Friday, March 18, 2011

In Honor of Fried Egg

Rebecca Black's single, Friday (pronounced Fried-egg), is number 23 on iTunes, and still climbing the charts. Srsly, I checked it last night and it was like number 82 or something. Smash hit!

Also, I'm sure you've heard the news about Jennifer Lawrence landing the roll of Katniss in the upcoming The Hunger Games (by Suzanne Collins) movie--very pleased with that decision, btw--but I read something in this article regarding the casting that confused me:

"[When] asked about Lawrence playing the dark-haired, biracial Katniss, Ross replied: "Suzanne had no issues with Jen playing the role. And she thought there was a tremendous amount of flexibility."

A) What... I had no idea Katniss was biracial and I've read THG at least a ha'-dozen times.
B) Not that there's a problem with that, I just didn't see race specifically mentioned in the book. Unless "Seam" is a race.
C) Did you picture her biracial?
D) Charight.
E) OK, what two races is she?
F) Fine, then why isn't Prim biracial?
G) Yeah, that's what I thought.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Your Attention, Please

HOMER: He is 5 and a half and his favorite movie right now is Matilda.

(Just wanted to write that down somewhere permanent in case I forgot)

He watches it several times a day, and he likes these two songs from the movie in this order:

GUS: Have I ever mentioned that Gus sleepwalks? He's been doing it a lot lately, maybe five times a week, but it comes and goes in waves. Usually he'll come to our room and we'll just tell him to go back to bed and he'll turn around and walk out. But if we ask him questions, he gets very confused, sometimes frustrated, and sometimes he'll say a string of nonsensical words. Creepsville. One way we can tell he's asleep and not just waking up and getting out of bed (because he does both), is by his eyes. They will look almost glassed over, and his pupils will be dilated.

Anyway, I've been meaning to get a good video of him talking in his sleep, because he doesn't remember doing it, and I want to show him/you. He came down the other night when we were watching TV, and I remembered to record him, but before I could get anything good, Tony comes along, being all "responsible parent" and ruins it all.

CORD: Casting was just completed for the spring play at Cord's middle school. They are doing a spoof of Peter Pan, called CSI Neverland. Cord was cast as the "Captain Hook" character. I'm glad his drama teacher was able to look beyond his physical stature.

MEMZY: She pointed this out to me last week while watching AI:

I don't overstand why she wasn't at least in the bottom 3.


Scared babies trapped in their exersausers with nowhere to run are the cutest:

You're not supposed to laugh at this, but it's OK if you do (PS. I love these parents):

Online speed dating. She probably went through a lot of jerks to get to him:

And in case you haven't met the brilliant lyricist, Rebecca Black, yet:

DISNEY: They're making another movie based on one of their most popular (?) rides. Yes, I'm talking about the Jungle Cruise. I hope the movie uses those anamitronic rhinos. They're my favorite. And the backside of water.

HOTPANTS: She texted me this last night, after looking up directions to Japan from her house on her iPhone. Apparently, she'll need a kayak.

EEK: She texted me some pictures of my new niece, Tuesday (aka Tootie). That name is tdf, yeah? I LOVE it!

Yes, it's dark and sideways and a little blurry, but her cutest shines through.

That's all I gots.

Friday, March 4, 2011

New and Exotic Places

Have you ever been disappointed with your pictures after a trip because you didn't think you got any really good shots, so you don't do anything with them, just leave them in a computer file and forget about them, but then almost a year later, you open the file and look through the pictures and you're flooded with happy memories, and you realize that maybe you did get some good pictures? That happens to me all the time. I guess I need to distance myself from the moment to really appreciate it sometimes.

It's usually around this time of year (Jan-March) that I'm scouring the www, looking for sweet travel deals, planning our next family vacation. It can get really time-consuming. I sometimes spend entire days going through options, and end up with nothing planned, nothing to show for all that time I've put in. But I get this craving to go someplace new, and I can't stop thinking about it until I find it. Tony wants to take an epic road trip across the country, visit 17 or 20 states. He's always mapping out different routes, and they sound fun when he's showing me all the places we'll see, but then I take a closer look at his humanly-impossible timeline and start searching for cheap flights again.

