Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Year!

It's just not New Year's Eve with out Dick.


Thursday, December 29, 2005

Where NOT to spend Christmas Vacation

Farris Hassan, a 16-year-old from Florida, realized that traveling to Iraq by himself was not the safest thing he could have done with his Christmas vacation.

And he didn't even tell his parents.

Using money his parents had given him at one point, he bought a $900 plane ticket and took off from school a week before Christmas vacation started, skipping classes and leaving the country on December 11.

His goal: Baghdad.

Read the article here.

Sheesh, I get all nervous when I go to Mexico for vacation.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Merry Christmas!

Christmas was magical,
I hope everyone had a Merry one.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Twas the night before Christmas...

...and all through the house, two goblins were destroying it.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Movie Friday

Fun with Dick and Jane!

Losing your job is not funny. It’s scary. I have never lost a job, but my current position is tenuous. So I could relate to what happens to Dick and Jane. At first things are looking up for Dick at work. He gets a promotion to Vice President of his company. But in almost the same breath, the company goes bankrupt.

Dick and Jane try to find honest work, but so are 6,000 others that lost their job at Dick’s company. So they have to lower themselves and try to settle for more meager positions. After a few mishaps they again find themselves with no job and no money. Dick hits rock bottom when he tries to find work with some migrant workers and mistakenly gets deported.

Up to this point, I had not really laughed all that much. The comedy had been weakly delivered. But once Dick and Jane start actually robbing people and stealing stuff, then the comedy kicked in. At least they turned it up a notch.

There are a lot better films in the theater right now though. I’d spend that hard earned money you made being a Walmart greeter on King Kong and Narnia. Wait for Dick and Jane to come out on DVD.

Good Times!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Top Ten Christmas Flicks

  1. A Christmas Story (1983)
  2. The Bishop's Wife (1947)
  3. Miracle on 34th Street
  4. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989)
  5. It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
  6. Jingle All the Way (1996)
  7. Scrooged (1988)
  8. Elf (2003)
  9. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)
  10. Trapped in Paradise (1994)

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

DVD Tuesday

  • Serenity
  • Battlestar Gallactica (New Series)
  • The Brothers Grimm (Didn't see it)

Monday, December 19, 2005

Sunday, December 18, 2005


"Defeat is only temporary!"
-Carl Denham

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Movie Friday

Stunning special effects and incredible scenery are King in this re-make of a classic, KING KONG. I would try and compare it to the 1976 version starring Jeff Bridges and Jessica Lange but I honestly can't remember much about it.

I do remember that the Jeff and Jessica film was set in more modern times, with Kong climbing the World Trade Center. Peter Jackson's film is more of a period piece being set in the 1930's. I think he pulled that off quite well. It is amazing to see what Times Square might have looked like then.

The film starts out in New York during the depression, where work is hard to find. We follow the life of two people in the entertainment business who have something in common. They are both on the outs. Ann Darrow, played by Naomi Watts is an actress who has just lost her job and her theater is closed. Carl Denham a movie maker, played by Jack Black, is on the verge of having his film cancelled. His leading lady has turned the part down and the producers are hanging him out to dry. That's when he has a chance meeting with Ann Darrow.

He whisks her off to film on an exotic location. A secret island that no one knows about. Carl had come across a map showing the location of the island and he will let nothing stop him from making his movie there. In fact it is about an hour until we get to see the Island and its "Jurrasic Park" inhabitants. This is where "part two" of the film takes place. Ann has fallen in love with the screen play writer, Jack Driscoll played by Adrian Brody, on the voyage to the Island. We also get to meet the crew of the ship and find that it is full of heroes, including the captain and first mate. Interestingly Carl Denham slowly becomes a villin as members of his film crew are killed on the island and Carl says, "They died doing what they believed in! This film! And I will make sure it is completed and the proceeds go to their family!"

After his camera and film is destroyed in a little tussle with the big ape, he realizes he is ruined unless he can convince the captain to help capture Kong and take him back as a prize. I was a bit sad that after they do capture Kong, there are no scenes showing the boat ride back to New York.

The last part of the film simply starts on stage in New York at the premiere of KING KONG, the Eighth Wonder of the World. And of course that's where all ape breaks lose.

