Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A New Fixture

This is my 200th post!*

*Standard exclusions apply. (Some partial creations still have not seen the light of day.)

I had an idea of something I wanted to post for this, but between a pulled muscle in my back and Scott's stomach flu, it just hasn't gotten finished. Go figure... But if I wait to post until I finish that post, I'm afraid I won't post until after Fetus is born. So instead my 200th post is about peanut butter.

Yes, that's right, peanut butter. Do you know how many times a day I put the peanut butter jar back in the pantry? It seems to range between 1 and 6! Scott's first pick for a meal is ALWAYS a PB&J, so he eats that almost once a day. And Claire's favorite snack is peanut butter sandwiched between graham crackers (which she can make by herself now, yay!) And let's be honest, those graham cracker and peanut butter sandwiches dipped in a glass of milk taste pretty good, so I've been known to indulge too. And when it's not that snack, I'm also fond of peanut butter and banana on toast. And a lot of very tasty baking involves peanut butter, especially things M likes. And because M is a real sucker for peanut butter, his 11pm snack is often those same graham cracker and peanut butter sandwiches. And as the mom, I usually get to put the jar away after all of these applications.

So why do I even put it away? I mean, I have lots of things in my kitchen that I keep out on my counter. My toaster. My new stand mixer. (!!! BTW, white won with 11 votes out of 21. Pictures to follow as soon as my kitchen is clean enough and I remember.) My flour, rice, and sugar canisters. And let's be honest, those all rarely get used more than once a day. Maybe I can call it the peanut butter canister and line it up with the rest.

Do you think it clashes?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Movie Running Time: 114 Minutes, A Evening With Your Spouse: Priceless

NOTE: Please forgive the wacko formatting below. Apparently Blogger and I don't agree about my html tables.

M and I love to watch movies, but for how much we like them, we sure don't seem to get through very many. I mean, we are only on the two movies a month plan with Netflix right now, and I'm not sure we're getting our money's worth!

There are several reasons I can come up with that probably contribute to this pitiful state of affairs, but I'm pretty sure I know what the #1 culprit is: Overhead.

Let's say you want to watch a movie and it is 114 minutes long. You might think that you would need to allot about 2 hours to watch this movie. For some people, that may be right. But for M and I this is a gross underestimate. Let's do the math:

Normal Movie Math:
Getting the DVD player set up2 minutes
Getting a snack, some blankets, and snuggling up on the couch+3 minutes
Previews+4 minutes
Movie+114 minutes
Skipping the credits-3 minutes
NORMAL TOTAL120 minutes

M & G Movie Math:
Debating whether or not you really want to watch Henry V
(no really, that's what we have right now)
5 minutes
Taking turns at the computer doing "one more thing" while you wait for the other person to take the initiative+10 minutes
Getting the DVD player set up+2 minutes
G getting some dessert+5 minutes
Snuggling up on the couch+1 minute
Previews (all of them)
+15 minutes
Talk about previews +5 minutes
Movie+1 minute
Turning up volume because G can't hear and replaying first minute+1 minute
Turning on subtitles+1 minute
Replaying first minute of movie with subtitles so G can tell what they said+1 minute
Movie+20 minutes
G finishes dessert and needs to wash chocolate off hands and get more milk+3 minutes
Movie+20 minutes
Stop movie to discuss developing plot, analyze foreshadowing, make predictions+5 minutes
Movie+20 minutes
Stop movie to discuss cinematography+1 minute
Back up movie so M can verify observations+1 minute
Rewatch pertinent cinematography/directing with M's running commentary+3 minutes
Movie+20 minutes
Stop movie to discuss misgivings about how the movie will end+5 minutes
Movie+2 minutes
Stop movie so G can go to the bathroom+2 minutes
Movie+10 minutes
Stop movie so G can go to the bathroom AGAIN (Hey, I'm pregnant, okay?)+2 minutes
Movie+18 minutes
Discuss ending during credits+3 minutes
Rewatch selected portions of movie+5 minutes
Rewatch credits actually paying attention this time and pausing periodically to actually read them+5 minutes
M&G SUBTOTAL192 minutes

Now you might think that's a lot, but wait, there's more!

