I don't proofread my posts before I publish them... cause I keep my thoughts au naturale.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Hurt Locker: Oscar Nominee

So this was the movie I was dreading the most. I hate war movies. And guess what- I shouldn't have, it was really good! I would say it was the best movie I've ever seen, not by a long shot, but it was really good and I liked the ending.

One thing that annoyed me is that they never used the words "hurt locker" and I wanted to know what a hurt locker was. I looked it up on Wikipedia and apparently it is slang for being injured in an explosion.

Anyway, it's about this team of 3 guys who are on the Bravo (?) rotation. Sgt. James arrives after Sgt. Thompson is killed by a bomb. (Played by Guy Pearce, it was very sad to see such a hot guy die so early in the movie.) James is the guy on the team who disables the bombs and gives the all clear or tells people to move farther away, what not. The other two guys are not too excited about his cocky attitude and don't want to work with him. This movie chronicles some of their high points and low points as they go through the time left in their tour.

As I said, I liked it. I didn't get bored, it wasn't anything like Saving Private Ryan or any of those movies. I liked how we got to know some of the characters really well...

Not much more I can say other than that I recommend it and so far, it and District 9 are the only 2 I've said that about.

Family Time Factor: I'm going to say 12 and up.

MOTR Grade: B+

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Growing Tree Toys: Get Their Brains Working!

Of course, being a genius myself, I want my kids to be geniuses as well... okay, maybe those are exaggerations, but I love promoting creativity and critical thinking and sometimes it's hard to find toys that can do that.  I am trying to keep my kids from playing computer and video games as long as humanly possible, so it's great to find new resources for educational toys.  When Growing Tree Toys offered me a toy in order to spread the word about their awesome site, I was more than willing!  I was especially ecstatic to learn they had Melissa & Doug products as that is a favorite here.  They are wooden, therefore durable and they have the coolest concepts!  You can find tons of Melissa & Doug on Growing Tree Toys' website and they also offer deals from time to time, so it would be helpful to follow them on twitter.

If you have kids that love to learn and you want to nourish their brains, you really need to check out Growing Tree Toys!  And it's never too early to think about birthdays and next Christmas!!!

A Serious Man: Oscar Nominee

I had no idea what to expect from this movie. I had never heard of it other than knowing it was a nominee. My husband's friend said it was nothing like the Coen brothers' last Oscar film (No Country for Old Men). That left me hopeful, because I didn't like No Country for Old Men. Well, this movie left me... unsure of the point.

Larry Gopnik is an ordinary guy... very ordinary. There is nothing interesting about him at all. He's a professor on the tenure track. For such a plain guy, he seems to have trouble in all the people around him. His son is a pot head, his daughter is a B, his wife has fallen in love with some old widower and wants a "get" (some kind of approved Jewish divorce). Plus he has a brother living with him that seems to cause nothing but trouble. So, this movie follows Larry as he seeks to find the answers to life and try to get through his problems.

Although it held my interest, this movie was boring and pointless. I hated the end, I didn't understand the significance of the beginning and the only character who I liked was the pothead son. I was just waiting for Larry to go crazy and start whacking people. (He did live quite wildly in his dreams, though.)

I don't know why this was nominated, but I could have said the same thing about No Country for Old Men.

Don't waste your time on this.

Family Time Factor: There's not much graphic or raunchy, but I don't think kids would want to watch it.

MOTR Grade: C-

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Interesting Forward of the Day

This was yet again sent to me by @CrazyCatLadie.

The following was found posted very low on a refrigerator door.

Dear Dogs and Cats:
The dishes with the paw prints are yours and contain your food. The other dishes are mine and contain my food. Placing a paw print in the middle of my plate and food does not stake a claim for it becoming your food and dish, nor do I find that aesthetically pleasing in the slightest.

The stairway was not designed by NASCAR and is not a racetrack. Racing me to the bottom is not the object. Tripping me doesn't help because I fall faster than you can run.

