Wednesday, August 31, 2005

HAPPY BIRTHDAYS, CAMI & SUMMER! (Sorry for the late post.) I LOVE YOU!

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

The World Through the Eyes of a 4 Year-Old

This 4 year-old, in fact:


She is learning how to take pictures of things/people that really mean something to her:







And pictures of things that just look neat:




Can you guess what the next one is?


It's the ice and water dispenser on the refrigerator!

She's also learned how to take a pretty good picture of herself! Even I don't get it right sometimes. . .



She took so many pictures on the digital camera! She filled the entire memory stick! She even knows how to turn the camera on and off, use the zoom in/out buttons, and scroll through the pictures she has taken! I think we can all guess what she will be getting for Christmas in a couple of years! :)

Thing I'm thankful for: The chocolate frosting Clay made for Summer's birthday cake tonight.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Wendi's Wedding -- Sort Of

Due to extenuating circumstances -- like my ears and brain not hearing my alarm (how could I control that?) -- I was um, late to Wendi's wedding. When I say late, I mean I missed the ceremony. . . But I did get there for the reception, which was VERY short, and I got this picture of Wendi and Wade and their families.

Due to other extenuating circumstances, I missed the farewell to the bride and groom, but I got Eve to pretend she was Wendi for a minute -- for picture's sake.

Eve told me everyone blew bubbles when the newlyweds left -- those would've been great pictures. But she also gave me a bubble tube and recommended I at least take a picture of that!

After the wedding, Eve and I ate at La Fiesta, which I think is the best Mexican restaurant in C-Town. This is Eve:

I should note that Eve has been married for 2 weeks now. She says married life is fun.

I'm genuinely sorry for not having more pictures of the wedding and wish I had not gone to bed so incredibly late on Friday. But for the record, Wendi did look beautiful, and both she and Wade look very good and happy together!

Thing I'm thankful for: Other people's knowledge and wisdom and insight.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Men, Women, and Web Sites

My brother found some pretty neat information about men's and women's website preferences. Read his blog post about it here. (He also has a link to the original article.)

If you need real-life examples of the research findings, just look at the difference between Blake's blog and mine!

Most Looked-Forward-To Song

© BURT STEEL/AP

I thought I'd just paste an MSN article here for you. It's all about Dave Brubeck's recently finished song, which I think will be GREAT! I can't wait to hear it.
Thing I'm thankful for today: naps.

Brubeck's New Work 60 Years in the Making
Aug 27, 9:45 AM EST

Dave Brubeck can finally cross something off that's been on his "to-do" list for nearly 60 years: The legendary jazz pianist will unveil a new six-minute choral work called "The Commandments" Sept. 14 at Lincoln Center's Frederick P. Rose Hall, as part of the second annual Jewish Music Heritage Festival in New York.

"It has taken me almost 60 years finally to compose something I wanted to write when I was a young soldier in Europe," the 84-year-old Brubeck said in a statement.

"The Commandments," to be sung by the 90-member Providence Singers, follows the ten Biblical rules. The pianist says the inspiration came during World War II when he saw most of the commandments broken.

Brubeck spent four years in the Army after graduating college in 1942. His long career includes the classic album, "Time Out," which featured the surprise hit "Take Five."

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Jacki Deep, Jacki High

This past weekend, Jacki's brother Jake was in town. Sadly, I don't have any fun pictures of the Braves game we went to or the hanging out we did afterward, but I DO have pictures of Sunday night, when everyone in the fam' came over. We were treated to a special Celine Dion impersonation concert. Here's Jacki, explaining the intricacies of Celine concerts:

And here she is singing to "River Deep, Mountain High." I had never heard this song before, as no one in her right mind is a Celine Dion fan :) , but immediately I could tell that Jacki sounds better than ol' Ms. Dion herself! I actually kind of liked the melody, and after I looked for a clip to link to this post, I realized why: Celine didn't write it. In fact, I think The Supremes were the first to sing it. Anyway, this was our concert:

Jacki warms up:



Now she really gets into it:







Big finish:



She didn't even break a sweat!



Thing I'm thankful for: Rain for this summer heat!

A Lot Like I Love This Movie!

Okay. Maybe I don't LOVE this movie, but I loved watching it with my mom. I'm referring to the movie "A Lot Like Love," if you didn't notice, and I was surprised that MacDuff gave it such a bad review when it came out. I've heard it called "[My] generation's 'When Harry Met Sally,'" which I think is a pretty fair assessment. There are some pretty funny scenes, most notably the one in which Amanda Peet walks into a glass door. Who doesn't love watching someone walk into a glass door?!

