Saturday, May 17, 2003

A Mighty Wind

Twins 23-18  Braves 29-13
I just finished reading The Hidden Life of Otto Frank by Carol Ann Lee.  It was kind of a struggle to get through. A lot of the book is devoted to Mr. Frank's work with publishers to get the diary translated and published, then a play was done and there were efforts to do a movie.  The author never deviates from the notion that Mr. Frank's motives were totally pure. He took very little money from the proceeds of the work, leaving  most of the money to non-profits that he founded to preserve the house in Amsterdam, etc. 
The other on-going theme of the book is about who betrayed the Frank family. There was always one person that most people thought had done it, and the book talks a lot about that person's life.
Last night Mensa Boy and I went to dinner at "Firebirds" in South Charlotte and then to see the movie "A Mighty Wind". We met Cassie and Randy at the theatre for the movie. "Firebirds" was excellent, if loud. The portions were way too large, too.  I'm a person that would just as soon pay half as much and get half as much food. I had a pecan-crusted trout with tortilla slaw. Mensa Boy had pork loin. Dinner and a movie is expensive now, with a $60+ dinner bill...and neither of us have alcohol and then $16 for movie tix.
"A Mighty Wind" was absolutely hilarious. Definitely a movie that would be worth owning...and we aren't even movie buyers. Aside from the requisite Disney movies we buy for the kids and a few Alton Brown "Good Eats" videos, the only adult movie we own is "The Scarlet Pimpernel".
"Wind" is about 3 folk groups that are brought together for a reunion concert in honor of a dead promoter.  If you were ever a fan of folk music, as my mom and I always were, this movie will bring you to nirvana as it reminisces about those kinds of performers and provides ample opportunity for the moviegoer to enjoy that special kind of sound again.  I just know my mom is going go home after this movie and pull out her old "Smothers Brothers",  "New Christy Minstrels", and "Peter, Paul and Mary" albums and play them turned up loud!

Friday, May 16, 2003

Twins 22-18  Braves 28-13 took KC 14 innings to beat the Twins last night. Huh.
Comments from yesterday:
Julia writes about the two half days we have of school next week-2 half days? Moline goes to school for 1 hour on the first and last day of school. How stoopid is that? (Julia and I spell stupid that way when something seems REALLY stupid...and we usually say 'that was really stoooopid...s-t-o-o-p-i-d".)Kristen B says-In NY, the school districts got money for a full day if the kids were there until lunch. The last two days are worthless anyway, so they'd make 'em half days. They still got the dough, and they only had expenses for a half day.
I kind of doubt our county is doing half days to collect lunch money. The elementary kids dismiss at 10:30 and the middle school kids go at 11:30.  I still don't have an answer to this question.
Mensa boy and I, and Cassie and spouse Randy are all going to see "A Mighty Wind" tonight, after a meal out.  I'm glad my mom released us from an obligation to see it with her in June.  She was worried it might not be around that long, and I'm thinking she's right. As it is, it's already not available at one of the two theatres we frequent.
I'm about half-way done with The Hidden Life of Otto Frank by Carol Ann Lee. Otto Frank was the father of Anne Frank.  It's not a bad book, but the title kind of leads one to think there might be some explosive revelations about him. There aren't really any.

Thursday, May 15, 2003

Book Opinions

Twins 22-17  Braves 27-13
Comments from yesterday:
Kristen B says, in response to my mentioning I have several "Marys" in my life,
I guess, "There's Something About Mary." Sorry, couldn't resist.
I'd still put in a vote for the Edmund Morris Roosevelt books. If you could find "The Rise of Theo. Roosevelt" on tape, that would be better than Theo. Rex. The former talks about his youth, early politics and Rough Rider days. Both are very interesting in light of the world situation. It's not bad for something written by a Mensa Boy kinda guy.
Any Lil weighed in with an audiobook suggestion:
my friend Char who drove out to Arizona by herself last year took along John Adams and she said it was great. It was the unabridged version. I was with her when she bought it and it was quite a large box, maybe enough listening for the round trip.
Yes, I'd been thinking of the John Adams book. I got it out of the library right when it came out, but was unable to really get into it before it was due again. Since there were 480+ requests for it, I didn't re-request. Keep those audiobook suggestions coming!
Only 4 more school days left. Oddly, the last two days of school are half days. Whyzat? I don't understand why they'd want to trot out those big, expensive buses for two days for only half days of school? Why not just make Tuesday a whole day and be done with it?  I think I'll write to the Lancaster News and ask.

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

Mary Mary MARY!!!

Twins 21-17  Braves 27-12
Yesterday I went to the farm to help prepare the shareholder's boxes of food.  Sammy also supplies a few restaurants on Tuesdays, so we mixed enough mesclun salad mix for 25 shareholders to get 1 1/2 lbs each and three restaurants got 4 lbs each.  We also got some baby bok choi and some cute little baby turnips, along with more of the stuff we got last week.
Sammy has some very nice kids, and three of them were helping yesterday.  One of them said their favorite meal is a concoction of baby bok choi and beef over rice.  I'm going to do some serious googling to find a recipe similar to that. I've emailed Melinda, but I think with 7 kids and one of the way and a farm to run, she's probably busy enough...
I also met our newest Mary yesterday. Actually she's Mary Jean. Not just Mary.  So I've got Mary R, Mary P and Mary Jean all living right around me. Then I've got Mary M from mensa boy's work and my mother Mary...and of course my old high school/college buddy Mary F. I'm surrounded by Marys!
I finished Devil in the White City last night.  Now I need to get back to The Hidden Life of Otto Frank. It's due this Friday.  If anyone wants to suggest books on tape for mensa boy and me to listen to on our drive back to Minnesota, send them along.  Remember he doesn't care for fiction or gore. I find history is a good topic.  That's what brought us together in college.