I cannot buy anything bigger than a king sized bed. I am very sorry about this. Do not think I will continue sleeping on the couch to ensure your comfort, however. Dogs and cats can actually curl up in a ball when they sleep. It i s not necessary to sleep perpendicular to each other, stretched out to the fullest extent possible. I also know that sticking tails straight out and having tongues hanging out on the other end to maximize space is nothing but sarcasm.

For the last time, there is no secret exit from the bathroom! If, by some miracle, I beat you there and manage to get the door shut, it is not necessary to claw, whine, meow, try to turn the knob or get your paw under the edge in an attempt to open the door. I must exit through the same door I entered. Also, I have been using the bathroom for years - canine/feline attendance is not required.

The proper order for kissing is: Kiss me first, then go smell the other dog or cat's butt. I cannot stress this enough.

Finally, in fairness, dear pets, I have posted the following message on the front door:

TO ALL NON-PET OWNERS WHO VISIT AND LIKE TO COMPLAIN ABOUT OUR PETS:

(1) They live here. You don't.
(2) If you don't want their hair on your clothes, stay off the furniture. That's why they call it 'fur'-niture.
(3) I like my pets a lot better than I like most people.
(4) To you, they are animals. To me, they are adopted sons/daughters who are short, hairy, walk on all fours and don't speak clearly.

Remember, dogs and cats are better than kids because they
(1) eat less,
(2) don't ask for money all the time,
(3) are easier to train,
(4) normally come when called,
(5) never ask to drive the car,
(6) don't hang out with drug-using people;
(7) don't smoke or drink,
(8) don't want to wear your clothes,
(9) don't have to buy the latest fashions,
(10) don't need a gazillion dollars for college and
(11) if they get pregnant, you can sell their children ..

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Porky and Bess (Book Review)


Porky and Bess
Written by Ellen Weiss and Mel Friedman; illustrated by Marsha Winborn


This was a really fun book for me to review because it involved a cat, which delighted both myself and my daughter. We settled down to read it and she was enraptured from start to finish. This is a Step 4 Step Into Reading title, which is delegated for children in grades 2-3 and promotes reading paragraphs, contains challenging vocabulary, short paragraphs and exciting stories. It is for "newly independent readers who read simple sentences with confidence." Of course, my daughter just learned to write her first name, so she won't be reading it anytime soon, but I did find the sentence structures to be very simple with great vocabulary building words spread throughout. I definitely think it is great for kids who have been reading for at least a year.

The story is about a pig named Porky and his friend, Bess the cat. Bess and Porky are quite the opposite. Porky likes clutter, dislikes people. Bess loves neatness and has three kittens and loves people. Porky is also a poet and his goal throughout the story is to create a new poem to read for Poetry Reading Night. He has a hard time rhyming and coming up with the right thoughts, so he uses his friend Bess for inspiration.

Age level: As I mentioned, my 4 year old loved the story, but it is rather long to expect most toddlers to sit through, so I'd say ages 4 and up to be read to and ages 7-10 in terms of the reading level.

MOTR Grade: A

Porky and Bess hits the shelves February 23!!!










This title was provided to me by Random House.

Wordless Wednesday: Bedtime Dogs Edition





Monday, February 15, 2010

To Nap or Not to Nap?

I wanted to share this chart that I have referred to for years whenever I wonder what doctors recommend for nap/sleep amounts in children. I have had several issues with my kids' daycare because my daughter abhors naptime there. They have 2 hours of naptime each day and every child has to lie down for those 2 hours. I understand the workers deserve breaks, but as a parent, I don't want my child to be forced to do something I don't believe in... anyway, here is the chart I refer to. Are you surprised by any of the amounts? Do you agree/disagree?

Inglourious Basterds: Oscar Nominee

I am attempting to watch all the Oscar nominated movies for 2010 (which I'm not too thrilled about) and have so far reviewed Up and District 9.

I'll admit, I was pretty stoked about this one. Quentin Tarantino= good. Brad Pitt= good. People killing Nazis= good.