Discussion of movie as a whole+5 minutes
Visit to IMDB to cross reference actors, directors, cinematographers, etc.+15 minutes
Visit to Wikipedia to research plot elements and historical background+15 minutes
Discussion of moral undertones in movie+5 minutes
Visit to Netflix to rate movie+1 minute
Visit to Netflix queue to see what is next+1 minute
Rearranging Netflix queue+5 minutes
Adding new movies based on today's experience (new recommendations, discovered talent, jogged memories, etc.)+15 minutes
M&G MOVIE TOTAL254 minutes

So let's see, that would be a 6 minute overheard for normal people, and a 140 minute (2 hours and 20 minutes) overheard for us. No wonder we don't mind watching long movies. Normally a four hour movie is a 100% increase in time commitment. For us, it's less than 50%.

The reality is that we watch movies in smaller chunks. I'm just scared about how many MORE pieces we're going to have to break movies into once we have a newborn. UGH.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I Suppose I Could Just Announce the Gender

Well, hand Claire a bucket of sidewalk chalk because now I do have an announcement to make.

The sidebar has been updated to reflect details of our new cast member, but I'll be nice and list it here for the smart ones who use a feed reader:

Fetus is a girl and is scheduled to debut on 4th of July weekend.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

So I Have This "Friend"...

I need your input.

So let's just say, hypothetically, that someone had some news they wanted to share on their blog. In fact, let's just say, hypothetically, that this someone was pregnant. How would you suggest announcing it? Any clever ideas? Hypothetically speaking, of course.

Monday, February 2, 2009

A Shirt By Any Other Name...

If the Twilight series and I had a Facebook relationship, it'd be listed as, "It's complicated."

I have studiously avoided bringing this series up here on the blog for two reasons. One is that I dread the heated debates that so often accompany the topic of these books. I have a lot of poor misguided friends. And I'm not going to say which ones on which side of the debate I mean ;) The other reason is that any time I talk about my thoughts on the books, I come across sounding like a deranged hypocrite.

But there is one aspect of the books that I think we can all safely agree on.

Stephanie Meyer apparently has a thing for "blouses." In honor of Groundhog Day, let me ask, "Am I right or am I right or am I right?" As I read the Twilight series, poor Bella was encountering blouses left and right. Observing other people's blouses, choosing blouses, wearing blouses, packing blouses. Lots and lots of blouses. Not tops, not shirts, not polos. Blouses. Am I the only one that was annoyed by this?

Now maybe I'm way off base here, but I get the feeling that teenage girls in this day and age DO NOT WEAR "BLOUSES." Blouses make me think of middle-aged women working office jobs. Silk things with built in scarves and a tacky holiday bauble pinned to the front. I would probably die before I would actually describe ANYTHING in my wardrobe as a "blouse." I suppose you could contend that this was merely the word Stephanie Meyer chose to differentiate between say a regular top and a button-up one. Except based on the description of Bella's character, I don't exactly see her in a lot of starched button-downs.

My proof lies in online shopping. Browsing online retailers, it's pretty hard to find one that advertises a "blouses" category. I think you'd even be hard pressed to find an individual item described as a "blouse." Maybe the online retailers Stephanie frequents use that signifier a lot, but if they do, I'm guessing I don't shop there for a good reason. I get the feeling that the term "blouse" is not very, shall we say, "fashion forward."

Is this sort of like a regional language difference, or is Stephanie actually concealing from us the secret fact that Bella is really a middle-aged woman? Or maybe so backward that she buys all her clothes from the lamest thrift store known to man?

So who cares if teenage girls are reading about a girl whose blood-drinking boyfriend sleeps in her bed? Or if teenage girls are being taught to have no self-control and to rely on their boyfriends, of all people, to maintain boundaries? Or if teenage girls are reading about a total disregard for birth control in a potentially life-threatening situation? Or if they're reading about people being dismembered and burned? These are petty compared to the real problem here. A veritable plague on our society. The over-abundance of blouses.

Do YOU own any "blouses"?