Saturday, November 21, 2009

Twilight ending spoof

This is hysterical! Love it!

New Moon - my review

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I thought I’d do my own little review of New Moon since it’s been something I’ve been looking forward to for so long! WARNING: This review will be spoiler heavy! I’m not holding back!


To say that I’d been looking forward to and anticipating this film would be a gross understatement. I’ve been drinking in the Twilight saga since I picked up the first novel in May of 2008. I simply can’t get enough and the many trailers and bits of film footage we saw prior to the film release only served to fuel that anticipation.


Like so many others, I attended the midnight release of this film. The energy in the theater was magical and it was fun to see myriads of people so excited for this event.


The film begins with an image of a full orange moon which takes up the entire screen. It begins rotating around until the full title of the movie is revealed. Once the title is the only thing on the screen, we hear Kristen Stewart narrate the passage from Romeo & Juliet at the beginning of the book:


These violent delights have violent ends

And in their triumph die, like fire and powder,

Which, as they kiss, consume


And from there, I was completely and utterly captivated. This film is a bold improvement from its predecessor, Twilight. Director Chris Weitz worked magic and brought this story to life in a way I never could have imagined.


I was delighted to see the film open with a dream sequence which encompassed both the book’s preface as well as Bella’s dream about her Gran. It was beautifully done and I knew at once that I was in for a spectacular ride.


The scenes in this film flow together so magically and each scene change felt like a very natural progression as opposed to a series of abrupt changes. Weitz cleverly melded it all together in such a way that it felt smooth and uninterrupted and yet didn’t feel rushed at all.


Kristen Stewart’s portrayal of Bella Swan was stunning and she absolutely nailed the character. It’s obvious that she put her whole heart and soul into this performance because she embodied the character so completely. Her facial expressions spoke volumes when no words were uttered. To see her in the forest when Edward leaves brought me to tears. You could feel the hole being ripped in her chest as she hyperventilated. And you felt her pain as she lay on the ground in a curled up ball of despair. Her post-break-up catatonic state of depression could not have been portrayed any better. When she spoke to Jacob in the rain outside his home I was again nearly moved to tears because her facial expressions and mannerisms portrayed her pain in such a way that you couldn’t help but feel it in your own chest. At other times, it was wonderful to see her so happy when she was with Jacob and to see her smile and laugh. In this film Bella went from being a timid and somewhat shy girl to a self-assured young woman and Stewart portrayed that progression and growth beautifully.


Taylor Lautner’s performance was out of this world! It was an amazing experience to see his character change so much from Twlight. Like Stewart, I felt as though he really loved this character and transformed himself to completely embody Jacob Black. His bits of humor and sarcasm were refreshing and his heart felt pleadings, emotional. I don’t think anyone else could have brought Jacob Black to life the way that Lautner did.


Although we don’t see much of Robert Pattinson in this film, his performance was beautiful. He has a way of expressing pain in his facial expressions such that words are not necessary. I found myself absolutely hating Edward Cullen as he led Bella into the forest and I was so angry at him. By contrast, I fell in love with him all over again as he was reunited with Bella in Volterra. To see him stand up to the Volturi in a show of protection for Bella was amazing.


The music in New Moon deserves an award! Let me start with the standard soundtrack. The songs that were selected for different scenes fit and matched those scenes completely! When the scenes were happy, the music was upbeat and you really felt those emotions. And when the scenes were somber, so too was the music. During somber moments the music chosen was slower and had more flat notes. There were two scenes and songs I was most impressed with. The first is Possibility by Lykke Li. It was the absolute perfect song to encompass Bella’s deepest state of depression. The other was Hearing Damage by Thom Yorke. There was a series of simultaneous events occurring while this song played and the music paced them all very well and perfectly represented the mood. In addition to the amazing soundtrack is the hauntingly beautiful score. I’ve never been one to appreciate film scores much but this film certainly has changed my mind. I’ve never heard such absolutely gorgeous music playing during a film. It’s mesmerizing and once again perfectly embodies the many moods of this film. I am thrilled to add such beautiful music to my collection. Bravo Alexandre Desplat and Alexandra Patsavas!


