Friday, November 30, 2007

Movie Review - The Ex

The Ex - 4 thumbs down
I am so disappointed in Zach Braff - poor choice man! It sucked! We gave it four emphatic thumbs down. We actually turned it off half way through - when Zach's character drug an invalid up a flight of stairs just to hurl him down in an attempt to prove he can walk, we had enough.

Very disappointing.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Boston Commons

Chris had a long overnight in Boston this week so I went out to join him. We both got in around 11 on Tuesday and had the afternoon to wander. I went out on the 7:30am flight that Chris flew back to Cincinnati.

We had fun, we sat and people watched and chatted in the Boston Commons and wandered around the Quincy Market. We had dinner at the McCormick & Schmidts in Quincy Square - it was happy hour so they had $2 appetizers - yum :)
Pictures are here.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Over the River and Through The Woods

...To my parents house I go!

I'm leaving for Orlando, with Roger Doger, the weekend of December 14th. We plan to stay at my parents' house through early January. Chris has off the 8 days around Christmas (holy cow, I know!) and we planned last year that his family would meet us in Orlando for one big Christmas fest. So - I'm heading down early. (Roger's newest nap time position ----->)

With my Christmas vacation starting so early, Chris and I have already begun thinking about gifts and we're pretty much done shopping (crazy huh?). Don't get too jealous though, I still have to buy everything we've picked out once I get to Florida.

All of the holiday thoughts have prompted us both to update our wishlists too. Mine can be seen here and you can find Chris's on his site.

The business is going well too. I expected the holidays to thwart all new business, but I've been surprised and things are going strong anyhow though I'm hoping things will really pick up after the new year. We have a site about to go live this month, another in December and a redesign in process too. I've been taking advantage of my new freedom too. Last week I worked from Denver with the boys and tomorrow I'm working from Boston where Chris has an 18 hour over night. :)

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy T-Day

Chris had a 30+ hour overnight in Denver that put him there Tuesday night through Thursday (Thanksgiving) morning. I decided to use my new found freedom to join him and take advantage of the free hotel and an opportunity to visit The Boys in their new home. I got to cross another state off of my list too! I forgot the camera so no pictures to show, but we drove all over Denver and even down to Boulder - the weather was crummy but I think the landscape has potential to be pretty on a nice day. It snowed (yay!) while we were there. We had yummy Chinese food and great conversation - it was nice.

Chris had to work a really early flight this morning so I slept in a bit and then caught the next flight out to Cininnati.

The past several T-days I've found myself alone in Cinci while he worked. This year we're lucky and his seniority is finally kicking in - he gets home tonight around 8pm and doesn't go back until Monday - woohoo! Recently though, I've spend my T-days alone in the house, watchin old movies. This year I found myself out an about.

It was nice.

The airports were dead. The roads were nearly empty. Every parking lot was abandoned (except a few restaurants). Nearly every car I passed contained a family unit obviously heading somewhere for their annual feast. It prompted me to consider how corrupt our country seems to have become, how crazy things have gotten with the latest generation seeming to place little or no value on family. How Sundays are no longer a time to focus on spirituality and family but just another day. How many families seem to quickly becoming stratisfied and disjointed. But even with all of that seeming to happen in our society that we still drop everything and shut down on Thanksgiving. I found the empty roads and deserted parking lots to be very reassuring. As I drove through the neighborhoods on my way home from the airport I could tell which houses were the host of this year's celebration and which had been abanonded for a cousin or aunts larger home. Some houses even had people braving the dreary weather to toss the football before dinner. I even saw one house where some adults were seated in a semi circle on folding chairs etc. while the kids put on what I assume was a play or talent show - adorable. I decided that this play has become a family tradition and that the kids draw names for who gets to play what role and that while all of this is happening the grandparents are inside laying out the feast so as soon as the curtain falls they can all dig in.

Seeing the traditions carried out and the families gather did make me feel a bit lonely since my family is mostly in Florida. But it also made me feel profoundly thankful that I have my own family now and I get to spend tonight with them (Chris and Roger) eating our own T-Day feast.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


We had our 6th Annual Pre-Thanksgiving Celebration this past weekend. My family has gotten rather large and it's become difficult for us to all gather on holidays because so many of us have to juggle time with in-laws, friends etc. So to be accomodating and make life easier, we've started getting together a bit before the actual holiday in order to make the actual day less stressful. The other nice thing is that we invite EVERYONE. Our family tends to suck people in growing beyond blood related boundries. This way we get to see our family and all those important to us.