King Kong does its job. It entertains you for three hours. You know Peter, he can't make a short film. Breath taking scenes and visuals. Long action packed sequences, and one campy scene with Kong and Naomi on the ice in central park *rolls eyes.*

Don't monkey around and go see it on the BIG SCREEN!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Need a last minute Christmas gift?

LAS VEGAS - Looking for off-the-wall Christmas gift ideas? The Clark County coroner's office can help. Tucked away in the office is a gift shop with items that walk a fine line between humor and morbidity. There's a coffee mug with the inscription "Playing for Keeps," a $10 fake jawbone that holds business cards and a T-shirt that reads "Coroner ... Cashed Out in Las Vegas."

"That's about as risque as we go," Assistant Coroner John Fudenberg told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "We certainly don't want to make a mockery of death."

"The Jaw" cardholder has proven its best seller so far. The shop's "Coroner's Collection" also offers a faux Nevada license plate, patches, pens and other knickknacks.

"We're always looking for slogans or phrases that have a little bit of a dual meaning, because I think that is part of the hook," Coroner Mark Murphy said. Fudenberg says television shows such as "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" have increased demand in such items.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Too Many DVDs?

Do you collect DVDs? Do you loan them to friends and family? I know people that have to have every season of their favorite show, every blockbuster movie, and every comedy that comes out on DVD. That's hundreds of DVDs piling up.

I mostly collect the big action, sci-fi, and fantasy films. I like to track my collection with Movie Organizer. It's a free program and its quick and easy to use. It will use your internet connection to automatically search and load all the details about the movie, like actors, run time, and genre.

And my favorite feature....You can mark a movie as loaned. You can give it the name of the person that borrowed your movie and the date they borrowed it! Very handy for slacker relatives.

Check it out at
Good Times!

Monday, December 12, 2005


Congrats to Danni, winner of Survivor: Guatemala. I was pulling for Stephenie but she made too many enemies to pull it off.

I feel like Danni didn't deserve the win. I think the jury just voted for her as revenge for getting out witted by Steph.

Good news, Jeff Probst is coming back for several more suvivor seasons. The next one will be in Panama.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Movie Friday

Having read the books as a child, this week's movie, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, was a thrill to watch. Just as with Lord of the Rings, I enjoyed seeing a set of favorite books come to life on the big screen.

The movie remains very true to the books I thought. Four very proper English children are sent to country side at the height of WWII. They are staying at the museum-like house of a professor, (a professor of what is never mentioned). The children quickly become bored and set out for a game of hide and seek. The youngest girl, Lucy, discovers a magical wardrobe that becomes a gateway to a land full of talking animals and fairy tale creatures such as fauns, satyrs, and a white witch-queen.

The children learn that they are part of a prophecy that states they will lead a final battle of the goodly creatures against the evil queen and her minions. I thought the talking beavers were a bit over the top, but thankfully not as annoying as Jar-Jar from Star Wars Episode I.

Tilda Swinton makes an excellent white witch, and Liam Neeson lends his voice for the gentle and wise Aslan the Lion.

I highly recommend stepping through the wardrobe and visiting Narnia.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Hot Chocolate Rocks!

Research led by Cornell University's Chang Yong Lee found that hot cocoa, on a per-serving basis, has four to five times more antioxidants than black tea, two to three times more than green tea, and almost two times more than red wine.

"A cup or two of hot cocoa every once in a while can provide a delicious, warm and healthy way to obtain more antioxidants," Lee said.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

On What Day Will You Buy the Farm?

Need to know what day you will die on? Need to plan in advance and get your affairs in order? Then visit -

BTW, I will no longer be blogging after March 11, 2050.

Here's a Tip

How much should you give as a Christmas bonus to the people that serve you during year? Here are some suggestions:

Tipping experts say, and tip recipients implied, that cash is the best way to say happy holidays. "Tipping is not a time to try and be original," said Hilka Klinkenberg, founder of Etiquette International.

Other tipping tips include...

  • If you frequent a restaurant daily, it's a good idea to tip your regular waiter. An extra $5 in a card is a kind gesture at your regular lunch spot, while at the Four Seasons you could shell out $40-$50, plus similar amounts to the maitre and captain.
  • You don't have to give as much to the new hairdresser, doorman, etc. because you haven't forged a relationship with them yet.
  • Alcohol is not recommended. Just because you
    may enjoy the extra splash of cheer, it might not be right for someone else.

