Watched The Iron Giant for the first time last night.  Cried a ton.  Watched Logan tonight.  Cried a little.  So what’s up for tomorrow?  Old Yeller?  Steel Magnolias?  Up?  Oh, no – Beaches?

For anyone wondering, though, we really liked Logan.  Violent as hell, but it’s a really good Wolverine movie.

Girls’ night!

John and Will have a gig tonight, a late one, so I’m going to hang out with Christina, eat Indian food, drink wine, and maybe watch a movie or something.  That is a perfect night out.  Hey, it’s out for me – not my house.

I just have to make sure it’s not a scary movie (I don’t think that’ll be a problem) because the Black Tapes podcast keeps creeping me out.  Just a little.  And John will be out late, so I’ll probably be coming home to a dark, empty house.  Happy movies for me!

I really don’t know why I keep getting this urge to watch scary movies.  I don’t want to watch the gory ones.  I want to watch the scary thrillers, or the ones that are just different enough, like Cabin in the Woods.  But when even Stranger Things can get to me, it seems really stupid to want to watch more things like that.  And seriously, Stranger Things isn’t scary.  It just had that one thing that got stuck in my imagination.

So worst case scenario: I come home, it’s dark, and I’m scared.  Solution: Watch Friends on Netflix downstairs with all the lights on until John comes home.  That’ll do.

Get used to disappointment

Mild spoilers ahead.

We saw Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice last night, and it was bad.  It was very not good, and we are very not happy.  On the one hand, we didn’t have great expectations for it, so it’s not like we were let down.  On the other hand, COME ON.  It was a Superman movie where Superman is the bad guy for no apparent reason.  It was a Batman movie where Batman didn’t act like Batman at all.  And Wonder Woman?  With as little introduction and explanation as she got, she should have been a cameo.  Instead, her scenes were inscrutable.


Teddy bears and sprinkles and unicorns requested

We have a watched a LOT of violent TV lately.  Last night, we finished watching Jessica Jones on Netflix.  It’s all we watched last week, and I loved every minute of it, but holy hell, was it violent.  We just finished watching John Wick on HBO Go, which was surprisingly good, but crazy violent, too.  I mean, it’s about a hit man with LOTS of reasons to go after the entire Russian mob, but still.  I haven’t checked IMDB yet (or Google), but the body count has to be near 100.

Thanks, Google.  84.  84 people die in this movie, mostly by gunshot.

So maybe we should take a break from all the violent TV.  My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, maybe?

I want to see it again

We saw the new Star Wars movie last night, and it was awesome.  I totally want to see it again in the theater.  I got misty a few times (including the crawl and the theme at the VERY beginning) but there was one part where I cried like a baby.  Good stuff.  I sang the theme the whole way home, and I woke up humming it.  Happy me.

In other news, today is our anniversary (15 years), and there’s a parade in Annapolis!  (Not for us.  I think.  Maybe it is.)  I want to see it, but we don’t have a good track record for that kind of thing.  A few weeks ago, I wanted to cheer on some runners during a half-marathon that was supposed to go right down our street, but we missed it (slept too late).  Fingers crossed we’ll make it to the parade on time!

Star Wars confession time

I like Star Wars.  I like the story, I like the people who like Star Wars, I shared in everyone’s disappointment with the prequel trilogy, and I’m excited about the new movie (which we are planning to see with John’s family on Christmas Eve).

I don’t live and die Star Wars, and that’s okay.  I didn’t see any of the movies until high school (a big thank you to Randy for sitting me down and making me watch them), and I’ve only seen them a couple of times since then.  Maybe three.  Definitely the first one and Empire more.  I  borrowed the original trilogy from a coworker about a year ago, so I’ve seen all three recently.  We watched Return of the Jedi Saturday night, and it’s possible that that was only the second time I’ve seen it.  Third, at most.  I mean, it’s everywhere – I’ve seen videos, clips, parodies.  There’s nothing about this movie that is a surprise to me.  Well, except one thing.

Some of you should sit down.  Some of you won’t know what I’m talking about and won’t care.

We were watching Return of the Jedi, and Admiral Ackbar came on the screen for the first time.  I recognized him immediately, knew his name, could have picked him out of a line-up, BUT – I could not have told you he was a Star Wars character.  Every other character, human or alien, was familiar to me as part of the Star Wars universe, but not him.  I don’t know how that’s possible.  If pressed, I would have guessed he was a recurring Futurama character.

I’m atoning for this failure.  Please forgive me.

Worth the interruption

I was doing some tedious work this afternoon, so I decided to start the Christmas music.  All was going well for a while – I was working away and occasionally bopping along – until THE song came on my Pandora station.

