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01 July 2008 @ 11:55 am
R-E-P-R-I-E-V-E  
I was all set to post up another "Still just a rat in a cage" entry on Saturday because of the smoke, but instead hit paydirt thanks to my ceaseless refreshing of www.wunderground.com! The particulate level dropped into "Moderate," and after checking another location and another website to confirm, I set a land-speed record for sunblocking and getting out the door for a bike ride (though Christopher had his helmet on before I'd even retrieved my water bottles). Whoo-hoo! The air was also better on Sunday, so I went for another ride just to be safe.

Thank goodness-- the cabin fever thing was getting epic. Bleh.

We saw Wanted on Saturday, one of those flashy-trashy movies that will become outrageously popular and which was pretty forgettable on the whole (except for the insults to basic physics!). James McAvoy was very good, actually. Angelina Jolie was mysterious and ultra-cool, and about 10-15 pounds underweight. :( That not only doesn't look good, it reinforces 'ultra-skinny' as a cultural ideal. The only curves in this movie belonged to bullets, and I'm still hurting from that basic concept!

Watched The Color Of Paradise on DVD, which was interesting for a lot of cultural reasons. First, because this is the work of an Irani film director, and given that the West demonizes the Middle-East so much (and perhaps vice-versa), it was nice to get more of an "insider" view. Second, I really had no idea that there were parts of the Middle East that were forested and somewhat lush. This part of Iran is on the coast, and perhaps gets a more temperate weather system. Still, it was a shock! There is also the surprise of hearing bird/animal sounds from another part of the world that do not match our own. There was a scary, dog-like sound in the forest several times that was unnerving. A jackal? Couldn't really tell.

In any case, this was a good drama with lots of pathos for the main character, a blind 8-year-old boy whose father spends most of the movie trying to get out from under the burden of raising him. No-one else views the little boy that way, and the story is more about the father's awakening than anything else. The ending? Hmmm... seemed kind of abrupt.

In family news, we took the kids bowling yesterday for an outing. *sigh* Christopher's ultra-competitiveness resulted in him getting into a complete snit over not winning (his snits always include a non-stop vocal component of bitching, so they're even more obnoxious). Grrr... This joins "miniature golf" as yet another family activity we can't do with him until he grows out of some of his issues. :(


 
 
 
Entendre? Make mine a double.: moms like the sausagedeirdre_c on July 1st, 2008 07:41 pm (UTC)
So does Christopher expect that he should actually be able to beat you and your husband? Or just his sister?

Because my husband and I usually don't play putt-putt or bowl or such against the kids (because we refuse to 'let' them win), but if there's any fussing between them about winning and losing, we will sometimes step in and lay down a butt-whipping just to show that EVERYONE can lose.

I want to see Wanted so very much. Ugh, the list of summer movies I am dying to see is getting nearly as long as my unread Big Bang list! We need more hours in the day, Venus!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on July 1st, 2008 07:48 pm (UTC)
So does Christopher expect that he should actually be able to beat you and your husband? Or just his sister?
Well, only his sister and I also played. Lauren got the lowest score both games, and mine was only slightly higher than Christopher's.

I think he expects to beat everyone. And we realized yesterday that he HAS made some improvements regarding board games, although this other area has gotten worse. Two years ago, he would have been able to just enjoy playing. Now it's ALL about winning, and if he's not winning every single second of they way then the snit begins. :(

We need more hours in the day, Venus!
:D I try to "self-medicate" along those lines by staying up way too late at night, but then I pay for it the next day. ;)
cindytsuki_no_bara on July 1st, 2008 08:10 pm (UTC)
i haven't been watching the news - does this mean they're getting the fires under control? or just that they're moving away from you? in any case, yay, air you can bike in!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on July 1st, 2008 08:16 pm (UTC)
They've got a _little_ better control of the fires, but there are so many of them, and the crews are getting tired. Though according to one news item, it appears that they haven't been doing anything from the air at night-time, which doesn't seem good! That just lets the fire get more traction.

But in the main, it seems to mean that the wind is picking up enough in the huge basin of valley to move some of the smoke out. Normally, once bad air comes in it will stay trapped here until the wind picks up.

It's been SO nice to go outdoors again. Tomorrow will have to be nice, because I'm overdue for running. I go about once a week, and I was due last Monday (8 days ago). Have to keep the feet/ankles in shape so I can run during the summer vacation in Oregon and not get another injury. :0
sassy, classy, and a bit smart-assy: McAvoybadboy_fangirl on July 1st, 2008 09:21 pm (UTC)
I'm supposed to be in Sac next week for the American Idol tour, so I'm hoping the smoke will have cleared a bit more.

James McAvoy was very good, actually.
That's because he's ruddy brilliant. I can't wait to see this movie (hopefully this weekend) not because I expect it to be anything more than what I've seen before and I really can't even stand Angie too much, but just because I love McAvoy. He's just mesmerizing to me, in whatever he's doing. So I'm glad you at least enjoyed him. I fully expect to.

