Thursday, May 29, 2008
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Oh the bar.
Just hangin' around (I had to say it.)
Maybe if he keeps trying, he'll be able to reach it when he's twenty (he's gonna be a short person.)
Frankie only has eyes for the bar.
Frankie demonstrates the improper way to use a balance beam.
Many a reckless dive ended in the pit of foam bricks. It's like a black hole; anything weighing over fifty pounds gets sucked to the bottom, which means that I spent a good amount of my time there trying to dig my way out.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
I've talked some big smack talk about my garden, and I've finally got a few pictures to show the world. Unfortunately, it's not nearly as impressive in the photos, so (if you can) you'll just have to come by the house and see for yourselves! And if you can't come visit, you'll just have to trust me on this one. The yard is very drought-friendly and will look great as the plants grow and fill it in over the next couple of years.
From the street - the horrible vinyl fence is blocking most of the view. We have a plan to improve on the fence, but haven't put it into action yet.
View of one side from the front stoop.
And here's the other side. Fun fact: there's 23 bags of mulch nuggets in this yard.
Here's the one interior shot that's worth showing. We're currently having our tile installed and the master bath shower turned out really nicely! Our neighbor, Darek, is a tile guy and is doing the work on our house. We decided to go for a subway tile pattern with a glass tile accent because we didn't want to shell out over $1000 on tile alone (nevermind that labor costs more, too) to do the entire thing in glass tile. The shower is double-headed and will eventually have a glass door. We decided to go with 'really big shower' instead of putting in a garden tub; our clawfoot is enough tub for one house! I think it's going to be great - I can't wait until the house is finished.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
I got the job (finally!) I had a second interview today, about 10 months after the first one, and they offered me a job starting fall semester. Basically, I'll be teaching an online film course for the community college. It's 100% from home and I'll get to use my degree so that when I go back to get a PhD (if I can muster up the courage for it,) I'll have something substantial to put on my CV. It also gives me an academic affiliation so I can push myself to try and write papers for conferences. Yay! I'm very much 'nerding out' right now and think I'll celebrate tonight by actually *purchasing* an On Demand movie....maybe Flight of the Red Balloon. Juston doesn't want to see it, so it's a good time to watch it.
Speaking of Juston, he'll be back from the Partylite cruise on Saturday. Many of you have asked what he does on these exotic trips that he takes twice a year. The company he freelances for specializes in multi-level marketing, and they make videos of incentive trips for companies to use as marketing tools. As in, hey, if you sell the most _insert product name here_, you too can go to Cancun! So Juston follows around a bunch of ladies that did really good business in candles, home goods, various juice products, etc., and videos them having fun. He's gone on a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon, swam with dolphins, blah blah blah. This time it's a Caribbean cruise with stops in the Bahamas, among other places. If he complains to anyone about working on these 'trips,' please don't feel sorry for him. This is how he uses his company vacation time, pretty much guaranteeing that we won't ever take a trip to the beach ourselves. Not that we have the cash to do that anyway...but I digress. Time to fold the towels, watch the movie, and drink some Gatorade.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Last week, our friend Kembe invited us to her work's "end of the year bash" so that I could help with her kids while she did her work stuff. Since she works for a virtual elementary school, there were lots of child-friendly activities and the kids had a great time. However, keeping up with those three crazy boys in an open area with about a thousand other people around tested my childcare faculties, to say the least. Never a dull moment!
Frankie wasn't so sure about the Twister-themed bouncer...
...so he got off of it and found a ball to cling to for comfort.
I luckily found an extra 'bank sucker' in my bag, which made Frankie not only sticky, but very happy indeed.
Frankie and Abe, a couple of little hermit crabs playing in the sand. They hunkered down and played there for at least an hour, which made my job a little easier. Didn't make the car any cleaner on the way home (sand in hair, diapers, etc.,) but definitely gave me a chance to catch my breath.
Frankie's best buds make a Frankie sandwich. Aren't they cute?
Just for fun, this is what I call the 'duck suck' - sticking the rubber duck to the chest. Daddy taught him this.
Bridget wears a hat.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
1. get the nearest book to you, or one your reading that contains over 123 pages.
2. go to the 123rd page
3. find the 5th sentence
4. post the 5th sentence
5. tag 5 people
Since the closest book to me is a home remodeling book, I'll go with what I'm reading now. I'm currently almost finished with "The Obsession: Reflections on the Tyranny of Slenderness" by Kim Chernin. Here's the 5th full sentence on the 123rd page:
"There was a highly charged atmosphere in the place, a sense that too much energy had gathered and now would have to be discharged."
