Saturday, November 10, 2007

Joan is Giving Away a Paula Deen Christmas Cookbook!

Joan over at Joan's Journeys is having a Paula Deen Christmas Cookbook giveaway! Now me? I don't get cookbooks. Really. But this one is special. Everybody loves Paula Deen. I say that because you guys are always jabbering on and on about her! lol So if you want the chance to win this, head over to Joan's blog and leave a comment. Her drawing will be Tuesday, November 13th, if I'm not mistaken. (And just so you know, everyone here in my house has their fingers crossed that I'll win. Crazy people. Thinking a book is gonna help me cook better. Yeah. Like that'll help!)

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Our Date with Fred Claus

Our "date night" was a little bit different than normal, I must say. "Date night" used to entail dinner and a know, basic date stuff. Last night, however, we (meaning I) decided to do something different. Poor Randey just sort of looked at me with glazed eyes when I said I really, really wanted to go to Barnes and Noble before we went to see our movie. While he doesn't mind going to B&N, he's not a huge fan of the place either. But hey - there were a couple of Star Wars books that I wanted to look for. Yeah, I said Star Wars books. You guys know I love that stuff...can't get enough of it. Uh-huh, that's what I'm saying. I'm a 44 year old, chunky-butted, formerly menopausal but currently depressed instead, housewife who loves reading Star Wars books. And I didn't have the last two to have been published! Oh the shame! How can I even call myself a Star Wars fan, right? Falling so far behind in my Star Wars reading is, in itself, reason enough to put me into a state of deep, dark despondency (Hey, wonder if Doctor Depression counted my incomplete book list as one of the reasons for my woebegone state of mind? Must have, I'm sure. He obviously knew so much about me by reading between the lines during our little "talk". But that's getting off the subject so we'll leave that be for now). Anywho...since we were headed over to Barnes and Noble, I thought "Gee whiz, why not go to Hobby Lobby, too, since they're right by each other". I shared that thought with Randey. He smiled that "sure, go ahead and eat half my dessert because you were too stupid to order your own" smile and I watched his eyes glaze over even further. I was afraid to ask about going to Michael's. I figured if his eyes got any glaze-ier, he wouldn't be able to see to drive and I sure as heck can't see to drive at night so I shut my mouth before I talked myself right into a taxi. So off we went. First to Hobby Lobby, where we (meaning I again) found a few cute Halloween decorations marked down by 80%. Can't beat that, now can you? I'll have to take pictures to show you. And, of course, we (still meaning I) found a few more Christmas ornaments. (You can never have too many. Duh. Everybody knows that, right?) After scouring HL for any and all bargains, we headed to B&N. I found 3, count 'em, 3 Star Wars books that I didn't have (yeah, so I read the little Scholastic ones, too. So what? They're well-written. Really. They are!). We decided to grab a sandwich and lattes from the B&N Starbucks for dinner (not the best choice, as it turns out). The lattes were good. The sandwich? Not so much. I'd even go so far as to say "ick". Because, well, it tasted.......ick. Randey didn't eat. There's a reason behind that but we won't go into it here. And then we went to the theater. (yippee!) As you all know, we were going to see Fred Claus, starring Vince Vaughn and Paul Giamatti. How was it, you ask? Let me tell started out a tad bit slow. I'm not sure at what point it picked up, but by the end of the movie, Randey and I were grinning and laughing and having a great time. It wasn't the best Christmas movie I've ever seen, but I thought it was pretty darn good. I might even go see it again. (And if you knew just how tight-fisted I can be sometimes, you'd understand what a compliment that was. Although, come to think of it...I am pretty free with our cash when it comes to Christmas stuff so maybe that's not such a compliment after all. lol) I love Vince Vaughn so I fully expected to enjoy his performance. But Paul Giamatti...while I certainly don't dislike him, I didn't think I would care for him as Santa Claus. But man, he was good. I actually liked him as Santa. And the North Pole looked fan-tab-u-lous! So pretty and sparkly and festive. My idea of paradise. Ya'll can keep your sandy beaches and your Tuscan villas....if Santa Claus's North Pole was for real, that's where you'd find me hanging out every chance I got! But alas, it's not real, is it? So I'll just have to settle for plastering Christmas decorations all over every available surface in our living room and pretending I'm drinking my hot cocoa with Santa every evening. Wonder if I could get Randey to wear a red suit? And maybe a furry little hat. Hmmmm. Randey Claus/Santy Claus.... they sound pretty close, don't they? I could probably convince him to wear a Santa suit, if I got him drunk enough (good trick really, since he doesn't drink alcohol!). Oh but I digress....Christmas always makes me prone to fantasy. Back to what we were talking about...oh yeah, Fred Claus. I give it a thumbs up....and now that I've told you my opinion of the movie, go away....I'm trying to focus on that vision I have of Randey wrapped in red and white fur and wearing leather boots. Yeah, baby! Ho-ho-ho!

