Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I think I'll catch the movie.

So, I finished Jane Eyre. I liked that it was clean, with a good focus on hearing the Lord and doing what is right, but..... I have to be honest and say that I would probably like the movie a whole lot better. And that is saying something for me.
I even liked the book of the sci-fi action movie Transformers better than the movie itself because the film's director cut out some really funny scenes that were in the book, but I will give props to the movie for having awesome effects and sound. Plus, I just really like Michael Bay movies, I don't care how "cliche & predictable" the critics say his directing may be. When you watch, you are on the edge of your seat.
But back to the topic at hand -- I have always preferred to watch the movie before reading the book so that I will like the movie and not spend the whole time thinking "How could they cut out that part!!!" But in Bronte's sprawling, rambling, really really really loooooong novel, I would be happy to see some chapters, not just scenes, left on the cutting room floor.
Now I'm reading Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen. I've already seen the movie with Keira Knightley (love it!) and am enjoying the book just as much so far.
And for those of you who may not know me very well..... Yes, my taste in books & movies is quite varied. I love the classics like: Shakespeare and Chaucer, Edgar Allen Poe, small amounts of Wadsworth, Longfellow & Thoreau and the old British "girlie stories" of love and marriage (like Jane Austen).... but also the slightly more modern Michael Crichton and other authors of science fiction, action/adventure/suspense, let's-solve-a-crime stories. But that's all another topic for another day.

Friday, March 20, 2009


Why do we use the words & phrases we do? When did I start saying something that now I don't even know where it came from?

This is something I've been thinking about ever since my friend Jennifer started laughing when I said "Dude!" to somebody. She said she always thought of me when she heard some one say that. So, I tried to think of when I first started using that word, and for the life of me I don't have a clue! I've never been to California; don't surf or skateboard; not really one to hang out with the laid-back, pass the special brownies because I'm craving some munchies crowd..... so where did I pick up "Dude!"? Who knows?!

I realize that I call my son "Buddy" because my Papa always called me his "fishing buddy" when I was little. And I sometimes call my daughter "Baby" because my dad's nickname for me was (no, is) "Angel Baby," and he calls my mom "Baby" all the time. But then, there are the other nicknames we have for our kids that, well, I just don't know. "The Boy": my only guess is that we were so used to having a little girl, that when he came along and did something only boys do, the only way to explain it was to say, "It was The Boy." And we've had numerous names for our daughter: "Baby," "Squirt," "Girlie," "Little J" (her name starts with a J too)..... but where they came from? Couldn't tell ya!

And to be completely honest.... I may have been born and raised in the South, but I say "you guys" more often than "y'all." And as a joke I started calling carbonated beverages "sodas" instead of what every true Southerner calls them: "Coke." And now, it has stuck.

So, dude, I'll leave you with this: Grab a soda and a fishing pole and we'll go down to the crick and catch up on what you guys have been doin'.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Facebook Fun

So this is one of those "chain letter" deals going around Facebook, but since they didn't say anything about horrible things befalling anyone who didn't pass it on, I decided it would be fun to play. It's called "25 things...." and the directions are below:

Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. Remember to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you.

(To do this, go to "notes" under tabs on your profile page, paste these instructions in the body of the note, type your 25 random things, tag 25 people (in the right hand corner of the app) then click publish.)

1. I admit it, I'm a nerd. But not the socially awkward kind, just the nose always stuck in a book, likes to learn new things, loves sci-fi movies & comic book heroes (hello, look at the profile pic), was in special classes for super-smart sponge-for-brains types... oh, wait, this is a little socially awkward, isn't it?

2. I was a cheerleader for five years in middle school and high school. Loved it! wouldn't trade it for anything.... that's where I met my super awesome friend Deborah. And I will admit, that if I had the same body I did when I was 16, I would get back in a uniform tomorrow and cheer with the teeny-boppers!

3. I went to college. Got a degree. Still paying back the government for the loan for said degree. Not using the degree. Don't really want to use the degree. But loved the classes (correction, most of the classes) I had to take to get the degree. Yep, probably should have listened to my mother. There, I admitted it. Are you happy?

4. I married the first and only guy I dated. We met when I was 15 and he was 16.We were each other's first everything (b/c you can't really count spin the bottle & truth or dare, right?). We've been married for 11 years and are looking forward to at least another 69 more.