But this was a HUGE let down... HUGE. I didn't mind that it was not factual in the least. A group of guys seek to kill a whole bunch of Nazis. That's the premise. And they do. A woman seeks revenge against the Nazi that killed her family. And she gets it- kinda. Sure, there were lines here and there that were funny, sure it was cool to see bad guys get theirs, but I did not like the ending and I was pretty bored with the whole thing, which is weird for Tarantino. I'm not even sure why this was nominated. And I hate when the people that I want to die don't and the people I want to live don't.

Family Time Factor: Adults only, serious content and gore.

MOTR Grade
: D+ (keep in mind, it has to be REALLY bad to get an F, which I've reserved so far for Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanemo Bay.)

District 9: Oscar Nominee

I'm going to attempt to watch all the Oscar nominated movies and give my opinion. This will be hard cause I REALLY don't wanna watch TheHurt Locker, lol. I've already reviewed Up.

I was very reluctant to watch District 9 because after reading about it, it sounded too sci-fi for me. I'm not a huge fan of alien movies.

Boy, was I wrong! This movie is crazy because you can't explain it to people without it sounding terrible, but it is so good! I even bought it after renting it through Netflix. The premise is that aliens show up twenty years ago over Johannesburg, South Africa. It turns out there's a bunch of dying aliens on board. They bring them down and segregate them into these slummy shacks. The aliens start intertwining in human life and the humans are not happy. MNU has been contracted to move them from their slums to a concentration camp outside the city so they don't bother the humans.

During the evictions, Wickus (the guy who is in charge of getting signatures on the eviction notices) gets sprayed by an alien toxin and he begins to morph slowly into an alien. Meanwhile, Christopher (an alien) is working on some illegal stuff and tries to protect he and his son from being killed.

Wickus gets taken to a lab and experimented on, but escapes and goes on the run, where he meets up again with Christopher.

Okay, you'll have to watch to find out the rest, but I loved this movie! I felt as though it was a metaphor for how many people treat others that are "alien" to them. They are treated like second-class citizens and it's as if they are not human. Anyway, maybe I read too much into it, but if you view it for the symbolism, it's outstanding!

Family Time Factor: It's awfully gory, so I wouldn't recommend it for young kids.

MOTR Grade: A

Monday, February 8, 2010

Fraggle Rock: Wembley's Egg Surprise


Did you used to watch Fraggle Rock as a kid? Yeah, me neither. I think it was on PBS and if we got PBS, no one told me! Plus, being 6th in line for the remote kinda left me watching reruns of Fantasy Island, some lame-o sports event or Walker, Texas Ranger. I remember HEARING about Fraggle Rock and WANTING to watch it. Well, now our kids can as episodes are being released on DVD!

Anyway, back to Fraggle Rock. Jim Henson was the creator of the show about a group of cave-dwelling misfits who liked to dance, act silly and maybe learn a thing or two about life here and there. There were such kooky characters as Red, Gobo, Wembley, Marjory, the Trash Heap and evil villains such as the Gorgs. It's hard to resist these zany creatures. My daughter found it to be hysterical and I found myself cracking a few smiles. This non-animated feature includes the 3 episodes: Wembley's Egg, The Great Radish Famine and The Finger of Light.

In this DVD, spring is in the air. Marjory the Trash Heap decides to teach the Fraggles, Doozers and Gorgs a lesson by magically making all the radishes in the Gorgs' garden disappear. Doc from "Outer Space" uses the power of music to help his plants grow. The egg hunt begins when Wembley finds the egg of a Baby Tree Creature in Fraggle Pond.

Special features include: "The Great Radish Round-Up" animated episode, a sing-along and a look at Jim Henson's Animal Show with Stinky & Jake.

Family Time Factor: I think this actually spans quite the ages and I would say would be best enjoyed by kids up to 12, and especially tolerable to adults who have imagination and remember what it was like to be fun and creative.

MOTR Grade: B

Fraggle Rock: Wembley's Egg Surprise is available February 9 on DVD!!!


Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Minnie's Bow-Tique


After the reaction my son had the first time he saw Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, I have become a loyal fan! Therefore, any DVD that comes out is a must have!