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P.S. Vee over at A Haven for Vee asked me what was my favorite Christmas movie. That's a tough one. I love It's a Wonderful Life. And Christmas Vacation just cracks me up every single time I watch it. Then there's The Ref...horrible language, but so flippin' funny that I can't help but love it. Oh. and Scrooged with Bill Murray. Gotta love that one! The Home Alone movies (I and II) - come on! You know those are great ones, right? But then again, there's the Santa Clause Trilogy....those always make me feel good(and the 3rd one is coming out on DVD November 20th!). Miracle on 34th Street...I love, love, love the story of the original, but the beautiful sparkle of the scenery in the newer one is just too hard to resist. Oh heck. This is almost impossible to choose a favorite! But if I absolutely had to...I guess I'd go with White Christmas. For today anyway. I may feel differently tomorrow. So much visual Christmas cheer - so much love for all of it! You know what? I think I just realized what I'm "thankful for" today! I am oh so thankful for the joy of Christmas movies!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Holiday Movies? P-u-l-l-e-a-s-e!

I was checking out the showtimes for our date night movie (Fred Claus) just now and got distracted (a shock, I, getting distracted). But let me just share with you what caused me to veer off my intended path...while visiting the theater website, I noticed a headline on the sidebar that said "Holiday Movies 2007: 23 Flicks You Can't Miss". Well now. Holiday movies, huh? Right up my alley. So I clicked on said headline. And what to my wondering eyes should appear? Pretty freaky stuff, I'll tell you that right now. I think perhaps MovieFone and I don't share the shame criteria for what constitutes a Holiday Movie. My idea of Holiday Movie is one that is based around, well...the holidays. MovieFone's only criteria seems to be the time the movie is released. In other words, any movie released in the month of December is apparently called a Holiday Movie, according to MovieFone. Think I'm being judgmental? I don't think so, Scooter. Looky here what the 23 Flicks You Can't Miss are:

Okay, so they started with Fred Claus. Great choice, but a little bit deceiving. Not the movie, but the fact that MovieFone starting off with it. Fred Claus stars Vince Vaughn and it's set in the North Pole. 'Nuff said. I'm going.

Next came a movie called No Country for Old Men, starring Tommy Lee Jones and Josh Brolin. What? What in the heck does this have to do with Christmas? Are they saying Santa has no country because he's old? Uh......... no. Santa doesn't even figure in to this little film. This movie is supposedly an "ultra-bleak, super-violent and darkly funny flick". Gosh, I can almost hear the jingle bells jingling, can't you?

Next was Lions for Lambs. Okay. I get the reference. Oh wait a minute. Maybe not. This is a political movie, starring Robert Redford, Meryl Streep and Tom Cruise. And you know, I just have to say, I don't mind watching political movies as long as they're entertaining (that's generally why I watch a movie...I try not to get my political viewpoints from anybody's script). But I get really rather upset when I hear an actor espousing his views outside the realm of entertainment because, while I don't discount their thoughts and beliefs, I do think they have far too much influence over some people and, since actors are paid to pretend for a living, I find it terribly, terribly alarming to hear them endorsing and/or denouncing anyone or anything that might have control in or over my life. (How's that for a really long sentence?) Basically, what I'm saying is, when I think that Hollywood is making a statement regarding the war or politics or anything else, I get tense. And testy. And downright snarky sometimes. However, having said that, I must also say that regardless of what this movie is about, it does have a pretty talented cast. So maybe I'll see it, maybe I won't. But I still don't know that I'd have it on my list of "Holiday Movies for 2007".