My work came to an abrupt halt.  Who can work when there’s singing to be done?

I love the Mariah Carey version, too, possibly more, but this is the one that came on and made me realize I HAVEN’T WATCHED LOVE ACTUALLY YET THIS YEAR.

We’ve decided we’re going to Christmas it up in Annapolis before we head to PA for the holiday, so we’ll enjoy the lights and the stores and everything this weekend, but we may have to sneak in a viewing of Love Actually, too. After Return of the Jedi, of course. We have priorities.

Maybe we’ll bring Love Actually to PA…

Horror movies

One of my coworkers is a horror movie buff. I noticed a reddit thread the other day about horror movies that were actually horrifying, and I thought of that coworker, so I sent him the link.  (I didn’t actually read the discussion myself.  Not my thing.)  He then proceeded to make me a list, a very long list, of good horror movies that I should see (his definition, of course).  There are 18(ish) movies on that list.  I humored him, of course, and maybe I’ll watch some of them, but for the most part, I think that would be a really stupid move for me.  I am easily scared.  Easily freaked out.  Like, woke-up-from-a-nightmare-the-other-night-and-was-too-afraid-to-go-back-to-sleep easily freaked out (for real – that happened Sunday night).  The Sixth Sense gave me nightmares, for crying out loud.

I want to like scary movies, but almost every time I try one, I end up regretting it.  It’s not fun.  I  have mostly learned from those past mistakes.  I know it’s not a good idea for me try any of the movies on his list, but I still kind of want to.  Maybe during the day.  A bright, sunny day.  Which is how I watched Cabin in the Woods, suggested by the same coworker (he didn’t suggest the middle of the day part – that was my idea).  I really enjoyed that one, but it’s not a typical horror movie, so I’m not sure it counts.

Should I try again?  Maybe I’ll become inured to them.  I’ll toughen up and be able to just enjoy the movie and let it go after.  Or should I give it up?  I’m 36 years old – maybe that’s old enough to know I’m not going to get over this.

I don’t feel like giving up.

Here’s his list (not comprehensive, and in no particular order – he was thinking of them off the top of his head):

  • Let The Right One In
  • High Tension
  • Eden Lake
  • The Orphanage
  • Audition
  • Pontypool
  • Babadook
  • Bad Milo
  • Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Verner
  • Evil Dead movies
  • Dead Alive
  • Dog Soldiers
  • The Grey (he says it’s not scary, but it’s good)
  • The Mist
  • Pan’s Labyrinth
  • Silent Hill
  • Slither
  • Sunshine
  • The Thing
  • Trick ‘r Treat

It was JUST like the book (mostly)

I usually like the book more than the movie version of the book.  Shocking and controversial, I know.  And that’s not even really what I want to talk about, but I mention it today because in the case of Gone Girl, I didn’t like either the book OR the movie.

I read Gone Girl in 2012, and THAT time, I liked it.  It was entertaining, full of twists, engrossing.  Then I heard they were making a movie out of it, and I wanted to see the movie, so I made John read it.  He didn’t like it as much.  It had been a couple of years, so I re-read it.

I did NOT like it the second time.  Nick and Amy are entirely unsympathetic, totally horrible people.  I forced myself to finish it the second time.  (I’m not sure why, actually.  Maybe I was hoping it would turn around.)  But I still wanted to see the movie.  After John read it, he was much less enthusiastic about seeing the movie, so we didn’t get around to it until this past weekend.

The casting was perfect.  It was very well acted, and it’s a very good adaptation of the book.  And I didn’t like it (neither did John).  So…points for consistency?  Except for the first time I read it.  So there went two and a half hours spent with characters we didn’t like.  I mean, we really didn’t like this movie.  It left us feeling…bad.  Unclean.  Not entertained.  Just bad.

So John chose the next movie, also an adaptation of a book, but at least this time it was an adaptation of a book we both liked.  We both read A Long Way Down recently (since the move to Annapolis), and the movie (also a very good adaptation) was mostly faithful to the book, with good acting and likeable characters.  Likeable?  Likable?  Likable looks like lickable.  Anyway, we enjoyed it SO much more than Gone Girl.  TONS more.  It was a palate cleanser, despite being about four people who don’t like each other (at first) and met accidentally when they all tried to kill themselves.

I have banned myself from choosing movies for a while.  John isn’t complaining.

Pizza pizza pizza pizza pizza – man, that looks weird

You know how you can go for months on end without eating fast food, without craving it or even thinking about it, but then you’re on a trip and you go through a drive-thru and then find yourself craving it?  And, probably, eating more of it?