(The author is talking about an experience she had watching a larger woman do grocery shopping and the reaction of the people around her. The book is actually a really interesting read, if for nothing else than that she pulls some really weird, Freudian-style psychology out and dusts it off and re-purposes it to explain why we're afraid of the 'curvier' body of the mother in Western society. I dig that kind of stuff.)
I think this tag has gone through about everyone that reads my blog that also has a blog, but if you're reading this and you haven't done it and you have a blog (you all know who you are), then I tag you. Get to it!
I also promise to put up pictures of Frankie very soon - I realize we've had a toddler drought lately here at Frankie Loves Bridget. The rains will come! Oh, and just for fun - last night, I took Frankie to the Discover Mills mall (I was already halfway there after going to buy tile) and took him for a ride on the carousel. He loved it, of course, but here's the kicker - I've had like three people tell me that I'm a good parent for taking him on the carousel. Really? That's all I have to do to be a good parent? Sweet! Maybe I'm doing better than I thought! :)
Thursday, May 15, 2008
It seems as though whenever I use my computer, Frankie thinks that I'm watching videos of babies because, well, the babies live in my computer. (Little does he know that Mommy is actually looking up movie trivia for work. I love this gig.) Tonight was no exception, and I found this little gem:
Gotta love that scream at the song's climax! Because this poor kid knows the entire Beatles catalog by heart, his parents have shopped him around the Korean talk-show circuit and pretty much exploited his very obvious cute factor. (Plus, he doesn't speak English.) Apparently stage parents know no bounds or culture. Juston decided that we needed to expose Frankie to a bit more Radiohead and then try to make a quick buck off of it.
I'm a day late with this post; it happens. I've not been in much of a mood to write due to lack of good sleep and other various things happening, but we'll get there. The good news is that we've had a bit of interest in the house and we're showing it to a potential renter soon; the bad news is that means that I have to actually clean my house and try to make it look like someone else might want to live here (we have pretty specific taste.) I've been playing the same game of Bookworm online for about four days now; I'm playing it in spurts and I'm up to level 11, which doesn't beat my level 21 from earlier in the week. I also might get to do a really cool project for TCM, where I'll actually write the copy to go with a photo installation in Mexico City. It would definitely stretch me professionally since I've only done minor professional writing before, but I do have experience with installation projects and I know the TCM photo library pretty well. We'll see if they take my bid - does anyone else know how to quote a price for a project like this? Because I have no idea and could use some help.
Now on to the movie review!
My first thought on Priceless is how much did Master Card pay to get that as the English title of the film? Product placement is so pervasive in any film; it can't be a coincidence that a film about spending money is called "priceless." There are a couple of close-up shots of credit cards, and I do remember at least one being a Master Card. Anyway, I don't have much of a review of the film because I can't find the right words and the L.A. Times critic says it so much better than I can. My quick two cents? Pretty people living the life of luxury in pretty places with not a lot of plot, but a happy ending that involves riding off into the French countryside. Total fluff, but far better than any American rom-com drivel currently infesting our theaters.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
...ends up on the blog, naturally. Juston took Frankie sunglasses shopping on Saturday and modeled a couple pairs for the iPhone.
I'm on a blogging roll, three posts in one day (and another blog created.) Obviously nothing else is getting done during naptime. And I even have a fluff entry because I saw another movie last night! So as to not overload the blog, I think I'll save it for tomorrow. Now you can all wait with baited breath to find out what I thought of Priceless.
The Kindezi School charter was unanimously approved yesterday by the Atlanta school board! I'm over the moon elated and I am really excited for the potential that this school brings to the West End. It will open in 2009 as a K-3 school and add one grade each year up to the 8th grade. Hooray!
Monday, May 12, 2008
So I'm not much of one for cooking. I mean, I like to cook, but sometimes I just can't be bothered and I'd rather just have a grilled cheese sandwich or some apple slices with peanut butter. Juston would rather have a bowl of cereal or a frozen pizza than just about anything on earth. Every once in awhile, though, I do whip something up that I find to be pretty dang good and it makes me wonder why I don't do it more often. Yesterday I made a vegetarian lasagna/ziti dish (I sort of meshed the two together) for our vegetarian friends who recently had a baby, and for dessert I decided to delve into one of the ward cookbooks to find a recipe I've never made before. This one came courtesy of the Riverdale 7th Ward, former stomping ground of Juston's brother's family. (People tend to give these cookbooks, little bits of Mormon kitsch that they are, as gifts.) My number one consideration when making a recipe is ingredients on hand, the second is ease; this one was both. So without further delay, I present to you:
Chocolate Chip Applesauce Cake!