Mostly I just liked watching it with mom! She laughed so hard at that glass door scene. We rewound the DVD and watched it about 5 times! :)

Anway, if you want to check out the trailer, click here.

Thing I'm thankful for today: Seeing Lily get ready for her first dance class of the year!

Sunday, August 21, 2005

They Finally Got It Right

My mom, dad, and I just finished watching "Saints and Soldiers," a film about 5 soldiers trying to survive after the Malmady Massacre (one massacre that occurred within the larger Battle of the Bulge).

I had pretty high expectations after seeing the trailer about a year ago. (To view it, click here.) I have to say that those expectations were met. This is a wonderful movie. The cinematography and editing was great, which I think is apparent when you see how many film festivals it won.

I'd like to just lay the Mormon thing out on the table. Yes, it's a Mormon-produced film (That is, it's not produced by the official church, but by people who have got to be Mormon.). The entertainment group is the same that distributed movies like "God's Army," "The Other Side of Heaven," and "The Work and the Glory." And even though much of those movies was good, I still thought much was lacking as well. Maybe that's because I get worried about the way non-LDS folk will view the movies, so I judge too harshly. Or maybe it's because I think most Mormon movies are almost exclusively written for LDS audiences. Perhaps it's unintentional, but that's why the Mormon-produced movie audience, as of right now, is so small. What I'd like to see, is a REGULAR story without the vulgar language, risque sex scenes, and bloody violence. What I mean by a "regular" story, is one that does not necessarily have to do with Mormons. I think there is an audience waiting to see clean, unoffensive movies, and it doesn't only consist of Latter-Day Saints. I just want a plain ol' wholesome movie -- not a Hollywood story that has to be censored.

That is exactly what I found in "Saints and Soldiers." It's a war movie that obviously also has something to do with God. Does it even mention Latter-Day Saints? No; although LDS viewers should be able to figure out that the character Deacon is a Mormon. The running theme for the movie, I thought, was not about finding a religion, but about understanding people and learning to love them. The Germans were not portrayed as evil, and the Americans were not portrayed as angels. I thought that was perfect.

Although the movie was made with under a million dollars, it looked as though it took well more than that. The cinematography was great, the costumes and props were authentic, and the color was awesome. I don't know what "movie people" call the color enhancement of a film or how they describe it, but I do know that "Saints and Soldiers" has the look of "Band of Brothers." It could almost be a black and white, but not really -- if that makes sense. (Just look at the image I've pasted.)

One reason I really like this movie is that I now have a movie to refer people to when they tell me war movies have to include excessive violence. This movie is PG-13, which means there are no 10-minute scenes of blood and gore just because that's what Hollywood execs tells us we need in order to really "feel" the horror of war. I could still understand the atrocities of war when watching this movie, but I wasn't inundated with graphic violent images.

The only thing I didn't fully like was the musical score. Some music sounded great, but a bit too much like a particular song (I forget which one) in "Braveheart." Some music sounded too. . . trite -- there is a scene in which the music sounds very similar to pieces of music in a lot of other Mormon movies. Those who have seen those other movies will probably know what I'm talking about. . . But this complaint is probably one that most people won't even have because a) They have never seen "The Other Side of Heaven" or "The Singles Ward," etc. or b) The score, in general, is pretty good.

All in all, it's not only the best Mormon-produced movie I've ever seen, it's one of the best movies I've seen in 5 years AND the best contemporary movie about war I've seen in my life. Check it out!

Find an Italian Cream Cake, and Eat It. Now.

Ummm, I just had this heavenly cake my mom brought home from Sam's. I usually don't like store-bought cakes, so I was like, "Italian Cream Cake from Sam's? No, thanks." But my mom said it was really good, so I decided to try it. And now I'm like, "Italian Cream Cake from Sam's? Thanks!" Actually, Sam's sells the cream cakes made by the Cheesecake Factory, which, as you know, is a wonderful restaurant and my favorite. The cake is two vanilla layers with a cream cheese/very slight lemon fluffy paste in the middle. And to top it off? Powdered sugar, which is always the mark of a scrumptous dessert.

Anyway, try it. It's lovely.

Thing I'm thankful for: besides cheesecake? Milk. Because it goes with everything!

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Stupidest Money-Making Scheme Ever

This woman in Maryland has created a line of greeting cards for adulterers. It's called the Secret Lover Collection! First of all, I think it's a crappy way to make money. Secondly, I don't think she will make much money. And thirdly, the one card I've seen is really ugly. Check out the MSN article here.

