October 31, 2010

October Review

I turned 40 this month.  Ouch.  I had really wanted to go on a trip (just Jay and I) to celebrate, but everything was too expensive.  We ended up going to the cabin (it was Fall Break), with my parents, and my SIL/BIL's family.  Hooray for the Haslips and their 6 kids for mine to play with!

Ugh!  That's a lot of candles!
But I did blow them all out in one breath.... easy peasy!
.... and Grandpa gave the boys a lesson in forestry.
We also picnicked near Sunrise....

The fall colors were gorgeous.....
.... thanks Dad, for building such a great place for our family to be together!
Jay and I often write parodies for special events (family member birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, friends moving away, etc.).  We have always written them together.  Well, I should say that Jay has never written one without me.... until now.  He surprised me by singing and playing his guitar, a parody he wrote for me.... which I shall share with you later.  It was sweet and funny, and I won't do it justice by just posting the lyrics here.  (I was too "into" the moment so I didn't think to pull out the video camera, and neither did anyone else!  Bummer!)  It was sweet and funny.  Classic Jay.

Last night we went to our ward (local church congregation)/neighborhood party and "Trunk or Treat."  The kids' costumes turned out quite good. 

Jack as a Luchador...
.... and sans mask.
Mary was very cute as "Pippy Longstocking"

Collin was dressed up as a "Deviled Egg" (an egg with devil horns), but he removed his costume shortly after arriving at the party.... he is that age where he wants to dress up still, but it's not really cool.  So, I never got a photo.  Oh well.

I looked pretty good too, as Princess Leia, if I may say so myself, though on one bothered to take a picture of me.  Humph.  :P  I got lots of compliments though.  (But boy, I look really bad as a brunette.)  

My talented husband has some serious pumpkin carving skills.

October 05, 2010

The Master Story-teller Does Soaps

I admit that I, like anyone else who has spent more than a few days in a hospital bed in a conscious state, have watched Soap Operas. When you spend a month, as I did, lying in a hospital bed, unable to get up, trying to distract yourself from the pain and despair of your situation (is that a bit dramatic?), there isn't much to do but watch TV to pass the time....and there aren't that many options. At least there weren't for me. Either the hospital I was in didn't have many channels at that time, or they didn't exist. The channels, I mean.

Whatever the case, my options were....game shows (ugh!), talk shows (double ugh!), old episodes of "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air" (actually, it was pretty funny), and soap operas. The "soaps" seemed to be the most plentiful, and certainly the most distracting. I couldn't even tell you now (11 years later) what the shows were called or what the characters' names were. But I can tell you that their complicated lives and relationships (albeit, very silly and unrealistic) kept me sane during a very dark and difficult time in my life. Those writers really know how to hook you, reel you in, and drag you along. Very long.

I haven't watched any "soaps" since then, but I laugh with fond memories when I think of the ridiculous plots and over-the-top acting. I took an acting class in college from a professor who had acted in soaps, and he talked about what a demanding job it is....constantly getting new scripts and having to learn them quickly, filming daily with little or no rehearsal. So, I guess I can cut them some slack for being so amateurish and hokey.

BUT, over the last few days I have watched all 14 episodes of the most amazing show that I can't help comparing to a soap opera in some ways; each episode ends leaving you dying to watch the next one; it's filled with a huge cast of characters with complicated lives and they are all inter-connected; numerous plot twists and turns; and themes of money, power, social status, deceit, debt, romance and mystery... it has it all.

Unlike "soaps," this show was wonderfully written (by the screenwriter Andrew Davies no less, whom you may not have heard of, but have surely seen something he has written), superbly acted by an extremely talented cast, and not the slightest bit silly (though there are plenty of lavish clothes to be seen). Oh....and it's adapted from a novel by Charles Dickens. You won't see that on "Days of Our Lives."

So, go rent "Little Dorrit" (or check it out from the library, like I did), but let me give you some advice:

1) Don't start watching it until you know you have plenty of time to devote to it, because you won't be able to stop, and you will stay up late. Very late.

2) Turn on the subtitles.... even if you don't have trouble understanding their accents, it helps to keep the characters straight. Trust me. It's complicated.

3) Invite your husband to join you... he will enjoy it just as much as you will. Mine was hooked.

Next I'm going to watch "Bleak House." I'll let you know what I think.

October 01, 2010

Turkey Trot

Aaaaaack! I just registered for my first 10K. Now I HAVE to do it.


Anyone want to join me?