10-year anniversary

Yesterday was my 10th wedding anniversary. Ten years might seem a long time to be married when you’re only 30 years old, but it hasn’t felt all that long at all. And most of it has been very, very good. M. and I met over a thousand miles and the internet back in 1997. If you’re a newer reader to my blog and haven’t had a chance to prowl through the archives, you can find our story here. And last year I wrote a post about our being married 9 years, complete with photos and a slideshow. Check that out here.

So, last week I made these big plans for our special day. M. had taken the day off and I had my last day of work before the new job starts, so we had no obligations other than to celebrate. I scheduled us fusion massages and made reservations at a fusion restaurant a friend recommended. I decided on Monday (another day off for both of us) that we needed to get more painting on the yard shed we’ve had for months now and not managed to finish. I dug out my old clothes, my paint brushes, paint, a ladder and went to work. I ended up getting the shed close to done after 3 hours of work, but then ran out of masking tape to tape off the detail work around the trim.  I went back inside and cleaned up. Later that day my back was feeling pretty hot. I checked it out and found I had severely burnt my entire upper back and shoulders. When I prepared to go outside and paint sunscreen didn’t even enter my mind, so I had no protection at all. And while it doesn’t hurt too much, it itches like crazy and getting it rubbed and deep massaged didn’t seem like a good plan. I moved the massage to next Saturday. The shed is still not finished and I have a crispy critter living on my back.

Some time ago one of M.’s crowned teeth decided to fall out of his mouth. It left behind a bit of tooth in the decrepit hole. On Wednesday he had the remaining bit of tooth cut out. Now the decrepit hole is a bleeding mass of ouch and M. has to be very cautious when he eats so not to jab food into the hole causing even more pain. So I moved our fusion restaurant meal to next Saturday. It was looking like we’d have no special plans the day of our milestone anniversary.

The day of arrived and we took a trip to the library to see if any new movies were on the shelf. We ended up walking away with an armful of movies we wanted to see. We then went to the zoo and spent some time walking and enjoying the animals – most of which cooperated and were more active than I had ever seen them. We then had a buy one get one free lunch at our favorite Mexican place – soft food all around, burritos and soft tacos. Back at home we took a nice nap and then watched three of the movies we picked up: Revolutionary Road (neither of us particularly liked this one, although I enjoyed all the 50’s fashion and decor), Bride Wars (a nice change after Rev. Rd., although a bit silly), and Gran Torino (the best of the three). Today we will be watching The Reader (hopefully better than the book), and probably some others, but that is the last 3-day rental we have. We ordered some pizza for dinner and had a nice time, just being together and doing things we enjoy.
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Tomorrow I drive up to our state capital to begin a 9-week long training for my new job. The first full week is in the capital (about 3 hours away from home), and the remaining 8 weeks will fluctuate between the capital and my home county. I hate not knowing when I’ll be at the capital and when I will be home. I also made the decision to defer my enrollment into library school. I heard back from my adviser and the Dean’s Fellowship I was awarded can be deferred as well. I will decide later if I want to go for the Master of Library Science since it will not be beneficial in any way to the job I am starting on Monday.

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Rachel Getting Married or Thinking About My Sister

I watched the movie Rachel Getting Married recently. I had seen the movie previewed on another movie I watched some time ago and had added it to my list of movies to pick up at the library. It just happened to be on the shelf during on of my frequent library visits. I had no expectations for the movie. About all I knew about it was that Anne Hathaway was in it. When I started watching it, I was pleased to see Rosemarie DeWitt is also in the movie. M. and I just finished watching the first season of United States of Tara and DeWitt does a great job of portraying Tara’s sister in the show.

I ended up really liking this movie. Hathaway is Kym, the younger sister of Rachel (DeWitt). Kym is getting out of rehab just in time to attend Rachel’s wedding. During the course of the couple days leading up to the wedding, Kym and Rachel have several emotional unloads related to their relationship and how Kym’s past behavior and addictions affected their relationship and those of their family.

I could relate to Kym and Rachel in the movie and it made me think about my own sister. My sister is just a couple years younger than I, but I feel like we’ve never been quite as close as I would like us to be. Of course, the fact we live in different states now doesn’t help. When we were growing up, I didn’t have the extreme problems Kym has in the movie, but I could have been classified as my parents’ “problem child” when compared to my sister or brother. When I watched how Kym and Rachel interacted and the thoughts Rachel harbors about Kym and her behavior (at one point Rachel tells her father that she sometimes “doesn’t want” Kym), it made me think about my own sister and what she might have thought about me as we grew up and my behavior, and what she might think of me now.

After finishing the movie, I had to write a letter to my sister. I thought about emailing her, but that seemed too impersonal. I thought about calling her, but I have always hated talking on the phone and it seems hard for me to have a phone conversation without being distanced and somewhat sarcastic. So I decided on a letter and a handmade card to let my sister know that even though we do not share an extremely close relationship, I love her and think about her often. You can check out the card by clicking on Snarky oeuvres d’art above – hers is the “Far Apart” card.

The Visitor

M. and I watch a lot of movies. I watch even more now that I don’t have a job and am home most of the day. I usually pick up about 4-5 movies at the library each week since it’s free. I currently have three movies that need to be returned to the library. I watched the final one this morning and had to write a little blurb about it here because I liked it so much and really found the movie profound.