I found myself falling in love with so many scenes in this film but here are a few things that I loved most:


~Edward Cullen reciting Shakespeare! Namely this:


...O, here

Will I set up my everlasting rest,

And shake the yoke of inauspicious stars

From this world-wearied flesh. Eyes, look your last!

Arms, take your last embrace! and, lips, O you

The doors of breath, seal with a righteous kiss

A dateless bargain to engrossing death!


~Charlie Swan’s humor

~Alice Cullen jumping over a railing to wish Bella a happy birthday (and every other scene with Alice)

~Bella’s many facial expressions

~Anna Kendrick’s portrayal of Jessica Stanley - every scene she was in was gold!

~Bronson Pelletier’s portrayal of Jared - His smile and sense of humor are infectious!

~Seeing the love between Sam and Emily

~Bella’s wardrobe

~A shirtless wolf pack!

~The Volturi

~Bella running through Volterra

~Bella and Jacob in the rain

~Bella and Jacob on the beach

~The banter between Bella and Jacob about age

~Laurent

~Wolves!

~Victoria! She didn’t have a single speaking part in the film but her performance was outstanding! I’m terribly sad that Rachelle Lefevre won’t be back in Eclipse.

~The moment that Quil Ateara introduces himself to Bella

~Harry Clearwater and his kung fu skills!

~I absolutely loved that Bella continued to write undeliverable emails to Alice after the Cullens left town. It was an absolutely perfect way to see what was going on in her head and to see how much she was hurting.


I could write so much more about the things I love about New Moon but I’ll leave it at this for now. This was a beautiful and phenomenal film. I’ve seen it twice and hope to see it many more times on the big screen, followed by a few thousand digital viewings. This is officially one of my favorite movies of all time. Kudos to the cast, crew and to director Chris Weitz for giving us such a beautiful slice of Twilight saga magic to forever enjoy. My heart is happy!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

One Republic!


This band is amazing and I am totally in love with the new sounds on their latest album (which released yesterday), titled
Waking Up. If you are a fan of their first album, Dreaming Out Loud, then you will be blown away by this second offering. I have been madly in love with the first album and have been apprehensive about the second. So often second albums just don't live up to the first ones. Not so in this case. For One Republic, I think this second album might just be better than the first, and that's saying a whole heck of a lot!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Geocaching here we come!


I know we are late coming to geocaching, but I'm super excited. I have heretofore been unable to justify the expenditure of a good GPS device to go caching with. So I've been waiting and holding out. Well, the wait is over (and it was worth it). Now that we have iPhones, the world of geocaching has been opened up to us for a sweet price... namely $9.99. Yes, the official Geocaching.com site has its own app for the iPhone and it's ridiculously priced. I was convinced to get it by a friend who is an avid cacher. He has been caching with a GPS but earlier this month he purchased an iPhone and the app and has used it successfully. So I downloaded it tonight and we can't WAIT to go treasure hunting! I am especially excited for summer when we will have nicer weather to do that. I looked and apparently there are a ton of caches right here in our neighborhood. Ethan is especially excited! I foresee a lot of adventures coming!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

New Moon in 6 Days!

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We've waited for SOOOOO long for this movie and it's FINALLY here!! I'm copying Nancy and posting this picture to my blog. I have posted Twilight-related pictures and videos before, but this picture really is beyond words. Thursday cannot get here fast enough!!! We'll be getting together with a bunch of Twihards, having dinner and then hitting the theater for the big midnight premiere! YIPPEEE!!

Terrific Kid award!

Yesterday Ethan came home with a sealed letter. I immediately thought the worst. Then I opened it and realized it was from the desk of the principle and I worried even more. And then I began to read it... and the tears began to fall... Here's what it said:

November 9, 2009

Dear Parent or Caregiver of Ethan Harris,

We are pleased to inform you that your child has been selected as a recipient of the "Terrific Kid" Award at _____ Elementary. This award, which is sponsored by Kiwanis, honors students who have demonstrated positive growth and attitudes about academics, school, and other people. Students are recognized in one of three categories: the "Awesome Achiever" takes responsibility for learning and strives for excellence; the "Sensational Student", through hard work and effort, shows growth and improvement; the "Neighborly Navigator" acts in a safe and caring way.

Your child will be receiving this award at a special assembly on ______ in our gym. You may choose whether or not to share this letter with your child - the names of Terrific Kid Award recipients are published in the monthly _____ newsletter.