Next came Beowulf. Oh, who doesn't think of Bing Crosby singing White Christmas when they think of Beowulf? Yeah, okay, me neither. This movie about the Norse epic was "filmed" using "Polar Express" style animation. Guess that's the Holiday tie-in, huh? Think I'm gonna have to pass on this one, though. Not really my thing.

Then there was Enchanted, starring Patrick Dempsey (or Dr. McDreamy, to some) and Amy Adams. This movie is being billed as a True-Love-Conquers-All fairy tale. Pre-teen girls everywhere are preparing to swoon right this very minute. Ah heck, who knows, I might be swooning, too. After all, Dempsey is a hottie.

Next, MovieFone listed The Savages. Now that kind of sounds like Christmas with my family, but it has nothing to do with it or them. Instead, it stars Laura Linney as a neurtoc writer whose dad is dying. Okay. Anybody for a rollicking round of "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" to liven things up after reading that particular synopsis?

MovieFone's next choice was The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, which is a memoir of a man debilitated by stroke. Okay, altogether now...."later we'll have some pumpkin pie and we'll do some caroling....".

Oh, now here was a good, festive choice. Juno. A story of teen pregnancy. (Dashing thru the snow, in a one horse open sleigh....).

Then they listed The Golden Compass, starring Daniel Craig and Nicole Kidman. This movie is based on a fantasy book series and I read somewhere recently that it was stirring up controversy with someone. Don't know the details and don't really care at this point. Always seems like someone is ticked at somebody for something, doesn't it? Although, since it is proving to be controversial and it's not even released yet, I may have to dig a little deeper into it. I'm sure I could work myself up into a frenzy on one side or the other of the argument. Just as soon as I figure out what exactly the argument is, of course.

Next came Atonement, starring Keira Knightley. This is a piece set during World War II and is a story of "love, loss and redemption". Blah, blah, blah. I won't be seeing this one and that probably has more to do with my inability to watch Ms. Knightley without grinding my teeth than anything else.

Oh and here's a cheerful turn...Grace is Gone, starring John Cusack. Now I likes me some John Cusack. Anybody see Grosse Pointe Blank? Great movie. Loved it. But this one....ah, I don't know. It's about a man who has to tell his young daughters that their mother has just been killed in Iraq. I don't think I want to go see a movie this holiday season just to have my guts ripped out. No thank you. But geez...John Cusack. Ummm, ummmm, ummmm. Oh all right. So that was in poor taste considering the subject of the movie. But still....John Cusack!

This next one is sure to be on everyone's holiday favorites list by this time next year. (That was sarcasm for those of you who didn't recognize it). The movie is called I am Legend and stars Will Smith. Again, I likes me some Will Smith, too. But get a load of this synopsis: "A virus decimates mankind leaving one human surviver". Woo-hoo. Good times, eh?

Then came The Kite Runner, a story of 2 Afghani boys. That's it. I got nothing to say about that. I know it's based on a book and I heard the book was good. And....I'm going to move on because anything else I could say would be silly since I have no idea what I'm talking about with this one.

Okay, now here's a goodie...Youth Without Youth, starring Tim Roth. This is a story of a man struck by lightning who then becomes younger, wiser and a fugitive. Yeah, that's what I said. Younger, wiser and a fugitive. (So which part of becoming a fugitive indicates the wisdom part of the equation, huh?) The only redeeming feature I can see so far is that it was directed by Francis Ford Coppola.

Now's one that I will be seeing. Maybe more than once. Okay, probably more than once. I saw the first one at least 4 times in theaters. And I own both the wide-screen and the full-screen versions of the DVD (hey, it's a great movie!). I'm talking about the sequel to National Treasure, of course! This one is called National Treasure: Book of Secrets. I can't wait to see it. Nicolas Cage is back as Ben Gates and I just know Ben would be devastated if I wasn't there in the audience cheering him on. Count me in on this one for sure!

Ah, and then we have Sweeney Todd, starring Johnny Depp. Okay, so Johnny Depp is another hottie but I'm not sure I want to see him in the role of a demon barber from Fleet Street during my holidays. Just doesn't seem to go all that well with the mistletoe and hot cocoa, you know what I mean?