We have made some plans to visit family and travel with friends this year, but it's yet to be seen if our family will visit a place as new and exotic as the place we went last year:

We paid a homeless man $2 to take that picture^.

The thing we discovered about Philly is there is no short supply of homeless people to take your picture/ask for money/make you feel bad about vacationing/make you stop having fun and consider the world's most serious social issues/worry about your kids' safety.

However, I must say, there is something very special about Independence Hall.

Independence Hall is worth walking past fifty homeless men to see, practically.

The boys waiting to go inside:

I suppose Gus needed a haircut before we left for this trip. Most pictures, you can only see one of his eyes, whilst the other is shrouded behind a fine veil of blond hair. (His hair is really soft, like that of a new born babe. If you ever get the opportunity, you should feel it.)

(No flash allowed inside)

Where the Declaration of Independence was singed:

Liberty Bell, which is displayed in a nearby renovated museum of its own:

Also in this historic area is the National Constitution Center, a very modern, interactive museum that is well worth a visit.

The view from inside, looking towards Independence Hall:

Tony was feeling pretty patriotic right about then, so he had the kids do another pose under the flag.

After that, we hung our heads before Ben Franklin's grave, to pay respect.


Some of these gravestones were as thin as paper (<--slight exaggeration, but you get what I mean)

It was a pretty little graveyard (Christ Church Burial Ground). Very small.

Then we headed over to Besty Ross's house.

Very old, very cramped, no place to spread out yards and yards of fabric to make a secret flag.

One of our favorite things in Philly was Elfreth's Alley:

It's the nations oldest continually inhabited street.

I wish I had a picture that really captured the street. Tall skinny houses lined both sides of the narrow one-lane cobblestone street. It looked more like an alley, but not a dark scary alley that you could get mugged on. A cute alley with old unique houses. The utility van you see in the background clogged the whole street.

Waiting to tour one of the houses:

I like the old metal boot scraper in front of this house. This house was built before the cobblestones were laid, back when the street was paved with mud.

The metal plaque on the wall outside this house below represents the fire insurance the homeowner purchased. Fire wasn't a public service back then, so if your house caught on fire and you hadn't purchased a fire service plan, you'd be on your own as to how to put it out. Although, I'm sure the neighbors would pitch in, or else their house would be next.

These houses are all occupied, except one house that serves as a gift shop, and another house that is open for historic tours. Tony and I sat outside the gift shop, speculating on the kind of people who would live in these houses. We were guessing old University professors, rich empty-nesters, archeologists, Russian spies, when suddenly a mini van rolled down the street and stopped right in front of this house with the black door. The van doors slid open and this spectacle of a family got out. The mom was loaded down shopping bags from places like Old Navy and Famous Footwear and was yelling at her kids to pick up their backpacks, and the brother and sister (who looked like they had consumed a lot of fast food in their short lifetimes) were fighting and pushing each other and kicking their backpacks up to the front door of this historic house dating back hundreds of years. Interesting juxtaposition, yeah?

After that, we toured the US Mint, cuz Tony made us.

Then we headed over to Franklin Court to see Ben Franklin's house, and found this travesty:

Yes, his relatives tore down his house to make way for more important things, something I plan to do to my own relatives' houses after they die, cuz it's such a good idea. Anyway, that structure is the same size as his house, and a floor plan is painted on the floor. Dream big, Historic Tourism Department of Philadelphia!

Also in Franklin Court is the Ben Franklin Underground Museum. We were amused by the displays, dating back to 1981. I suspect Mr. Franklin... inventor, publisher, statesman, scientist... would not have been amused. My favorite part was the huge room filled with rows of closed-circuit beige phones that were all broken. But in this museum's heyday (circa 1980), I'm sure those phones did some cutting-edge stuff.

