Indiana: It's not the years, honey, it's the mileage.

Indiana: You want to talk to God? Let's go see him together, I've got nothing better to do.

[Upon opening the Well of the Souls and peering down into it]
Sallah: Indy, why does the floor move?
Indiana: Give me your torch.
[Sallah does, and Indy drops it in]
Indiana: Snakes. Why'd it have to be snakes?
Sallah: Asps. Very dangerous. You go first.

Indiana: Meet me at Omar's. Be ready for me. I'm going after that truck.
Sallah: How?
Indiana: I don't know, I'm making this up as I go.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


I'm getting excited about Tim Burton's upcoming movie, 9 - a post-apocalyptic nightmare in which all of humanity is threatened.
When 9 first comes to life, he finds himself in a post-apocalyptic world where all humans are gone, and it is only by chance that he discovers a small community of others like him taking refuge from fearsome machines that roam the earth intent on their extinction. Despite being the neophyte of the group, 9 convinces the others that hiding will do them no good. They must take the offensive if they are to survive, and they must discover why the machines want to destroy them in the first place. As they'll soon come to learn, the very future of civilization may depend on them.
9 features the voices of Christopher Plummer, Martin Landau, John C. Reilly, Crispin Glover, Jennifer Connelly, Fred Tatasciore and Elijah Wood as 9. 9 will be in theaters starting 9-9-09 and is rated PG-13.

Obama to Address Students

I am shocked and saddened at the outrage of some US citizens in regards to President Obama's scheduled address to school children on September 8th. According to the press release:
He [President Obama] will deliver a national address directly to students on the importance of education. The President will challenge students to work hard, set educational goals, and take responsibility for their learning. He will also call for a shared responsibility and commitment on the part of students, parents and educators to ensure that every child in every school receives the best education possible so they can compete in the global economy for good jobs and live rewarding and productive lives as American citizens.
I just don't understand the the haters who call this "indoctrination."

I think it's about time a President reinforced the need for working harder in school and seeking a higher education. What is wrong with these people? Why are they teaching their children to hate a freely elected President?

My 17 year old daughter has followed politics for several years and she was highly vested in the past elections. She has researched President Obama's plans and policies and she has made up her own mind. She gets very upset when she hears her fellow classmates talking with glee about the possibility Obama will be assassinated or when they make off-color jokes. Most of these kids are repeating what they've heard their parents and grandparents say.

To read the entire press release, check out U.S. Department of Education