And here's another political movie. This one is called Charlie Wilson's War and stars Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts. It's a real life tale of a congressman who helped halt the spread of communism (and inadvertently inciting Islamic extremism at the same time). Great cast, but I don't know. It ain't exactly frosting my pumpkins, you know what I'm saying?

And neither is this one, called The Bucket List. It stars Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman as two "road-tripping cancer patients", whatever that means. Probably going to give this one a miss, too.

Oh geez, make that three in a row...because next is The Great Debaters, starring Denzel Washington. This one is about an African-American 1930's East Texas debate team. I'm sure it's much more exciting than it sounds. (Good gravy, it'd have to be, wouldn't it?). Now don't get me wrong, nobody, and I mean noBODY, can walk into a room quite like Denzel can. But even that great walk isn't enough to get me into a theater seat for this one. No can do. I'm snoozing just thinking about it.

And if I was snoozing with even Denzel in the picture, this one would put me into a coma. It's called Persepolis and is the "animated tale of growing up in Iran". Gee. Hold me back. Sounds like so much fun. Or is that too much fun. Whatever. Won't be checking this one out, either.

This one is sure to be a holiday classic, simply by virtue of it's title: There Will be Blood. It stars Daniel Day Lewis and is an adaptation of Upton Sinclair's novel "Oil". Somebody wake me up, would you? Sounds like another snoozer to me.

Number 22 on their list is Cassandra's Dream and stars Ewan McGregor and Colin Farrell as brothers "looking to get ahead". I have no idea what that entails and, while Ewan and Colin are perfectly lovely to gaze upon, this movie doesn't seem like the one for me. Mainly because it's directed by Woody Allen and I am not a fan of the little Woody. Oh, you just take that however you want to because all I'm saying is...I don't like Woody Allen and/or his movies. Period.

But this last one. Well now. Gosh, I will be so hard pressed to not race to the theater now and wait for its December 28th release. It's a little Spanish thriller called The Orphanage. I know, I know. Sounds almost kind of Charles Dickens-ish, huh? But alas...not so much. I think it's basically a horror movie, but hey - it must be something special because it's Spain's entry to the Academy Awards for best foreign film this year and we all know how great those are, right? Right? Yeah, that's about how I feel about them, too.

So anywho...I'm sure there's absolutely no one left reading this by now because it is, indeed, one heck of a long post, but if you are...tell you intend to see any of these "holiday" movies and if so, which ones? And do you think MovieFone should be flogged continually and with a really big cane for misleading my poor Christmas loving heart into believing for that brief, yet glorious moment that there was going to be 23 "holiday" movies out this year? Well, of course you do. Because if they hadn't of misled me, I never would have felt compelled to write this long, boring post about their crazy choices for "holiday" flicks! I suggest you notify MovieFone of your intent to sue them because of all the pain and suffering you've just now incurred. I'll do the same since my fingers are cramped and bleeding from having experienced this terrible need to rant about them in my blog (too much typing can be harmful, you know!). I'll see you in court (and maybe at the movies, depending on what your choices are!) .

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Thursday, November 8, 2007

The Annual Christmas Decorating Extravaganza Has Begun!

It's that time of year for me! Actually, it's past that time of year for me...I'm behind in my Christmas decorating. I usually start sometime in October, but I worked really hard at not doing that this year. You have no idea what a struggle it was, too! (I've been known to actually have the main tree up around the first of October!) So now I'm feeling rushed. It's only what? 47 days until Christmas? Yeah, something like that. And it takes about a week for me to get everything up so yessir...I am running way behind. Gotta get a move on, that's for sure. Just thought I'd take a minute out and post these pictures. Okay. I admit it. It's a blatant attempt to garner sympathy from you guys. My house is a disaster area, I'm buried under a mountain of plastic containers and there's no one but little ol' me (she says in her best, wispy Southern drawl) to get all this Christmas joy set up. According to my list, I have 43 boxes of Christmas stuff now. And as I've begun unpacking these boxes, I've started to understand why older people don't even put up one single tree anymore. It's a lot of work. And without little kids around to oooooh and aaaaah over everything, what's the point? Don't get me wrong....I still love to see a house fully decked out in Christmas cheer. I'm just starting to wonder if maybe I should settle for spying on the neighbors to get that particular little thrill because decorating my own house has become a bit of a chore.
But...on the bright least my house gets a thorough cleaning at least once a year when I take down all my "real" stuff to create our Christmas look. And if I ever get done with putting all the decorations up this year, I'll post pictures of it. Wish me luck! And if you hear any muffled hollering in the next couple of Randey, who is TDY on the east coast of Florida, and tell him I'm stuck somewhere under all this mess and he needs to get home and rescue me!