As usual we had a good time and for the first time in a long time all of the cousins etc. were able to make it. The only family member missing was Grandma Doris - she suffered a small stroke earlier in the week and was trapped in the hosptial. We asked my cousin Donavan's son, Clayton to pray - he did an awesome job. See?

This video is also on YouTube here .

We also had a great gamenight (as referenced here) and a picnic too. All of the pictures are up here.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Wise or Otherwise

We had a family game night on Sunday. We played a new one that John(ny) found at G-mart called Wise and Otherwise. It's basically a version of Balderdash only instead of making up definitions you have to finish an old proverb.

We had a lot of fun. Here are some of the Proverbs we found and our versions of them:

Money is hundred-footed.

Chinese Proverb

Money is an earthquake in your pocket.


Money is like rice, hard to grow but quick to go.


A girl's love is like water in a basket.

Spanish Proverb

A girl's love is as sweet as honey, fragrant as roses and rough as sandpaper.


The world will not conquer him who is always rubbing his beard.

Hindu Proverb

The world will not conquer him who does not fear victory.


The world will not conquer him who conquers himself.


The world will not conquer him who prays on the cow.


Happy nations have no history.

Belgium Proverb

Drink or Run.

German Proverb

Eat what you can with your grandfather's fork.

Estonian Proverb

Coffee and lover are best when they are hot.

British Proverb

A mouth that has eaten salt can no longer eat unsalted.

African Proverb

A mouth that has eaten salt needs a drink of water.


Beware of squint eyed persons and buffaloes with outspread horns.

Siamese Proverb

Beware of squint eyed persons and curly haired dogs.


Beware of squint eyed persons and those who always have one hand behind their back.

(not sure who)

Overall the game was a lot of fun.

Audio Books 101

When you read a book you put your own inflections and emphasis on the words and phrases, you interpret it in your own way. In some cases this is the best way to experience a book. It's a very different experience listening to a book versus actually reading it, you're now subject to the inflection and emphasis that the reader places on the text. If the individual reading the book is good at it this intermediary can greatly improve the book's impression. If the reader is bad it can ruin an otherwise good text. Things like tone, cadence, articulation.

I have found that the best way to experience a good book is to hear it read by the author – it seems that when this is possible you get the exact intentions of the author the text is read with the emphasis and inflection that they intended which in turn encourages you to take it in and interpret it as intended.

Another thing that makes a big difference in audio books are voices. Some readers are great at using voices or different speech patterns for different characters. Some books even have completely different readers for different characters - espcially if the book is written from the perspective of multiple characters.

Below are great examples of the various type of audio books - all of which I recommend.

Author Read
- Eat, Pray, Love by Liz Gilbert
- Big Stone Gap by Adriana Trigiani
- The Pleasure of My Company by Steve Martin
- Blink by Malcolm Gladwell

Great Reader
- The Queen of the Big Time read by Cassandra Campbell
- Water for Elephants read by David LeDoux
- The Wedding read by Tom Wopat

Great Voices
- Citizen of the Galazy read by Lloyd James
- The Lottery read by Paul Michael

Multiple Readers
- My Sister's Keeper written by Jodi Picoult

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Halloween, iPhones, Mountains and more

We went to Seattle for a few days and wound up staying almost a week. Here are some scattered thoughts and updates from the trip.

I finally got to see the new house which is looking fabulous and we made it up to Mount Vernon to see Chris's cousins. We went trick-or-treating with them which was a complete blast. After the kids passed out in a sugar induced coma we stayed up late drinking wine and chatting with Debbie. We, of course, also called Chris's sister Jen and had fun picking on her drunken state.

While up north we met up with Rick and grabbed a quick lunch at the Skagit Valley Co-Op (which is completely awesome by the way - I now want to live in a town with a co-op). David let us take the new Porshe on the trip so Chris was very happy - my tush however was a bit bitter about it.

Once back on Bainbridge Chris gave his parents a very, very long iPhone lesson (puke, I know) and we were able to meet up with some of the old Smolland Lane crew for dinner.

My mission for the trip was to find lavendar - I succeeded with flying colors! I got two satchels of lavendar along with shampoo, conditioner, body wash, soap, incense and lotion - woohoo!

Saturday Chris was able to race with Chris - they lost, but just barely - to Demeyer. Then the whole racing crew had lunch at the pub. It was festive, fun and yummy. Chris had an Elk Burger (eww) and I had a crab and artichoke melt (yummy). Sunday we went over to Hurricane Ridge - WOW. You have too look at the pictures and watch the videos (there are three and they're all worth watching). It was amazing!

We've been home a couple of days and tomorrow Chris is off to work I'm Orlando. I love this new freedom!