Friday, March 31, 2006

Willy Wonka or Charlie?

I recently watched the new Charlie and theChocolate Factory movie. My husband, Mark, wanted no part of it when I brought it home because he's a diehard for the 1971 version, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I am too, actually, but I was intrigued by the new one because, for one, it's Johnny Depp who is an amazing actor and he doesn't pick his roles lightly. But also because this new version is supposedly closer to the book. And I must admit that the commercials and trailors, with their bright colors and flashy new look, really did reel me in.

If you want my opinion, it wasn't really any good. The music wasn't catchy, differing from the original--who doesn't know all those songs?! Cheer up Charlie, Oompa-doompa, if you want to view paradise... I was intrigued by the backstory of it, showing a little of Willy's childhood and how he became a chocolate genius, but overall, it just didn't hold my attention. (As a side note, Mark did sit and watch it with me--he couldn't resist his curiosity.)

So I got to thinking about movie remakes in general. What has there been? Cheaper By the Dozen, Father of the Bride, Yours Mine and Ours, The Parent Trap, Freaky Friday, Ocean's Eleven... I think as a general rule of thumb, I've decided that the remake doesn't live up to the original.

There have been a few that have, in my opinion, surpassed the oldie (Father of the Bride and Ocean's Eleven come to mind--those are two really great movies!).

If anyone is reading this, what was your take on the new Charlie and the Chocloate Factory? I always love a movie discussion.

Sadness and Excitement

We are one week away from our trip to Ohio to find a place to live and hopefully some leads on a job for Mark. I'm so excited to get there. There are so many reasons to be happy about this move.

And yet, a sadness hangs over me for the past few days because of an old friend who died a couple of years ago from cancer. She and I were supposed to be roommates our Junior year of college, but she got engaged that summer and never came back to school. We did keep in touch --she lived in Columbus, OH all those years and we always talked about being there together someday, since that's always where Mark and I planned to live. We continued to live in PA while she had a baby, lived life, and then sadly passed away. This has been foremost on my mind because her husband (who had been remarried since) died from cancer as well, just this week. I didn't know him well, but I just can't stop thinking about both of them.

So with our excitement and happiness about moving to Columbus, I'm thinking about Jenn again and about her short life, and about her son, Micah, and his new mom, Amy. I am sad.

God, I know you are there with that community of people who love Micah.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Rainy Days

These are rainy days, figuratively and literally. It's raining outside, and it's also raining in my life--hard to expand on that here. But before you think I'm in a depresssive funk, for me, that doesn't mean that these are bad days, just full of rain--full of emotion and expectation and wonder and confusion and excitement. I actually love rainy days--the coziness of being inside with my coffee and a book, or the peace that comes with sitting on a front porch in warm weather, while the rain torrents around me.

There is so much coming up for me and my family. We're moving again! This is mostly good--a little bad because of leaving close friends, but definitely exciting and definitely needed.

The Comfort of a Warm Drink

From December 2005

I am stumped by people who don't like warm drinks. My husband, Mark, for example. He hates a hot drink--won't drink coffee, tea, not even hot chocolate! It makes me sad, actually. I love Mark. Mark has many amazing attributes. But if there ever one thing I would change about him, it would be that we could sit down together over a cup of coffee. Coffee is my comfort and joy first thing in the morning. I use it, not only for caffeine purposes (I started needing the caffeine after my second child), but for the sheer comfort of sipping it. Of knowing it's there in my kitchen, something I love, something I look forward to... Coffee is something that people bond over. If you love coffee you LOVE coffee.

Barnes & Noble

From November 2005

Barnes & Noble is a place that I love to be. Sure, there are other major bookstore chains that attempt to woo us with their big selection and their legal addictive stimulants. But Barnes & Noble is different. It stands out. It is somehow regal. I'm not downplaying independent bookstores or even used bookstores (which I love and am lucky to have quite a few of here in the Twin Cities). But if you are fortunate enough to have a gigantic two-story store near you, you will understand what I mean as you ride the escalator down from the second floor and simply take in the view. I will admit that I love all books. I love the smell of old books, I love the crisp, clean pages of new books. Maybe it is because I'm living in a new place, and Barnes & Noble is familiar to me in a land of strangeness. I am calm and serene as I walk the aisles, between shelves and shelves holding thousands of books. I am peaceful as I pick a comfy chair and decide to thumb through Nigella Lawson's latest cookbook. I am happy as I order a chai and sit down in the cafe with a big pile of new finds to browse.

Trying to Blog

This is from November 2005.

I've decided to call my blog Pennies From Heaven (yes, I got the title from that great jazz hit by Louis Prima!) because I feel like the little everyday things we love are just that. I don't know if another soul will ever read these entries. I'm sending them out into this great void in hopes that this will enrich my soul, fill my need for expression, and just be plain fun. So...thank you, dear void, for listening. Those of you who know me know I am in my glory right now. Autumn is my favorite time of year. October and November are my favorite months, and fall brings with it so many great ways to pass the day. Yesterday was absolutely perfect--it was crisp and chilly, but not cold enough for a big winter coat. It was a little cloudy, but not daunting, just cozy. The kids and I walked and played in a new park. There are literally parks on every corner around here. I realized recently that I am truly starting to relive my childhood through Jake and Rory. They are starting to enter phases of life where they can actually DO things. Babies are great, but kids are greater. We went trick-or-treating, we went apple picking, and we hit a pumpkin patch with a hay ride. What more can you ask for in the fall? I'm already looking forward to Jake decorating his first tray of sugar cookies for Christmas...

Blogging Again

Let's give it another go!

I was trying to blog last fall and my website shut down, so I picked a new spot. I only had a few entries so I'm transferring those here because the few things I wrote explain a little of who I am. It feels good to have a small outlet like this and I hope I can keep it up this time (thanks for the reminder, Abby!) especially since there's a lot of change coming up in my life.

Stay tuned...