5. I had a staph infection when I was only a few months old. Could have died. Still have the scar on my foot from the drainage tube they had to put in. (that’s the part where you go “eeewwww”)

6. When I was little, I sooooo wanted to be an astronaut. I had it all planned out: Air Force fighter pilot, just like in “Top Gun” and then on to NASA to pilot the space shuttle, loved the movie “Space Camp”. That was before I knew you had to have 20/20 vision to do anything more than scrape bird poo off the windshields or fix the engines. And since I thought my dad spoke Greek every time he talked about the car……

7. I had baby number one naturally and with no meds I might add. I wanted to have baby number two naturally, but the doctor had another plan…. He said the baby had to come out early, wasn’t growing fast enough. So they induced labor about 2 ½ weeks early. And let me say that pitocin is an EVIL drug and I should have asked for pain meds a lot earlier! By the time they kicked in the baby boy was out!

8. When I grow up, I want to be a ballroom dancer. If I could go back and talk to my younger self, I would tell her to stick with ballet and take lots of different dance classes.

9. I have suffered from migraines since I was 26. It’s genetic and hormone related. (Thanks mom!) But my doctor has told me a few things to do that help, and I make sure to stay away from diet sodas.

10. Most nights my husband and I crawl into bed and…… don’t go there, this isn’t about that. Shame on you. We “argue” about whose fault it is the sheets are so messed up. He says I steal them in the middle of the night, that’s why they always end up on my side. I say it’s his fault because he won’t keep his corner tucked in. He has to stick his foot out for some “air” while he’s sleeping you see. So therefore the sheets will naturally migrate towards the anchored side. We have no way of settling this, so we giggle, fix the sheets and ….. well, now it is about that. J

11. I’m a really organized person. One of my favorite weekend chores growing up was reorganizing the hall closets. Really, you can ask my mom. But, I seem to be having quite a bit of difficulty getting my kids to buy into the concept. And I’ve decided that I don’t have the energy to do it myself, and I just don’t want to spend all my time fussing at them about cleaning up when we could be laughing and playing. So, we live in an organized mess of a home that is very happy.

12. I love to quote movies. “Waiter, there is too much pepper on my paprikash.” (When Harry Met Sally) and yes, my children are doing it too. We have our own special language.

13. I have to make myself not take over when the kids have a project for school. I love doing crafts, and I have to tell myself that it’s their project and Mommy can only supervise, not be a contract laborer.

14. I secretly want to be on “What Not to Wear” just to meet Stacey and Clinton and go shopping in NY. I know how to dress like I should, I just don’t always do it. I just can’t seem to break the t-shirt and jeans habit!

15. I am allergic to a lot of stuff: penicillin, neomycin (that’s the stuff in Neosporin…no, really, read the ingredients), aspartame (the stuff in diet sodas, thus explaining the big rear-end), dust, pollen, pet dander (especially cats), feathers, stupid or just gross comedy, the sun. Well, technically that last one’s not true, but I do burn like an ant under a magnifying glass.

16. I just couldn’t bring my-self to say the word “butt” to my kids, so at our house we have “bums”….. blame it on all the British Lit classes I took in college.

17. I sometimes wish I was still a “stay-at-home mom.” But seeing the debt go down and the savings go up, I can’t really give up the money or the perks I get from working.

18. I love shopping. Especially for cute shoes and jewelry – quirky, different, antique-looking. My inner child always says “Ooooh. Shiny!”

19. I really miss camping with my grandparents in South Carolina and fishing with my Papa.

20. I want to get braces, lasix and my teeth whitened because yes, I am vain like that. And do you have any idea how much money I spend on contacts and glasses!? It’s only going to get worse you know. Bi-focals, then Tri-focals, and once you get there you can’t wear contacts anymore and the whole vanity thing comes back around to kick you in the bum!

21. One of the people I miss the most is my great aunt Deloris, the “old goat”. She taught me how to cross-stitch, encouraged my love for reading, made you eat whatever you put on your plate, and was one of the strongest, most independent and loving women I have ever known.

22. I would love to be in a rock band. But seeing how I’ve tried to learn the piano and the violin to no avail, (I’ve decided my left hand is only here to make me look normal) and I can only stay on key with someone to pitch off of….. well, I think I’m better suited as a roadie or back-up dancer.

23. I really like clipping out coupons and the idea of getting a great bargain on groceries, but I can never seem to remember to take the coupons to the store. Why can’t they just find a way to link the coupons to your store’s advantage card? I mean really, weren’t we supposed to be flying in space ships or hover crafts by now anyway?!