Yeah, I’m doing that with pizza right now.  I love pizza, but I tend to go overboard and eat ALL the pizza when we get it, so I’ve been avoiding pizza.  But I love pizza, and when Jess suggested pizza for our movie night this week, I thought it was a brilliant idea.  (We watched Mean Girls and Bring It On (she had never seen either) and then Victor/Victoria (which I had never seen) and then the first episode of Crazy Ex Girlfriend (because I can’t be the only person who loves it) and then we were well into the third bottle of wine and called it a night.  It was great.)  The problem is that now I want pizza.  More pizza.  Pizza again.  It doesn’t even have to be good pizza.  I will eat all pizza.

I could go to the one place in town I know about that sells it by the slice (and only buy one slice), but I am also trying to stop eating out for every meal, so I went to the store. My compromise is pizza muffins (cousin to the pizza buns that became one of my food obsessions growing up, along with hot dogs and then toast).  We have tomato sauce, we have mozzarella, and we have English muffins.  That’ll work, right?

How many times can I type Frankie Valli in one post?

We watched Jersey Boys tonight.  I’m sure the Broadway show is fun and probably really good, but the move is decidedly not.  The actor playing Frankie Valli doesn’t do a very good Frankie Valli impression (well, he might do a great impression when he’s acting, but I’m just judging his singing), and so every song was a disappointment.  The thing is, it’s the same actor who plays Frankie Valli on Broadway. Are we just more forgiving when the show is live?  Is he better on stage than in the movie?  I mean, I don’t need him to be exactly like Frankie Valli – that would be tough. But he’s enough different (and not in a good way) that it took away from the movie.  Thankfully, the original recordings were playing over the credits.  The movie is…lacking and not just because we were unhappy with Frankie Valli.  Then again, it’s a movie adaptation of a Broadway musical based on the rise and fall of a boy band.  Our expectations may have been a bit unrealistic.

At loose ends

Today has been such a weird day.  We slept in (didn’t get up until nine – gasp!), and we didn’t really have any plans at all.  Had some breakfast, watched a little TV.  All I knew was that I wanted to work out and I might make cookies and I might get to the store.  Anything else was fine.  John went into the other room to play his guitar (I believe he’s trying to write something), and I…couldn’t decide what to do.  I finished one book last night, so I started another one.  Got 6% in.  Not interested.  Put it down.  No big loss – it was $1.99 and I don’t remember whose recommendation put it on my list, but it’s been there for a long time.  Picked another book, one I should LOVE.  Got 8% in.  I don’t like it.  I think.  I can’t tell if I really don’t like it or if I’m just not in the mood.  But I put it down.  Okay, then.  I decided I’d go to the gym.  (It’s really cold and windy – not running outside.)  I put workout clothes on.  I got ready to leave the apartment.  Eh, didn’t really feel like using the treadmill, and I can do plenty of exercises right here in the living room.  So I didn’t leave.  Tried to do zumba with Lisa’s youtube videos.  Too weird.  Push-ups?  I did 15.  Anything else?  Nah.  Didn’t feel like it.  …  Okay, then.  What do I do when I don’t feel like exercising and I can’t decide what I want to read?  Play on the internet, right?  Wrong.  Not in the mood.  What the hell is wrong with me?

Well, cleaning the apartment was also on the list for the weekend, so I clipped my tiny mp3 player to my shirt (still in my workout clothes), and cleaned the apartment.  While singing along to random favorite songs.  You know what?  THAT’S what I needed to get me out of whatever funk I fell into after breakfast today.  CLEANING.  Again, what the hell is wrong with me?

Actually, I think it was the music and the singing, so you can all rest easy.  John eventually came out of the other room, decided HE wanted to work out, and I tagged along.  Much better.  Now I’m clean and dressed in normal clothes and the apartment is clean and I’m waiting for John to get out of the shower and then we’re going to try to grab some dinner out and see Kingsman: The Secret Service, which I’ve been excited about since I saw the preview months and months ago.  Possibly when we saw Guardians of the Galaxy, way back in August.

I’m glad I got all that sorted out.  Of course, I still haven’t picked my next book.

It’s the most bakingful time of the year

It’s that time again, kiddies.  Time to bake ALL the cookies.  138 of them, to be exact (although it’s 137  now – we ate one).  Not as many as last year, somehow.  Did I bake bigger cookies?  Or did John eat more batter?  Anyway, the cookies are cooling, and two more sweet potato pies are in the oven.  The toffee bark and peppermint bark get made tomorrow (they’re way easier – melt, mix, freeze, break into pieces).