"This new release features four Minnie-themed stories including a never-before-seen episode and a fun Minnie magnet bow frame. ‘Minnie’s Pajama Party,’ and ‘Minnie’s Bee Story,’ include Disney’s Adventure Mode – an interactive game using the remote control with multiple play levels.

It's the grand opening of Minnie's Bow-tique, a store jam-packed with every kind of bow and bow-tie imaginable. The selections include: the "Glow-Bow", a bow that changes color with every mood; the "Grow-Bow", a bow that grows to tremendous size by just adding water; flying "Butterfly-Bows"; and a "Photo-Bow" that snaps instant pictures. Problems arise when Pete, embarrassed about buying a lady's bow for his favorite aunt, causes a few accidental mishaps in the new store. However, super salesperson Minnie finds the perfect bow for Pete. The Bow-tique's grand opening
is a success - and it all ends in a Big Bow Show with the Clubhouse gang modeling the latest fashions under the biggest bow of all, a colorful, sky-high Rain-Bow.
In a never-before-seen episode, Minnie’s Pajama Party Minnie and the girls set up a fun Pajama Party sleepover for the day – but it’s not as easy as it sounds, especially with the addition of Pete and Willie the Giant!"


If you're unfamiliar with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, it's one of the staples on Playhouse Disney and is geared towards toddlers and preschoolers. Both my kids love it. I think it's very educational. Kids learn letters, numbers, colors, vocabulary, but don't realize it because the show is so fun!

Family Time Factor: Probably best enjoyed by kids 6 and under. Not terrible to watch as a parent, but I'd much rather be cleaning, lol.

MOTR Grade: A

Minnie's Bow-Tique is available February 9 on DVD!!!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Dear Hoover


You and I have quickly become lifelong friends. I am shunning my previous BFF, Bissell as she has soooooo been replaced.

I have dogs. The only carpeted room they are allowed in is the laundry room. Between the mud tracked in, the snow, the dirt, the occasional puppy or lazy dog... the carpeting gets pretty unholy and atrocious. It makes me shudder, it makes me die a little on the inside when I think about the filth and mucky muck of it all.

Previously I had been blown away by the Bissell ProHeat 2X. I swore by it, I loved it, I contemplated marriage. So, yesterday I set about on my carpet shampooing journey that I dreaded. Now, the ProHeat was a fantastic cleaner in its hayday, but I find it to be too complicated, messy and time consuming to use. Well, it broke. It wasn't working, I was determined that I was going to clean the carpet yesterday. Why yesterday, I don't know, don't judge me.

I checked out WalMart's website to do a little price comparing and saw that there was a new Bissell ProHeat model- for like $300 bucks! I did some review reading and found that the Hoover SteamVac Silver got some pretty snazzy reviews, it seemed simple to use and was half the price! No one was keeping me from my mission to have one. I rushed to WalMart, bought it, brought it home and started putting it together- only to find the handle was cracked and broken. So, unphased I rushed back to WalMart, exchanged it and came home to continue my mission.

It was Godly.

It was heavenly.

The floor was beautiful.

It was so clean I would have eaten off it... okay, maybe not cause that's nasty.

The SteamVac was so easy to use a man could do it.

I fell in love. I have to say, My Darling Hoover, you suck hard- and thats not a bad thing!

Love always,

hammy

Thursday, February 4, 2010

I love Weeds!

I'm so addicted to this show and I can't fathom why. I just finished season 5, which stinks because who knows when season 6 will be available. But I wanted to share a funny twitter convo (I laughed, so you will laugh or else) that stemmed from someone telling me that they don't smoke pot so they don't watch Weeds, to which I let them know I have never partaken in my life, but find the show to be super fantastic.

on twitter:

me: just cause you like Weeds doesn't mean you have to smoke pot
@mattstratton: That's like assuming I love to drink since I watch Mad Men. Oh, wait.
me: and like assuming I love to snuff people because I watch Dexter... oh, wait.


Ah, I slay myself.