Also, the US Post Office Museum.

It was more like a small, dark, dusty room of stamps.

After that we walked to Franklin Square, a grassy old park in the middle of downtown Philly with a brand new miniature golf course, carousel, and playground.

Miniature Elfreth's Alley:

Feeling the brotherly love...

The agony of losing:

Gus's arm...?

Then we walked back to our hotel...

And that's what happened on our first day in Philadelphia.

One day down, twenty days to go!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Girls and Boys

Girl's night on American Idol was a real let down, eh? Not that I had high expectations for any of these contestants. In fact, I had no expectations as I don't recall seeing half of them before that night. Lots of no-face-timers.

Here are some unfortunate stats from the top 12 girl's night that contributed to my boredom:

1) 6 out of 12 girls chose songs dating back from before the year they were born.
2) 7 out of 12 girls chose songs that I can recall hearing at least once on a previous season of American Idol.
3) 7 out of 12 girls sung ballads. Tired ones.
4) 1 girl sang a dated ballad in a language I no comprende.
5) 1 girl chose a song by Monica, and it wasn't The Boy is Mine, her smash hit duet with Brandy.

I know the judges and I say this every year, but song choice is critical here. Do these girls wanna put out a current album, or do they wanna stand on a stage one time and sing a nostalgic song that reminds them of the long road trips they would take with their parents as a child? When I go Karaoke singing, I usually pick a Neal Diamond song, like America, or Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show, because I don't have plans to put out an album.

The most interesting girl of the night was interesting for all the wrong reasons. It was the girl who sang the lounge-singer version of Criminal by Fiona Apple. Her rearrangement of the melody was bad, she looked super awkward, trying to slank sexily over to the judges table, and then dash back to the stage like she was about to catch a football, but it was entertainment. It was the only performance I remembered the next day, and she's the only girl I'd be interested in seeing more from. Again, for all the wrong reasons.

Overall, I'm not really interested in who goes through out of the girls. What are your thoughts on the girls? Do you care as little as I do?

Now, about them boys... them boys are much more interesting, and I suspect it's gonna be all about them this season. Like the girls, most of the boys picked dated, tired, over-sung songs, but they still managed to put on an interesting show.

I still don't like Chapstick guy, regardless of the fact that he can sing awesomely. The song he picked had me rollin my eyes and putting on chapstick dismissively.

I hope he doesn't make it through, but I think he has a chance. Unlike poor sweet dear little JC Slater.

Here are the five I hope make it through to the next round, purely for my own entertainment, although they may not be the best singers.

I had high hopes Jim Halpert. He didn't do so good, so I'm being unrealistic here, hoping he gets through.

I expected James Turrets to be over the top, and I looked forward to that spectacle; however, he surprised me by climbing right to the top of candy mountain and then stopping before toppling over. He will never be boring, so for that reason alone, I need him to stay.

Adam Lambert

I'm not a country fan, but I find myself wanting to listen to Babylockthemdoors's sing anything, including Monica songs if he so choses.

"Hello TV land," said Paul in his Rod Stewart voice, and then he sang Maggie May, whilst moving and bending like an animatronic Jack Sparrow. Now that's what I wanna see.

Last but not least, my very favoritest contestant so far, Brett Loewenstern:

Forget about Brett's voice for a minute... you know how he booked it off the stage right after Ryan announced the voting number, and then Ryan called him to come back because he wasn't supposed to just take off like that, and then Brett turned back and went, "Huh? Oh! You want a hug, Ryan?" and then he rushed back to hug Ryan? Charmingly clueless. That's why I like him.

So, what boys do you want to see move on to the next round? Let's hear it.


Whoops! I completely forgot about Casey Abrams and his upright bass! Hotpants called and brought that mistake to my attention right away (she has a thing for upright bass players), but I didn't have a chance to get back on here and correct it. He indeed must to be in the top 5, so I guess Jim Halpert is out. Jim hasn't seemed the same since he married Pam anyways.