We’ve determined that we are NOT going to the mall tomorrow.  It would have been just for fun, anyway, since we’re done with the shopping, but why make the trip if we really don’t have to?  No open house tomorrow (we’re taking the next couple of weeks off, although we’re available for showings, of course), so we don’t have to scramble to clean up or disappear.  It’ll be great.  We can sleep in, wrap some presents, leave the house if we feel like it…  That works for me.

We watched Knights of Badassdom last night.  Mom, you’ll hate it.  Don’t bother.  Same goes for you, Margaret.  Everyone else who hangs out around here would probably enjoy it (if you haven’t already seen it – I’m looking at you, Randy.  You’ve seen it, haven’t you?), silly as it is.  Full disclosure – it’s about LARPing.  And there go Mom and Margaret.  Bye, guys!  We still love you!

It was fun, and we liked it.  Great review, right?  That’s what they pay me for.  Except for the paying part.  And the “they” part.  There’s no “they”.

It was all action, and really good action at that

Why do some beautiful blossoming trees have to smell so bad?  I mean, I’m sure it has something to do with defending against destructive insects or something (and I could google it find out, sure), but the smell really ruins an otherwise lovely walk around the neighborhood.

John and I saw Captain America: The Winter Soldier Friday night, and IT WAS AWESOME.  I mean, really – it was good.  And if you’re watching Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, watch this movie before watching the “Turn, Turn, Turn” episode.  That episode will make SO much more sense.  You probably already knew that and have probably already done that, but I figured I’d pass that along.  So we got back from the movies, all excited because it was SO COOL, and sat right down and watched that episode of S.H.I.E.L.D.  Sure, it’s not the greatest TV show, but we can’t get enough of this stuff right now.  Hooray for Captain America!

P.S. I love Bucky.

Oh, the guilt!

I skipped posting yesterday (and Monday, I think), and I just can’t live with myself.  I was doing so well!  All but two days in January, and then all of February….until this week.  This week has been hard.  Not enough sleep (thanks, Riley), too many meetings and not enough actual work at work, other stuff – I would like a vacation, please.  One where John and I can be quiet together and read and sleep and play on the internet and watch TV and not have to talk to other people or work or think about house things.  I don’t see that in our future.  There’s too much to do.  But it’s not like we’re not having ANY fun.  I mean, the Moulin Rouge sing-along was pretty darn fun.  Oh, dudes.  I won a can-can contest.  For reals.  Although I’m sure it helped that not one of the three contestants actually knows how to can-can.  But it was fun.  And I have proof (in the form of very grainy pictures from far away).  That’s me in the middle.

Lucky Thirteen

You know what I missed this year?  My five-year blogoversary!  It was back in early November.  Oh, well.  You know what I didn’t miss (which is a good thing, as this one is much more important)?  Our 13th wedding anniversary!  We slept in a bit (sorely needed – Christmas week at the in-laws does not lend itself to much sleep), went out for a fancy (for us) brunch, came home and puttered a bit during the afternoon, went out to see a movie (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty), and went out for a fancy (for us) dinner (which was delicious).  Better?  Our menus were printed specially with “Happy Anniversary, Mr. and Mrs. Zannah” for us.  So cool.  They rolled them up, tied them with a ribbon, and sent them home with us (along with mugs full of candy).  Nice place.  Happy Anniversary to us!

Bits and pieces

I have a few hours to myself today, and I think I’m going to use them to catch up on a little bit of the internet.  Just a little.  I’m reading backwards through Whatever (which has already inspired me to buy a new Kindle book –  The Furnace by Timothy S. Johnston.  I put it on my wish list so I wouldn’t forget about it, noticed it was only $2.51, and bought it.), and I don’t expect to get very far (I’m only 10 days back right now), but every little bit counts when I feel like I need to catch up.  Little bits, here and there.  I have tomorrow, but then it’s back to work, so most of the internet will have to remain dusty for me.  Sorry, internet.  Oh, John is about to go upstairs to practice, which means I can watch Pitch Perfect (he’s not interested), and I guess I’ll just have to apologize to more of the internet.  Sorry, more of the internet.

Very serious life-changing goals

Goal: I want to watch more movies.  Good ones, fun ones, Oscar-nominated or almost nominated ones, it doesn’t matter.  I feel like we miss out on a ton because we just can’t get through them fast enough.  We don’t want to devote enough time to watch a movie during the workweek, and our weekends keep filling up.  There is a list of 25 Critically Acclaimed 2013 Films on Netflix Instant (tweeted by Eric D. Snider), and I think we should make an effort to see them.  All of them.  Well, as many as possible.  If you’ve seen any of them, did you like them?  We could use some help prioritizing…