You are invited to attend this assembly. You may bring a camera, other family members, and so forth; this is a special occasion at _____. If you are not able to attend, we understand.

Thank you for your support and all you do for your child!

Sincerely,

Principal, Teacher, School Counselor
_____ Elementary

Um... not able to attend??? Who are they kidding!? Of COURSE we'll be there! Mike is going to get off work early to be there as well. We have opted NOT to tell him about the letter. We think it'll be more fun to just show up in the audience and have him find out and then see us there! I am so giddy about this. I called Mike on the phone immediately and then ran and hid in the bathroom to read the letter to him over the phone and I could barely read it because I was crying. We are so proud of him!

October recap

Here's a bit of a recap of what has been going on in our lives over the past month. See the previous post for a rundown on my new job.

For starters, we have been thoroughly enjoying autumn this year. The leaves have been so brilliant. It was sunny for a long time and it seems that the rain has finally returned and we are now experiencing a typical northwest fall. Nonetheless, I have enjoyed every single leaf because I know that once they are gone, winter in this region will seem long. I am trying my best to embrace the cold that has arrived. It's been in the lower 40's but it's been wet and has felt more like the 30s. Bring on the hot chocolate and apple cider!

The kids decided on their Halloween costumes pretty easily this year. Ethan wanted to be Harry Potter and Evan was a ninja. I found a ninja costume for only $10 so I bought it. Harry Potter was a little harder. The costumes were expensive so I had to get creative. I found "glasses" at the dollar store (yay!). We had a wand already (driftwood from camping last year that was the shape of a wand and has been sitting on my Harry Potter shrine all year). We needed a robe, shirt, and tie. I found a free pattern online for the robe and found my fabric at JoAnn's on clearance (and with a coupon) for just $10. Then I set to work:






I have to say, it was fun making this and I think it came out cute. I wish I had made the sleeves longer, but oh well. Ethan liked it and that's really all that mattered. He uses it as a bathrobe now and is ALWAYS wearing it!

Here are some pictures from the night they went to their school's harvest festival. I was glad to be able to go with them. I had to work on Halloween. Mike took them out to Port Orchard to go to Mary & Jay's ward trunk-or-treat activity and also so they could spend the evening with their cousins. I am not sure if Mike took any pictures. If he did, I'll add them later. (In the last picture below, Ethan is wearing a hat he won in a hat walk game.)










Of course we got pumpkins and did pumpkin carving! What would Halloween be without pumpkin carving?









video

We also had student-led parent teacher conferences at the end of the month. I'm happy to say that both kids did very well. Yay! We took them out to dinner to celebrate... something we only do rarely anymore.

Well I think that about wraps up October. We really didn't do much more than this. There simply wasn't any time! But we are happy and our lives are richly blessed!

Another month gone

Well, another month has come and gone since I updated here. I look at the last set of autumn pictures I posted and I can hardly believe that much time has elapsed. Then again, I've been really busy so maybe it shouldn't surprise me. I started a new job this past month (well, technically in September, but my main orientation began in October). I'm having a REALLY hard time with it right now. I don't have any regrets because I felt that I was supposed to apply for that job. It felt right and everything fell into place so nicely. I have had major hurdles ever since I started.

I took the job for two reasons... 1) To help ease our debt and 2) Because it was a level II nursery position and I miss working with my premature babies. It's a per diem job that only requires four shifts a month. No biggie right? Wrong...

The corporate orientation actually went well. I was very impressed with MultiCare as an organization and continued to feel that it was the right thing. The only thing that made me blink once or twice was when the hospital director came in and said that everyone needed to have a seasonal flu shot or else they'd have to wear a mask on the units at all times. I was a little miffed by that because quite honestly I might have changed my mind about the job. I am not willing to get the flu vaccine. At the same time, do you have any idea how hard it is to wear a mask for 8 hours straight? I do good for about the length of a c-section, but after that it gets a little claustrophobic. Oh well. I would have to do it.