Oh. Thing I'm thankful for: water.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

My Brother Sent Me This Joke

HOW TO STOP PEOPLE FROM BUGGING YOU ABOUT GETTING MARRIED

Old aunts used to come up to me at weddings, poking me in the ribs and cackling, telling me, "You're next." They stopped after I started doing the same thing to them at funerals.

Monday, August 15, 2005

In A Month and A Day

The movie "Just Like Heaven" is coming out on September 16th, and I can't wait! It stars Reese Witherspoon, Mark Ruffalo, and Jon Heder, of "Napoleon Dynamite." Yay! It sorta seems like a happier, funnier version of "City of Angels." Check out the trailer here.

Note: The theme song is, of course, "Just Like Heaven" by the Cure. What a perfect match! I sometimes wonder whether Hollywood would do better to make movies inspired by great songs, than to find songs to match a movie. If I made movies, I would be inspired by these songs:
What songs would inspire YOU? (I know I'm forgetting some good ones, so remind me! Make a comment!)

I've Been Arrested by This Song!

I forgot to mention that Adam and Eve had a killer compilation of love songs at their wedding. Summer noticed that one of the songs was from a movie, and she could not remember what it was. So we asked Eve, and she said it was from "Better Off Dead." What did I do that night? Check out "Better Off Dead" of course! Summer, Clay, and I watched it that night. And I have to say, that song is really good. I HAVE to have it! It's by Rupert Hine, and it's called "Arrested By You." I've decided that it's the first song I will dance to at my wedding! :) Seriously, though, it is a perfect song. Lately I've been into 80's new wave music. What's the deal? I think the deal is that it's way good. Or maybe it's because I, along with every girl who grew up on 80's flicks, have a long-standing crush on the John Cusack we have come to know in the movies. Anyway, check out the song by clicking on the link and scrolling down to the short clip from the soundtrack.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

The Many Faces of Clay









Thing I'm thankful for: brownie mix, which I'm eating right now.

Adam and Eve

Yesterday I went to the wedding reception for Adam and Eve . . . Olsen, that is. Before I start posting the pictures, I just want to mention a few things about Eve. (I don't really know Adam well, but I can say this about him: he is very shy and very nice.)

I have known Eve for about 3 years. I met her once a long, long time ago and thought she looked/sounded like a very smart girl. Once we finally talked and became friends about a year later, I realized that my first impression was correct. She is one of the smartest, most spiritual people I know. She is really nice and funny and very talented. She paints, draws, and does tons of other crafty/artsy things, but the talent I like best is her singing. She has a beautiful voice, and I tell her all of the time that I usually don't like female singers -- they're voices usually annoy me for some reason. But Eve's is great. And she plays the guitar and writes songs, too! On the way home from the reception, in fact, Clay and Summer and I were discussing her great voice. But that comes later.

So first:

Summer, Clay, the girls, and I travelled to Newnan. Summer had to squeeze in the back with the girls.


Macy pointed to the driver,


Clay.


She really might have been pointing to his funny-looking headgear.


When we got to the church, we saw April, Allyson, and Matt.


I of course took pictures of the food, so April played Vanna for a few minutes.


There were 3 small cakes instead of 1 big one, which I thought was pretty neat. (Hmmm. . . the wheels are turning.) I didn't get a picture of one of the cakes, but here are the other two. YUM.



Here's another picture of Matt and Allyson. If you can't tell, Matt has a piece of heart-shaped confetti on his forehead.


April took a picture of herself and me.


The Wood family. (We were all waiting for the bride and groom to arrive; they had to drive from the Atlanta temple to the church in Newnan.)


Here's another picture of Lily.


Wendi showed up, and the first thing she did was hold her hand in front of my face. Can you guess why? That's right, she's engaged!


Here's the happy couple:


And here's the happier couple:


This is Eve's dress:


This is the back of Eve's dress:


Here is a close up of Eve; she's so pretty!


After everyone ate, Eve sang a song she wrote for Adam one day "while he was working out in front of a mirror." (Those were her very words.)


Then Eve and one of her old mission companions sang a song.


Adam and Eve learned how to cut a wedding cake.


Lily wanted me to take a picture of her dress.


I don't know who this guest is, but I caught a picture of him and his seriously Napoleonic style. . .


Eve and her housemates: (It's important to note that each of these ladies are now either married or getting married soon. Hm. Maybe I should move in for a few months.)


This is the whole Brown Street crew. They all live(d) on Brown Street at one time or another this year.


I had to have a picture with Eve, so here we are with Valerie.


On the way home, Clay squeezed in the back with the girlies.


Summer drove.


Thing I'm thankful for: good conversations.

CONGRATULATIONS, Adam and Eve!