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P.S. Just kidding. You won't have to call him. He'll be home tomorrow...just in time for date night! And tomorrow night our date is with another fella...don't know if you've heard of him, but his name is Fred Claus and we're meeting up with him at the local movie theater! I'm so excited I could just SCREAM! (I love, love, love a Christmas movie! Here's hoping this one is a good one!)

Wednesday, November 7, 2007


I really didn't plan on posting today because I'm busy, busy, busy. But...I made the mistake of checking out some "news" stories while I was on a break and look at what I found:

Girl, 13, gets detention for hugging two friends
Illinois middle school bans public displays of affection; parents urge change
updated 8:57 p.m. CT, Tues., Nov. 6, 2007

MASCOUTAH, Ill. - Two hugs equals two days of detention for 13-year-old Megan Coulter. The eighth-grader was punished for violating a school policy banning public displays of affection when she hugged two friends Friday. “I feel it is crazy,” said Megan, who was to serve her second detention Tuesday after classes at Mascoutah Middle School. “I was just giving them a hug goodbye for the weekend,” she said.
Megan’s mother, Melissa Coulter, said the embraces weren’t even real hugs — just an arm around the shoulder and slight squeeze. “It’s hilarious to the point of ridicule,” Coulter said. “I’m still dumbfounded that she’s having to do this.”
District Superintendent Sam McGowen said that he thinks the penalty is fair and that administrators in the school east of St. Louis were following policy in the student handbook. It states: “Displays of affection should not occur on the school campus at any time. It is in poor taste, reflects poor judgment, and brings discredit to the school and to the persons involved.”

(Full story at:

You have got to be kidding me. What's next? Placing muzzles on students who smile at one another too much? Automatic removal of vocal cords for laughing too often? Hermetically sealing kids in body plastic to prevent all human contact? Come on, society! This is positively Orwellian and for those of you who don't know what that means, look it up. I have a feeling we're all going to be way too familiar with that word before too long. And just to clarify...I do understand what the school board was trying to prevent (i.e, kids making out on school grounds, etc.). However, considering the fact that these are the very people who are, in theory, teaching our children things such as...oh, I don't know...the English language maybe...I think they could work a little harder at defining their "Public Display of Affection" policy by employing a more intelligent use of said English language so that they might better delineate the intended meaning of the policy from the broad interpretation so obviously being used by the school officials in this case. (taking a deep breath) This kind of blatant stupidity just TICKS. ME. OFF.
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Monday, November 5, 2007

No More Menopause For Me, Peeps

Attention anybody and everybody who bothers reading my posts on Mondays because you like to know just how poorly I'm handling menopause day in and day out! I won't be posting Menopause Madness Mondays anymore. As some of you may already know, I've recently been informed that I am not menopausal. I am depressed. Good to know, huh? I mean, wow, if the doctor hadn't told me I was depressed, I might have mistaken those night sweats and hot flashes for more phantom symptoms of perimenopause and geez, wouldn't want to do that, now would I? So in an effort to get my hypochondria under control and to perk myself up out of my newly diagnosed depression, I will no longer jabber on and on about my faux menopause. Instead, I plan to go sit in a corner and contemplate the many sad little facets of depression that I must learn to deal know...stuff like the heart palpitations, the anxiety, the mood swings, the brittle nails, the tender boobs and of course, those old "depression standards", the aforementioned night sweats and hot flashes. I mean, yeah, sure...I was already dealing with all of those things, but that was when I thought they were the result of the "Big M". Now that I know it's really depression that's got me all twisted up, well now, that's just a whole different ball game, isn't it? I've got to re-think everything, obviously! For example, I simply must learn to stop smiling and laughing every day...because it kind of makes this depression condition seem more like a bi-polar disorder, you know what I mean?

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