Some people never outgrow being ultra-competitive, so I hope, for your (and his own) sake, Christopher does grow out of it. *g*
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on July 1st, 2008 11:27 pm (UTC)
so I'm hoping the smoke will have cleared a bit more.
I guess the coastal mountain range protects you from the junk we're having-- the big valley becomes a big basin of trapped air. Yuck.

but just because I love McAvoy.
I wasn't even sure I wanted to see the movie at all, but the review the paper ran said that his performance brings a lot out of a character who unexpectedly finds himself yanked from a life he hates into a life he just doesn't understand. That sounded interesting, and his performance WAS worth it. But "flashy-trashy" definitely sums up the genre for me ("Boondock Saints" is another one of these).

so I hope, for your (and his own) sake, Christopher does grow out of it. *g*
I hope he at least mellows a little bit. My brother's son was like this, and going from the point of self-hating and being utterly vile for the entire day after a soccer loss to being in a snit on the ride home was apparently a huge and noticeable improvement.

I distinctly remember one soccer game last year where Christopher did not play all that well (3 goals scored on him), his team lost 6-0, and he spent his time grousing about the OTHER kid who'd played goalie and complained the slippery grass was why his own work as goalie wasn't good and blah-blah-blah (because it's never his fault when things go wrong)... and finished the whole thing by taking off his soccer jersey and sitting around shirtless because he was so mad. He didn't want to be identified with his "loser team."

Sheesh. :0
sassy, classy, and a bit smart-assy: RobbieAtonementbadboy_fangirl on July 2nd, 2008 04:54 am (UTC)
Have you seen The Last King of Scotland? That's a pretty horrific movie, but McAvoy shines brightly next to Whitaker's Oscar-winning performance. If you like British humor at all, I'd highly recommend Starter For 10 as well. If you like The Cure at all, you'll really enjoy the soundtrack, as the movie is set in 1985.

My sister has two boys, and as I recall her older boy (who's 20 now) seemed to have similar *poor loser* problems when he was younger but he did grow out of it. I think your strategy of not being willing to play with him if he's going to act that way is a good one. Would he rather play for fun, or to win? It's so much more fun just to play, and not care about what happens.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on July 2nd, 2008 07:55 pm (UTC)
Last King of Scotland was really good-- a story about ideals sacrificed to convenience and inertia, and losing some of them when a person you admire turns out to be unworthy of your esteem.

Haven't seen "Starter for 10"-- it came up as a Netflix possibility because of McAvoy, so I might see it yet!

Would he rather play for fun, or to win? It's so much more fun just to play, and not care about what happens.
That's the sad thing-- for any kind of sports, it becomes ALL about the winning for him. So much of happiness is "expectations," I find, and if your expectation is that you'll spend time with people you like and probably lose (very accurate for me!) then you're likely to enjoy yourself more. If your expectation is that you vill vin this, and that's the only important aspect, then... not so much. And being the stubborn little creature that he is, it's hard to unseat him from that obsession with winning. The process is kind of like wearing down a stone-- eventually you'll have an effect, but it will take a loooong time. :0

So, you're really driving down to Sac? Should be about 5 hours from where you live, which is a long way! Any interest in getting together, even if it's at a dreaded Starbucks or something like that?
sassy, classy, and a bit smart-assy: Brossplitscreenbadboy_fangirl on July 2nd, 2008 08:41 pm (UTC)
So, you're really driving down to Sac? Should be about 5 hours from where you live, which is a long way! Any interest in getting together, even if it's at a dreaded Starbucks or something like that?

Oh, I wish! The thing is I'm traveling with 3 friends, and while they would probably be tolerant of my fangirl ways, it wouldn't be as fun for them if I wanted to go hang out with one my PB friends. I'm not sure how much time we'll have anyway, and depending on the route we have to take to get there, I'm not sure that I'll have any down time at all. Our hope is to travel from here to Redding to pick up the fourth friend who is supposed to go with us and then make our way down to Sac (all on the 9th), but if the fires get out of control again and 299 is closed between here and there, we may have to take the long way around. The concert is at 7pm and should be over by 10, and then we'll (hopefully) go back to my friend's house in Redding to sleep before coming back home the next day.

I so rarely go to Sacramento, I really wish I was going to have more time. The last time I was there was 3 years ago when I met up with a friend to fly to Ireland.

I go to Corning a few times a year though, because my sister lives there, but that's 2 hours north of Sac, so hardly close enough to meet up at a Starbucks. (If only we'd see Wentworth, huh? Even though we'd both rather meet Dom...)
celia_goesfactoids on July 2nd, 2008 01:42 am (UTC)
The smoke situation must really suck. Over where i live we get haze a couple of months a year, when they start fires to clear farm land in another country the wind blows it in our direction. (lucky us)

I kinda fell for James McAvoy after the movie Atonement, kiera knightley was her usual pouty self in that movie but he was brilliant.