The next hurdle came when I finished corporate orientation and emailed the manager to see what the next step was. She said to give her my availability and to "try and work as close to full time as possible during orientation." Wow... that was frustrating. I had no idea I'd have to work SO many hours for a job that required only four shifts a month from me. I guess I'd have to do. So I gave her my availability and asked her to please schedule them as 8-hour nights and not 12-hour nights. The final blow came after that correspondence. She wrote me back a one-liner that said, "I usually have people on the day shift for orientation. Count on several weeks of day shift orientation." At that, I broke down and cried. How on earth was I supposed to do that? How could I work full time days there and 12-hour nights at St. Francis?

So I didn't respond for two days. I took two days to just be upset and cry and then I wrote her back and explained that I thought we'd had a miscommunication because I could neither work full time nor day shift. She asked me to come in and speak with her, saying that she thought we could work something out. So I went in... I drove to Puyallup, parked on the fair grounds, took a shuttle up to her office and did all of that for a face-to-face of exactly 20 minutes where she said, "I need you to pick some days off this calendar." I wanted to cry right there.

Now let me pause here to add this... I'm a very self assured person and would normally have said, "I can't do that." I don't know why I didn't. Maybe it was because I had already invested so much. Maybe it was because I was weak. Maybe the Spirit told me not to. But I didn't. I gave her some days... NINE of them spread over THREE WEEKS. And even then, she said it might not be enough.

Let me tell you, it was some of the hardest three weeks ever. I don't know how to explain it. First of all, because the manager and I got off to a rough start, I really get the feeling that she doesn't care for me. This is new for me. Not to toot my own horn, but I've always been well liked by any manager I've ever worked for. This is a different experience.

Next, I am opposed to their vaccination policy. I don't believe in forced vaccination. I am willing to wear the mask. But I don't think that went over well with her. She wants across-the-board compliance in her birth center. But corporate policy gives me the right to opt for the mask. It's not like I'm bending or breaking any rules. I'm taking one of the two choices the organization has said are mine to choose from. But apparently that's not the choice that she wanted me to make.

The orientation itself has been hot and cold. In the nursery I've enjoyed most of the nurses I've worked with. I've enjoyed the patient care. The babies and families are wonderful. When I oriented with the receiver on the day shift, I had mixed feelings. I have ethical issues with how things are done but I kept my thoughts to myself and went with the flow.

I FINALLY finished my three weeks on days and worked my tail off and got her to sign off that I could move to the night shift. I wrote and gave her my availability. She got back to me and said, "Okay, I'll put you on for all those days and please plan on bringing your Seasonal and H1N1 vaccine information." WHAT THE HECK? Did she forget? No... I could be dead wrong but I don't think she forgot... not for one moment. I think she's playing hard now. I simply wrote her back and asked if it was mandatory, saying that I thought I had the option of wearing a mask. She has yet (of course) to get back to me. Of course it's Friday now so I won't hear from her until next week, if at all.

At this point I am ready to walk away from this job and I feel totally okay doing so. If she tells me the vaccine is mandatory, I will say goodbye and not even think twice about it. It's not worth it to me to inject myself with chemicals that I don't believe in (which could have LONG lasting effects) for this part time job. My other job does not require it.

SO that's been my life this past month. My sister-in-law Rebekah has been wonderful. She has lived with us, on and off, for those three weeks and has helped get my kids off to school and picked up. I am so grateful.

I start the night shift next week (unless I'm asked to leave over the vaccinations) and so once again it will be work, work, work for awhile until I'm done orienting. I'm hoping to be done by the first week in December. I am relieved that it will be at night, however.

Right now I'm sick with a cold and almost-flu. I have been drowning myself in vitamin D and it's helping a lot. Evan has had a cold. And Ethan woke up this morning complaining of a sore throat, sore back, and "I just don't feel good". So he stayed home today. I stayed home from work tonight because I'm not well enough yet.

Sometimes it all feels so overwhelming. Sometimes I feel like I can't even do the basics. It takes everything just to wash dishes or get the laundry washed (notice I didn't say folded or put away), especially when it all gets messed up again within seconds.

Anyway... this was not meant to be a "Woe is me" post. When I'm feeling down this always helps:


OKay... now that I've recapped my month at work, I'll write a separate post about everything else!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Happy Birthday Samantha!

Today is my niece Samantha's birthday! She is officially a teenager now... Happy 13th Birthday! The boys called her up last night and sang to her in the phone. I wish I had some more recent pictures but alas I do not. (Note to self: get more pictures of Samantha!) Hope your day was spectacular!!