1/2 c. butter
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 c. applesauce
1/2 tsp. salt
3 tbls. cocoa
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. cinnamon (come on, you know that's not enough)
2 c. flour
2 tbls. sugar
1/2 bag chocolate chips (6 oz)
Mix all ingredients together and pour into a 9x13 pan. Sprinkle sugar and chocolate chips on cake. Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes (or until toothpick comes out clean.)
I don't have a picture, but trust me, it's good stuff. The chocolate chips on top get really gooey and give it an almost frosting-like texture. I used half whole wheat, half regular flour as usual, and I added extra cinnamon. I thought the batter seemed stiff for a cake batter, but the end result was really fluffy and moist. It took closer to 40 minutes to cook, thanks to my awesome oven, and when it was done I put a little vanilla drizzle and powdered sugar on the top to make it pretty. Delicious!
Saturday, May 10, 2008
Since I got up early to run the 5k, I'm relaxing and don't feel like doing anything productive. Thus, I'm updating the blog with an off-topic post on a popcorn movie. (And for those who wonder, yes I did run the whole time, and yes, I did get a travel pack to wear around my waist. It worked great!)
Last night, Juston and I saw "Speed Racer." As a kid that watched the "Speed Racer" cartoon revival in the early '90s, I was intrigued by the idea of a big-screen adaptation. I was also interested in the Wachowski's idea of a family film, what with their catalog containing only a few films, all of which are most decidedly for adults. Another thing about the Wachowski Brothers - all of their films, the first "Matrix" film excepted, are pretty terrible. And don't get me started on their writing/producing disaster, "V for Vendetta." (P.S. It was awful When Natalie Portman actually kissed the dude in his mask I almost lost it, even though I kind of already had lost it at that point.) Back to the film in question. I actually liked it...surprise! It's gotten really mixed reviews from the 'legit' critics, so I wasn't sure what to expect, even though I've had some of my best film experiences with films that fall in the middle critically (think "Palindromes.")
Story-wise, I felt that "Speed Racer" relied a lot on the cartoon's basis and I feel like my knowledge of the cartoon helped my enjoyment of the movie, because I knew what to expect from the characters and didn't expect any more dimensionality. It was paced like a cartoon, and visually tried to stay within the realm of a cartoon. The world was completely out of place in our world, and thus it made it okay for the races to look like a video game. Where movies like, say, anything by George Lucas in the past ten years (I'm looking at you, Star Wars 1, 2, and 3) try to create a realistic universe and populate it with human actors, this movie didn't try to have realistic-looking sets or create a realistic alternate universe. I guess what I'm trying to say is that it didn't take itself seriously, so it was able to play with its false surrounds and, in effect, actually populate its cartoon realm instead of stilting the actors with green-screens; Lucas has this gift of making his actors seem like furniture instead of living, breathing people. The visual effects were awesome. I even told Juston that I was expecting the equivalent of an acid trip when the opening credits were a technicolor mess on the screen (fyi, I was speaking theoretically because I've never had an acid trip - I'm not that kind of girl.) The car racing scenes were very much like a video game - kind of like a tricked-out version of "Mario Kart." The best comparision I have for "Speed Racer" is "Tron," the 1981 box-office bomb about a man sucked into a computer system. While "Tron" was basically rejected when it was released, it's fallen into something like a cult status and has since been hailed as a groundbreaking in its visual effects. (It's also the only Jeff Bridges film that I can stand to watch because I have a really hard time watching Jeff Bridges act. It's kind of painful.) The film editing was almost all wipes, which is something that you don't see very often, and the story was told in broken flashbacks. The film was put together in what I think is actually a very fresh way and although it did suffer from about an extra half hour in length, overall, it was fun to watch and felt innovative. I had moments during the film where I thought that someday, in a digital media history class, students will watch "Tron" followed by "Speed Racer" because I think it will follow the same trajectory as its predecessor. It may not do well at the box office, but I think it will be discovered later and be seen as somewhat revolutionary in its visual storytelling tactics. I also don't recommend it for everyone; I think the target being twelve-year-old boys is probably correct, as well as crazy fans of the cartoon, and I sadly fit into the second demographic.