The movie is The Visitor starring Richard Jenkins. Jenkins is Walter Vale, a man who has led his life on a straight, predictable path. He teaches economics at a Connecticut university, but only one class so he can focus his 4th book. Walter is sent by the university to New York to speak at a conference about a paper he co-authored (but really didn’t write, just read). Walter has maintained an apartment in New York for 25 years and when he returns there he finds it has been illegally sublet to two young people. Two people Walter comes to find out are in the US illegally.

The story evolves as Walter befriends the young man, Tarek, and learns to play the djembe. Walter begins to waver from his previous straight-laced, boring life. Tarek is eventually arrested and detained for being in the country illegally. His girlfriend cannot help him because she would also risk being detained and possible deportation. Walter volunteers to help.

The movie was beautiful on so many levels – the spontaneous friendship between Walter and Tarek, the djembe music, Walter’s new life, his willingness to help. I highly recommend watching this movie.

The sun has set on Twilight, for me anyway

Ok, I am sure you have heard about the Twilight hype. If you haven’t, Google ‘Twilight’ and find out. I read the Twilight saga and I really liked the books. I liked them despite the fact they were written for teenagers. Probably written with teenage girls in mind. And I am not a big fan of teenage girls, wasn’t even when I was a teenage girl.

I didn’t know anything about the books (much like my Harry Potter ignorance) until my 16 year old niece mentioned she was reading them (and this girl is not a big reader, so they had to have some appeal to keep her interest). I still didn’t really look into them, but then the first book popped up on a book group I was following and a coworker mentioned them, so one afternoon I picked up the first two books at Target and read them. And liked them. They reminded me of the Vampire Diaries series I liked so much in high school. I ended up picking up the last two books from the library (no easy feat when they are in such demand) and finished off the series. Just FYI, the final book, Breaking Dawn, was my favorite.

So, when the movie based on the first book was announced, I was excited. My friend and coworker was excited. Even though the movie was months away, we made plans to see it together. Then the work lay offs hit. First me, then my friend. But we decided we would still see this movie. We deserved some fun, right? Then I just forgot about it for a bit.

As the opening day for Twilight approached, we started making plans to see the movie. My friend was all geared up to go the premiere. The premiere at midnight Friday morning. I agreed even though I cannot remember the last time I stayed out so late. I didn’t really think about midnight Friday morning being Thursday night until my friend messaged me on Thursday to let me know she wanted to hear more about my latest job interview that night. Not a huge deal for me since I had no job to go to the next day, but it was just that I was unprepared for a movie that night and I hate being unprepared!

So I set out from my home at 10:40 pm to meet my friend and her two teenage stepdaughters (ages 17 and 15). I arrived and found a parking spot about a mile away from the theater. Oh, well, easier to get out after the movie, right? There was a spotlight at the front door and the local news was setting up to record the night’s event. I got in line and picked up my preordered ticket and then waited.

While waiting I got to marvel at the copious amounts of teenage girls flowing into the theater. I knew that of the 3 showings our theater was having that night, 2 were sold out. I knew this was a big deal for millions of teens all over. But I was still awed at the number of girls out so late on a school night. I bet there were classes full of zombie girls too tired to care Friday!

Then my friend and her stepdaughters arrived. They got their tickets and we stood in the refreshment line. As we inched towards the overpriced popcorn and treats, I started to droop. Not even in my seat yet and over an hour away from the movie starting and I was already thinking about how I was usually snuggled up with M. in bed this time of night.

After following the masses into the darken theater, we found three seats that were in a good position. Not too high up, not too close to the front. Then there was more waiting for the movie to actually begin. It was a bit amusing to watch the teens come in. They were so excited for this movie! My friend and I chatted about jobs and other mundane things as we waited. We also did some listening. The vernacular of teenage girls is quite amusing.

There was a group of very chatty girls in the row behind us. They were talking about the books, which book they were currently reading, which one they liked best. They discussed the relationship between Bella, the human main character and Edward, the vampire main character. Of course, Bella and Edward had to fall impossibly in love, one girl would swoon. But he left her in the forest all alone, another would exclaim. She could have been eaten by a deer! My friend and I snickered. Ah yes, those darn carnivorous deer!

Then the movie started. To claps and cheers. To a big eye roll from me. I find teenage enthusiasm amusing. The movie was just okay for me. Like most movies based on books, I liked the book much more. I know many people are just thrilled that Robert Pattison played the part of Edward, but he just wasn’t what I pictured Edward as when I read the books, so it was hard for me to get on board with the Edward swooning. It wasn’t death sitting through the movie, but it didn’t leave me with the “movie high” I usually have after seeing a movie I really, really like.  Also, seeing a movie with a bunch of teenagers is not all that thrilling for me (although it can be very funny at times). They talk, they clap, they whistle. But I expected it.

At the end of the movie I was thrilled to hear Radiohead’s 15 Step and the movie did leave me wondering how the 2nd book will be adapted to the big screen. I will probably see all the movie adaptations even though I won’t be as excited for them as I am for the Harry Potter movies.

I arrived home at 2:30 am, snuck around the house quietly so I didn’t wake M. and then climbed into bed to sleep until 10:00 am!

My 16 year old niece wants to see this movie. If my mother-in-law doesn’t take her, I will. And that’s okay with me. I will sit through this movie experience again, it was okay. Just not my favorite and it did not live up to my liking of the book.