    Babysitter 1 evening's pay + small gift
    from child
    Au pair 1 week's pay or a gift + small gift from child
    Nanny 1 week's to 1 month's pay + small gift from child
    Daycare providers $20-$70/each + small gift from child
    Child's teacher Gift (but check the school's policy to see if it's allowed)
    Coaches, tutors, music teachers, ballet instructors, etc: A small gift from the child

    Housekeeper 1 week's pay or more (depending on length of service)
    Trash collectors $15-$20 each
    Parking attendants $10-$35 each or up to half a
    month's parking bill for the group if they regularly provide extra service
    Gardener $20-$50. If the gardener's last job before spring is a fall clean up, it's best to tip in the fall

    Doormen $25-$100 each (those who provide the most service for you should get more than those whom you barely see)
    Superintendent/custodian $50-$300 (tip more if
    there's no doorman and the service has been particularly attentive, but tip less if you tip throughout the year)
    Porters/handymen $10-$50 each
    Elevator operators $15-$40 each

    Hairdresser Cost of 1 cut (or $20-$100) if you go frequently + small gift
    Manicurist Cost of 1 session (or $10-$50) + small gift
    Personal trainer $25 up to 1 week's pay (or cost
    of 1 session)
    Massage therapist $50-$100 or cost of 1 session

    Dog groomer Small gift + 1/4 to 1/2 the cost of 1
    Dog walker/regular dog sitter Cost of 1-2 week's pay (as with a
    nanny, a small gift is optional)

    U.S. mail carrier Gifts under $20*
    UPS Company policy discourages drivers from accepting tips, but they can accept something of nominal value. Tipping guides offer $15 as a guideline, but the amount and choice of gift are up to you.

    FedEx Company policy does not permit cash tips, but a gift worth up to $25 is okay.
    Paper carrier $15-$25 for daily delivery ($5-$15 for
    weekend delivery)
    *Civil servants are not allowed to receive cash tips. But
    if you wish to recognize your mail carrier, the U.S. Postal Service asks that your gratuity not exceed $20 in cash value.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Is it fun to be you?

At the end of the day when you look in the mirror, do you smile and say, "Gee, It's fun to be me!" If not, what can you do to change that?

It is usually fun to be me, because I try really hard not to be a grown up. You know, to stay young at heart. But doing that sometimes makes me selfish and self centered as I try to surround myself with a barrier of personal comfort. If anything disrupts that personal comfort then it is no longer "fun to be me."

I try and full fill my "grown up" obligations, then I am ready to have fun. Be it hiking, camping, games, movies, etc. I don't want to be tied to schedules, goals that I can't achieve, and meetings I can't make. I want to be spontaneous and a free spirit.

But as I said before, doing that can sometimes run over other people and that is not fair. I need to be more focused on others rather than myself. And during this season of giving, I hope to reflect on that and perhaps be proactive in making sure that it is fun to be me but also it is fun to be AROUND me too.


Friday, December 02, 2005

Movie Friday

I have only seen two or three of the animated Aeon Flux episodes on MTV. They were interesting and disturbing at the same time. And I never saw enough of the series to understand what the premise was. Fortunately none of those are a problem for the movie Aeon Flux.

I first saw Charlize Theron in the fun caper movie, The Italian Job. I fell in love with her acting and Mini Coopers. I did not see her in her Academy Award winning role she played in Monster. (shudder). In Aeon Flux she plays a highly trained assassin working with a group of rebels that are fighting against the system in which they live. The earth's population was wiped out by a virus and only a city full remain. They were saved by a brilliant scientist named Trevor Goodchild. But people are beginning to suspect there is nothing "good" about Trevor as people are mysteriously disappearing. Aeon is sent to kill him.

The movie is very fast paced and we are slowly given the complete storyline throughout the movie as the dialogue is interspersed with the action. The film is not too deep, and the plot twists are cliche and weak, but never the less, the visuals of the near-future city and set design was suburb. I really believed the world exsisted as presented. It was a fun film to watch and I feel I got my five-fiftys worth.

Catch it before its buried by a large hairy ape.

Thursday, December 01, 2005