Showing posts from September, 2008

If no one calls and I don't speak all day, do I disappear?

Here's how I know that I'm a real Grown-Up with Responsibilities and Such: when I check voice mail, I'm happy when there are no messages. In high school and college, there was nothing better than a message. Someone had called! Someone was thinking of me! Even better if it was a boy! Then when the oldest kids were little and I was home all day, there were times when I felt like the title of this post, which is a line from "Single" by Everything But the Girl. Of course I was speaking, but it was the repetitious Mommy-speak that's necessary but sometimes mind-numbing: "Time for your nap!" "Don't put your fingers in your brother's eyes!" "Let's change your diaper." "Don't put that in your mouth!" I'd turn the TV on just to hear adult voices. Phone calls were good, too. But now I'm getting older, and so are the kids, and I'd rather not hear that staggered dial tone that means there are me

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

Curiously (ha ha! couldn't resist!), I read this book at the same time I was reading Louder Than Words . Curious because The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is narrated by a 15-year-old autistic boy. This is a really good book. (I know that's a lame description or review or whatever, but I have good music in my ears right now and I'm distracted. Thanks, Pandora !) There's a mystery, lots of insightful insight into a functional autistic mind, some humor, drama, family stuff. It's also a quick read. Jon read it, too, and liked it.

Louder Than Words by Jenny McCarthy

Until this book , I'd never read anything by Jenny McCarthy, and I think it was a good choice. She's not a great writer, but she's conversational, funny, and easy to read. Louder Than Words is the story of how her son was diagnosed with autism and what she did to make him better. The treatment and cause of autism can be fairly controversial, but she doesn't get too hung up on that, just shares her story. An interesting recurring element in Jenny's story: two Mormon missionaries who keep showing up at her door. She doesn't "get" the church, but she treats them gently.

Across the Universe (2007)

I missed the beginning of this but still enjoyed it for the most part. As Jon pointed out, the ending is a too rosy, considering the many serious topics visited (drug use, the Vietnam War, sometimes violent war protests, etc.), but the remade Beatles songs sound great and are visually stunning and beautiful.

Pioneer Trek: 12-14 June, 2008

I posted this a while back on my private blog, so if you already read it there, you don't have to read it again! Also, it's very long. Soon after Jon and I returned from Europe, our ward went on a pioneer trek in Wyoming. The youth and their leaders have been to Martin's Cove in Wyoming twice, but this time, they invited families to come, and Jon and I were eager to take our kids. I've always thought it would have been so cool to go on the big pioneer reenactment the church did for the Sesquicentennial several years ago, but I didn't know about that until it was happening. Anyway, I was really excited to do this, until we'd committed to doing it, and then it seemed like my attitude went downhill from there. I had a lot of excuses for this, among them confusion in the planning; getting our pioneer clothes ready, which was very time-consuming (and my friend Teresa actually made our skirts and the girls' bonnets, so I had it relatively easy); and worrying

Revisiting the '80s

I was 14 and 16 when these two movies came out, so I was totally part of the target audience. Sixteen Candles (1984) The only thing I could have remembered off the top of my head from this movie was the foreign exchange student named Long Duk Dong, but it was all familiar when I watched it again on TV at my in-laws' house. Unfortunately, someone let me have the remote, and this is what I settled on. I forgot that it was so stupid, although Jake is still dreamy as the seemingly unreachable object of the girl's desire. My mother-in-law's brother (is that my uncle-in-law?) got a kick out of the stumbling bride high on muscle relaxers at the end. Pretty in Pink (1986) This movie aged pretty well, I thought. Duckie still looks goofy but edgy, the dialog is still funny but not retarded, and the romance is classic. (Although I am a jaded adult who wonders just how long the teen romance is going to last, I still like a good teen flick. Like Clueless and 10 Things I

Bonneville (2006)

Named for the car in which the three main characters take an unexpected road trip after one of them is widowed, Bonneville is a not-too-sappy feel-good movie about learning to let go, and a little about learning to experience life adventurously. Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates, and Joan Allen are wonderful actors, and it's good to see a movie about older beautiful women instead of the typical young Hollywood beauty it's impossible to relate to. I was surprised that two of the main characters are obviously Mormon (and according to the "Behind the Scenes" stuff on the DVD, the other is, too). Also surprisingly, it's a pretty good representation of Mormons, though one character seems overly prim and the other overly casual. There's some humor here that will appeal only to the LDS crowd and those who've run into us a fair amount, like when the prim Mormon offers a Book of Mormon to a hitchhiker they're dropping off. I won't spoil the joke, but it's f