Friday, December 31, 2010

Halfway Through the Dark

1. The Christmas episode of Doctor Who was called A Christmas Carol and it was really good. It was loosely based on Dickens' story but the major theme was this is the time to celebrate because we are halfway through the dark: winter is half-over. As I was driving around town yesterday running my usual errands (while my children played with two of their favorite baby-sitters), I realized the sun was waiting just a little bit before it started to set, later than last week. These are the things that encourage me, deep in the dark of winter. 

2. This has been the best Christmas vacation I can remember when we have stayed home. The children and I have done a few things (we spent Tuesday cleaning house; yes, I did most of the work but they helped some) but mostly we've sat around and relaxed. They've played on their computers, they've played in the snow, and Alex has gone through a whole ton of paper drawing his "books" (creating his own versions of his favorite books; his artistic abilities are definitely progressing) which is why I buy 50% recycled paper and recycle all his scraps when he's done. I was certainly sad to miss Christmas in San Diego with the rest of my family, but with the foot of snow we got here on Sunday, it would have been difficult to fly back with so many airports in uproar. I must admit I am enjoying the peace and quiet. 

3. We spent Christmas Eve at Leah's house and had the best time with her family and the Alfords. Ben Alford is a few months older than Miranda and they play really well together, and, of course, there is the puppy for Alex to play with. Then we turned on the Wii and Alex absolutely killed everyone else in bowling. I ate too much and we stayed up way too late, but it was wonderful. 

4. Because the children didn't get to bed until 9:30 pm on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day was a little dicey. Miranda crashed for a nap about 3 and Alex was grumpy all afternoon, but we enjoyed a great morning watching them open all their presents and Marshall's parents came over to help us eat an excellent roast beast (a la Seuss' The Grinch) with amazing gravy. And real mashed potatoes, fresh broccoli and amazing lemon pie. Yum!

5. Last week I was making my way through Buffy, the Vampire Slayer's Season 4. Well, about 2/3 of the way through the season, I suddenly felt nostalgic for the first and second seasons, so I went back to the beginning and am now halfway through Season 2. I don't know if I'll make it through all 7 seasons, but it is excellent to stitch by. Here's my progress:

6. Last movie update for 2010:

March 12
Green Zone
(never managed to see it-we were too sick to go out when my folks were visiting for Easter; just got the DVD from the library and now it is waiting on the server to be watched)
April 2
Clash of the Titans
(poor reviews; may see it on video)
April 23
The Losers
(saw it by myself and really liked it)
May 7
Iron Man 2
(loved it!)
May 14
Robin Hood
(it received poor reviews so we did not see it)
May 28
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
(went to see it by myself and enjoyed it more than I expected to)
June 11
The A-Team
(we saw it together and while I liked it, I think I liked The Losers better)
June 18
Toy Story 3
(we liked it but since we were older when the series started, we've rather identified with Andy's mother rather than him, so it did not effect us so much)
June 23
Knight & Day
(I would echo Ebert's review of this film)
July 14
The Sorcerer's Apprentice
(I enjoyed it)
July 16
(We both enjoyed it)
July 23
(sitting on the server and waiting to be watched)
August 13
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
(a very strange movie; I think I liked it)
October 15
(It was fun but there was a very high body count. The casting was excellent, though.)
November 19
Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows (Part 1)
(good but sad, like the book)
December 10
The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader 
(I liked it but wasn't bowled over)
December 17
Tron: Legacy (We saw it in 3D and liked it; would like to see it again)

But, as I was recently telling my brother, I haven't seen a film since Star Trek that I absolutely loved. Even just listening to the soundtrack makes me happy. 

Speaking (writing) of movies, my favorite show on our local NPR station is Radio Times with Mary Moss-Coane and yesterday she did her annual end of the year movie wrap-up, which I always enjoy. I rarely see all of the "best" movies of the year, but I still enjoy the reviews.

And, just in case you wanted to see my list for 2011, here it is in it's preliminary state:

January 14
Green Hornet
April 1
Source Code (Duncan Jones' new movie; we loved Moon)
April 29
Fast Five (I have this strange weakness for Vin Diesel)
May 6
Thor (Who doesn't want to see Kenneth Branagh do a super-hero movie?)
June 3
X-Men: First Class (It could be good, like X-2 was)
June 17
Green Lantern (Ryan Reynolds was very compelling in The Proposal so I want to give him a chance)
June 24
Cars 2 (Cars is my favorite Pixar Film so I have high hopes for the next one; it also may be the first movie our kids actually see in the theatre)
July 1
Transformers: Dark of the Moon (My husband has already announced I will be seeing this alone; he hated the other two while I kinda liked them)
July 15
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
July 22
Captain America: The First Avenger (Chris Evans was one of the best things in The Losers and Scott Pilgrim and I'm interested to see if he can pull this off)
July 29
Cowboys & Aliens (Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford in a western with aliens and all the early buzz is good!)

7. A few other links for you, in case you've missed them:
And here's Jen. Happy New Year!


Anonymous said...

Your needlework is stunning - did you design your pattern? Happily found you through Conversion Diary - Happy New Year.

Unknown said...

I'm with The Cottage Child. How are you doing that? Are you looking at a picture or is there an outline on the canvas that I don't see? It's incredible!

Sarah Boyle Webber said...

I bought the pattern on paper but it's very difficult to read, so my father-in-law is gracious enough to help by scanning, resizing, and re-printing it for me at 200% normal size. What I want is some sort of software that would work with an iPad or something that would highlight all the squares of the color I'm currently working on while also notating what I've already stitched and what I have yet to stitch. Unfortunately, such software only exists in my dreams. Along with my own personal iPad. My children are still in the destructo phase.