I'm always looking for movie recommendations, so if you see anything good, let me know! I hope to write a few reviews of summer fluff films on my blog, but it really depends on how many I see. Let me know what you thought if you end up forking over the $10 to see fluff #1!
Friday, May 09, 2008
Okay, so the term 'excitement' is all relative. But because it's May and it's hotter inside than outside and I'm too cheap to turn on the air conditioner, we've spent a lot of time outside the last few days and here are the pictures. Yesterday we were in forced exile at home because after mowing the lawn, I locked my keys in the garage and well, with no keys you can't really go anywhere. Oops. (For the record, mowing the lawn doesn't count as excitement.) At least I didn't have to go to work and was able to do a lot from home. Ultimately it ended up being a good thing because I got a lot done, and Frankie didn't seem to mind.
Frankie loaded the bird feeder and in the process left a lovely layer of 'birdseed fertilizer' on our barren backyard. So far I've not seen any birds approach it, but I did see a bird eating something in the middle of the street today, so the birds are around. Maybe they just aren't privy to it yet.
This picture was taking as Frankie was weaving in and out of the bushes in our front yard. They're just the right height to make a sort of maze for him.
Frankie's new thing is watering and feeding the plants. I've had to hide the plant food because he literally killed two ground cover plants at the other house by throwing handfuls of food on them. It appears that gluttony is good for neither humans nor plants. Now he just comes to me with the watering can and begs for water, which he mostly dumps on the ground. And pay no attention to the state of my Stargazer Lily. It's actually doing better and I try to keep Frankie away from it. The other plants on my porch are all herbs, so they're pretty hardy and mostly toddler-proof.
One other thing we've tried lately is watercolor. Frankie loves it. I guess the farther away you get from the paint, the more satisfaction derived from getting it onto the brush and creating line art.
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
Success! Photos uploaded!
As promised, here's a picture of...sheetrock! Our house looks really different with the walls, as I suspected. The picture is kinda gross, but it's dusty in there!
Because we unearthed a layer of asbestos tile while excavating in the kitchen, we decided our best option would be to put down new floors instead of trying to find the old hardwoods. They'll be sanded and stained to match the existing 100-year-old floors throughout the rest of the house once the walls are painted and the cabinetry is installed.
So when Grandma was here, she explored new territory in the realm of spoiling. Frankie got to eat lots of things previously forbidden under the regime of Mom & Dad. Well, he had an ice cream cone one time before, but they're kind of off-limits because they're so messy. Grandma wouldn't have any of that 'it's too messy' talk and gave him this ice cream cone to eat - in the car. The car seat is still sticky. These photos are after we got back to the house and the mess was already in progress. Frankie loved having his grandparents visit and he never had one complaint about the spoling!
(Look closely - there's sugary dairy goodness in the hair.)
Ice cream beeeeeard. (It's a little Dr. Venture meets Colonel Sanders meets Sigmund Freud. Nice look, right?)
In other news, I am running my first 5k this weekend with Winnie.
Pray for me. I'm not worried about the running; I did it today at the gym and, while I got really bored, I did the full distance. The question I have for all of you race veterans out there is, where do you put your keys when you run?
Monday, May 05, 2008
I haven't posted in a while and it may be a few more days before I get around to putting up any good pictures. I'm working on four different projects for work right now, which is eating up most of my non-parenting and non-sleeping spare time. At least I'm doing cool stuff, like working on a lifestyle magazine concept and the book that I've adopted as my own. We also had Grandma R. in town for a week and a half, so we were busy getting spoiled! It's a good thing there's nothing on TV these days to eat up more of my time, except that I did get a bunch of DVDs from TCM and I've borrowed "Flight of the Conchords" to watch (thanks, Charla!) Must work...must ignore distractions....
I fully intended on posting a few pictures tonight, but the internet demons are conspiring against me and preventing me from uploading my pictures of the house. I'll try again later. I also have pictures of 'spoiled child,' but again, they will have to wait.
Until then, Happy Cinco de Mayo! Go have yourselves some fresh salsa from Trader Joe's...mmmm.....I could totally drink that stuff straight from the carton.
(I was too busy to make a new 'card' so I'm recycling the same one I've used for the past two years. You'll get over it.)