Tuesday, May 13, 2003

Reviewing them All

Twins 20-17  Braves 26-12
Last night Nate's Boy Scout Troup, had its Court of Honor. Nate received his Tenderfoot Badge and First Aid Merit Badge. Nate is a year behind his normal age group, because he sat out of Cub Scouts during the Webelos 2nd year with his troup in Minneapolis.  This actually worked out just fine for him, as this troup put him in a patrol with a bunch of 6th graders. There is only one other 7th grader, who is also in his patrol. If he'd not sat out 2nd year Webelos, he would have been put in a patrol with the 8th graders and so would have been the youngest in his patrol.  I kind of think Nate wouldn't do "youngest" very well.
I'm almost done reading Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson.  The absolute only regret I have about reading this book is now it will not be a good candidate to listen to on tape on the way back to Minnesota, since I've read it now. I really think Bob would have enjoyed it. 
"Devil" is, of course, about the Chicago World's Fair of 1893.  The book centers around two men...the architect who headed the planning commission for the fair, and the serial-killer-doctor who built his own hotel and took only young, impressionable women as boarders.  His hotel was complete with a dissection table, gas chamber and 3,000 degree crematorium. 
A fascinating do have to plow through a lot of semi-dull planning the fair kind of stuff. But once the fair opens, the book rips right along. And you really learn quite a bit about the new stuff that was introduced during the fair, like spray paint, etc.
And now a movie review.  I don't care who you old or have got to see the movie Holes. Based on a Newberry award-winning book, this story is about a youth prison camp where the inmates have to dig a 5 foot deep, 5 foot diameter hole each day in search of buried treasure. This is live action, not animated.  Sigourney Weaver plays the prison warden. We don't see a lot of her, but JON VOIGHT is absolutely hilarious as the head prison guard.  He plays a fantastic Texas "Good Ole Boy". 
And finally, how about a CD review?  As most of you know, we get a lot of free CDs through Bob's job.  They are usually advance copies of CDs that publicists send him in hopes he will ask the artist to write an article or something. 
Sometimes I don't see the CDs for a while. He might bring one home and give it straight to the boys, or he might keep it in his car, etc.  So yesterday I was rooting around in the car for a new CD to listen to and found Chris Rice's new CD "Run the Earth Watch the Sky".  Good one!  Especially the 4th cut, entitled "Untitled Hymn (Come to Jesus)".  This song is about the Christian journey, from pre-conversion, through conversion, through learning times, through hard times, to death.  The chorus is:
"Come to Jesus, come to Jesus, come to Jesus and live".
But through each step(each verse) of the journey, he changes the chorus to "Sing to Jesus", "Fall on Jesus", "Cry to Jesus", "Dance for Jesus", "Fly to Jesus".  Excellent song, excellent CD.
That's it! Time to work!

Monday, May 12, 2003

Some Days You Just Need a Little More Rest

Twins 20-16  Braves 25-12
I guess I made a TV viewing mistake last night.  Cassie called me to tell me the Twins would be on TV. At the same time as "Survivor" and "American Dreams".
I elected to tape "Dreams" and watch my least favorite person win "Survivor". And this morning I see the Twins game had a bit of drama, as the Sox turned a 9-1 deficit into a 9-8 deficit in the last 4 innings.  But our dear Twins hung on.
Poor Taylor had a bit of a rough start this morning. I got him up and put some french toast sticks in the toaster oven for him as he did his bathroom duties.  But I didn't know that he was actually NOT doing his bathroom duties. He actually went in there, lay in the rug and fell fast asleep!  I keep verbally prodding him and he wasn't responding. Finally I checked on him and found him asleep with the bus due in 10 minutes.
He got himself together, ate his breakfast, got his shoes tied and was at the door with the bus coming up the street when he started clouding up and crying. I asked what was wrong and he said "I'm sooo thirrrssteeeee".  I told the bus to go on and then gave him some orange juice and had him lay down for half an hour before driving him to school.
Some days, you just need a little more rest.

Sunday, May 11, 2003

Single and Looking (to not get shot)

In today's newspaper there's an AP story about mothers in the military. Phyllis Schlafly, president of the Eagle Forum, wrote a commentary recently entitled " Does the Military Have the Nerve to Celebrate Mother's Day?" She apparently contends that the women caught in the ambush of the 507th Maintenance Company in Iraq, did not volunteer for the Army with the ambition of serving in combat! She refers to single mothers Lori Piestawa(killed) and Shoshana Johnson(injured). Schlafly says the men in our government need to stand up to feminists and keep single mothers from serving in combat.
Gimme a break! These women, and men, knew what they were getting into when they joined up. They all knew that year after year of peacetime could suddenly end with war.
And just exclude single mothers? What about single fathers? There are plenty of them over there. As of September, there were about 24,000 single mothers on active duty and 65,000 single fathers.