24. I regret all the friends I have let slip away over the years.

25. If you’ve kept reading until this point, you probably have surmised that I often use humor to deflect off the truth and pain of many things. I really know how to look confident, even imposing to some, but inside is an awkward wall flower waiting to be asked to dance.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Forget Barney & Sesame Street, Give Us the Justice League & X-Men!

When it comes to watching tv shows with our kids, I will admit that my husband and I are pretty selfish. Rarely will we watch just any old kids show. It has to be entertaining for us as well.

When the kids were little, I think we watched the purple dinosaur once just because so many kids seemed to love him. Rus and I vowed, "Never again!" We even sat through an episode of the Teletubbies, but the fact that I felt like my brains were being turned to pliable mush by the Communists banned the creepy tv-bellied guys as well. And while we grew up on Sesame Street, the modern day version has waaaaaay too much Elmo. So we stuck with Playhouse Disney while the children were learning their ABC's, you can't go wrong with Mickey & Pooh. Once they were old enough to watch and enjoy the good stuff, however, we very systematically got our unsuspecting "mini-me's" hooked on classic Justice League and X-Men, with some healthy doses of Batman and Spider Man on the side.

Now we all gather together a couple of times a week and enjoy some quality time with our favorite supers. And now that Star Wars has joined the cartoon world, the kids always know what they want to watch first thing Saturday morning (thanks to DVR). I think Star Wars: The Clone Wars the Series may be the first tv show we buy on DVD. Just because we have 16 episodes saved on the DVR and the kids always want to watch it!

So, be forewarned..... if you keep up with this blog, you will hear many sci-fi references and super hero comments, because at the Towns' house, we love sci-fi and we aren't too proud to admit it!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

How many years does it take to read a book?

When I was in middle school (1988-1991) my cousin in New York gave me a beautifully illustrated copy of Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. She knew I loved to read, and since she liked the story, she thought I would too. It was a classic, right?

I was excited to get started on my new book, and jumped in right away. I didn't get much past the second chapter, however, before my enthusiasm came to a screeching halt. I didn't like it and could not get into the story. So, Jane Eyre got shelved, unfinished, in my closet.

Now, twenty years later, I have dug the beautiful book out of my attic and tackled it again. I know why I couldn't get into it before. Bronte is hard to read. Well, then it would have been hard. Now that I have Beowulf in the Middle English text under my belt and numerous Shakespeare plays down, it's a piece of cake. But for a middle schooler who was more interested in Nancy Drew novels (action & adventure), a story about an unloved orphan couldn't have been that appealing.

But Bronte is still hard in that the book is a slow starter. You keep reading it because you don't want to quit again for the first 175 pages, then it starts to get intriguing. Notice I used the word intriguing and not "exciting" or "page-turning." This is no Michael Crichton, edge-of-your-seat, can't-turn-off-the-light-and-go-to-bed, I'll-eat-when-I'm-done-with-this-chapter novel. . . . But I'm not quiting! I may only be on page 324 of 552, after two months of reading, but I'm not quiting! I will get to the end. And when I do, I'll let you know what I think.

Monday, March 2, 2009

My Little Padawan

How many 8 year old girls do you know that want to dress up like a Jedi for Halloween?

Well, my Julia did. It's amazing how quickly they go from everything princess and not. She still loves pink, don't get me wrong. But, these days she is addicted to Star Wars, and she can tell you more about the Jedi council and lightsabers than many teenage boys in the chess club! I don't complain at all because she doesn't like Hannah Montana or any other show that's popular with elementary school girls. However, I must confess that she is a creature of our own making. My husband and I are sci-fi, super-hero junkies, and whether you argue nature or nurture, she didn't have much chance of not liking the genre.

Her favorite character is Anakin Skywalker (aka Darth Vader). If you ask her, she'll say she doesn't know why. Part of me thinks it's the character's journey she is drawn too. He is the classic tragic hero, like Odysseus and Hamlet. You love him; then you hate him; then you feel sorry for him; and in the end you still love him despite all of his flaws simply because he has seen his true self in the mirror and tried his best to overcome. Another part of me says, "No, he is really cute and funny. That's what she likes." But the mom in me says "She's too young!" So I stick with the tragic hero idea and just keep encouraging her interests. I don't care if she is a little different than the other girls her age. I would rather she stay "odd" and not get caught up in the silliness, drama, and rapid maturing that is fed by the modern day kids shows that are not really for kids.