So i caught Wanted because of him, never been an Angelina fan. Enjoyed it, will probably get it on DVD when it comes out so i can forward/pause.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on July 2nd, 2008 03:37 am (UTC)
Over where i live we get haze a couple of months a year, when they start fires to clear farm land in another country the wind blows it in our direction. (lucky us)

We used to have that! It was a big political situation, where we'd have "bad air days" due to ozone/smog pollution, but on days where the air was thick with smoke from people burning rice fields the Air Resources Board would list the air quality as "good." Because we don't want to offend agribusiness! Meanwhile, people with asthma and even those like me were really affected by the smoke, whereas the ozone was more of a "so what?"

Finally, field-burning was banned altogether. And thank goodness! :0

I kinda fell for James McAvoy after the movie Atonement, kiera knightley was her usual pouty self in that movie but he was brilliant.
I just saw it recently, and didn't care for it much (where the story went-- I felt utterly taken for a ride). But I liked him in it. Keira Knightley really needed to wear more clothes (yuck), and her character was unfortunately such a total self-centered bitch that you can't get any feel for the performance. No range.

Enjoyed it, will probably get it on DVD when it comes out so i can forward/pause.
:D Too silly for my tastes, but he was really, really good in it. badboy_fangirl upthread in the comments is on a personal rave over him these days. :D
mercurybard on July 2nd, 2008 01:47 am (UTC)
I miss Angelina Jolie's Tomb Raider body. This skeletal nonsense is just not attractive. Maybe she'll keep some of her baby body curves?
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on July 2nd, 2008 03:40 am (UTC)
I miss Angelina Jolie's Tomb Raider body.

It's funny- I never saw the movies, but I'd seen a few posters, and having seen them recently was such a surprise: Oh yeah... she actually used to look GOOD.

I've seen the photos from ready-to-pop late in her pregnancy, and she still looked pretty slender around the arms and such (i.e., maybe still too skinny for late pregnancy). So though she looked lovely and closer to normal, I fear that she's developed some fetish for being anorectic. Bleh. :(
Antyantychan on July 2nd, 2008 05:46 pm (UTC)
*pops in* I don't quite know how she managed it, but Angelina Jolie has ruined her own hotness. I never cared much for her personality (rather the opposite) but her Tomb Raider body was a knockout: Shapely, fit thighs and ass, a great waist, arms and boobs. Now she's so skinny, she has the hands of an old lady, with the veins popping out.

My *coughs* gossip magazines said she either stopped eating properly after her mother died or caught some form of hepatitis during her I'm-a-borderliner-who-hasn't-yet-discovered-adopting-children-for-depression-so-I'm-doing-drugs phase.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on July 2nd, 2008 08:01 pm (UTC)
I don't quite know how she managed it, but Angelina Jolie has ruined her own hotness.

Haha! You've put it very succinctly with those words. Yes, exactly!

And I agree with you on the scary personality bit. She became a lot less scary to me after adopting her son, because she seemed to mature through doing it. However, the non-stop adoption and pregnancies (someone seriously needs to explain birth control to that couple) are really frightening. Part of enjoying children... is not being in such an incredible rush or under such overload that you lose all the individuals in the pack. There's so much joy to be had from it all (not to mention that individual attention is crucial to kids' happiness). The way they're going about it, they're going to run out of emotional resources very soon if they haven't already. :(

My *coughs* gossip magazines said she either stopped eating properly after her mother died
None of the gossip magazines I've read (thank goodness for the gym and dentist's office!) had much dared to touch the awful skinniness. But that first one seems very likely to me-- her mother died not that long ago, and she was clearly distraught about it.

The problem now is regaining the perspective to say, "This does not actually look good. I need to take better care of myself" instead of "Oh well, thin is in."
Antyantychan on July 3rd, 2008 11:04 am (UTC)
However, the non-stop adoption and pregnancies (someone seriously needs to explain birth control to that couple) are really frightening.

That's just it. It's patholigical. I don't get why no one interferes when a woman who has shown clear signs of Borderline personality disorder in the past has taken to adopting children again and again, like she needs a fix. I mean, I don't wish BPD on anyone. But everybody goes, "ohh, she wants to give all those poor children a home and is the uber-mom" and that's bullshit IMO.

The problem now is regaining the perspective to say, "This does not actually look good. I need to take better care of myself" instead of "Oh well, thin is in."

I actually think it's fairly likely that she caught something during her drug phase which has now appeared. Because even someone who's psychologically unstable should be able to conclude that staying skinny when you're having twins is bad for two innocent unborn babies.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on July 5th, 2008 06:38 am (UTC)
It's patholigical. I don't get why no one interferes when a woman who has shown clear signs of Borderline personality disorder in the past has taken to adopting children again and again, like she needs a fix.

BPD is right. :0 I actually think that might also be Brittany Spears' problem (aside from the drugs, I think she simply has an unstable and impulsive personality).

With the first child, there didn't seem to be a problem. But the combination of adopting several children within months-- AND being pregnant with another-- starts to look kind of... nuts, really.

Sadly, you just can't legislate "sense" into people. :(