Monday, August 31, 2009

Monday's Movie: Bee Movie

A Novel Menagerie hosts Monday's Movie every week, and invites everyone to "write about any movies, television or big screen, that you’ve seen over the past week."

This wasn't a huge movie-watching week for us, as we were at the beach for most of it and had other activities to keep us busy. But last weekend, we did manage to watch one new movie on DVD (new to us anyway), although (as usual) we didn't go out to see any. For some reason (well, for many reasons, actually), it's getting harder and harder to drag myself out to see a movie when I can wait a few weeks and see it on DVD in the comfort of my own living room. Without all that chatter from the people sitting behind me. And without all those cell phones going off at crucial moments. And the popcorn is fresher, too.

Anyway, back to the subject.

Bee Movie

USA, 2007; animated feature

MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild suggestive humor, and a brief depiction of smoking.

Written by Jerry Seinfeld, Spike Feresten, Barry Marder, and Andy Robin

Additional screenplay material by Chuck Martin and Tom Papa

Directed by Steve Hickner and Simon J. Smith

Voices: Jerry Seinfeld, Renee Zellweger, Matthew Broderick, Patrick Warburton, John Goodman, Chris Rock, Kathy Bates, Barry Levinson, Ray Liotta, Sting, Larry King, Oprah Winfrey, Larry Miller, Rip Torn, Michael Richards

Synopsis (from the Bee Movie website):
From creator Jerry Seinfeld comes "Bee Movie," a comedy that will change everything you thought you knew about bees. Take a close look at the world through the eyes of one bee in particular – Barry B. Benson (Jerry Seinfeld). A recent college graduate, Barry wants more out of life than the inevitable career that awaits him and every other worker in New Hive City – a job at Honex . . . making honey. Barry jumps at the chance to venture out of the hive, and soon encounters a world beyond his wildest dreams. When Barry inadvertently meets a quirky florist named Vanessa (Renee Zellweger), he breaks one of the cardinal rules of beedom – he talks to her. A friendship soon develops, and Barry gets a guided crash course in the ways of the human race. When he shockingly discovers that anyone can purchase honey right off the grocery store shelf, he realizes that his true calling is to stop this injustice and set the world right by suing the human race for stealing the bees' precious honey.
My Thoughts:
I really wasn't expecting much from this one. Without the added surrealistic-neurotic influence of Larry David, I thought Seinfeld's humor might be a little too whimsical and cutesy for my taste. But I like animated films, so I decided to give it a try, and was pleasantly surprised. If you liked Seinfeld the TV show, then you'll probably like Bee Movie. It has the same kind of humor, and quite a bit of the same edge.

Barry B. Benson is recognizably Jerry Seinfeld, and much of the movie echoes the old TV show's plots and story lines. Even the parental units seem familiar – especially when Barry's mom (played by Kathy Bates) hopes that his new girlfriend is "Beeish," or when she sees him in court on TV and says (in the way of mothers everywhere, I suppose), "I wish he'd dress like that all the time. So nice!"

I think my favorite character was probably Ken, the human boyfriend of Barry's love interest Vanessa. Ken is played by Patrick Warburton who also played David Puddy on the Seinfeld show. Puddy was always one of my favorite Seinfeld characters, too – and Ken and David are obviously related. At one point, when his dating schedule is interrupted by the bee crisis, Ken loudly moans, "Why does yogurt night have to be so difficult?" Pure Puddy, that.

I'm rating this one four bags of popcorn out of five. I think it's definitely one I could happily watch again.

Random Photo Monday: Garden Cat

So it seems we're back from the beach. Feels like we were just getting ready for the trip a few minutes ago, and now we're home already. Spent several days in Rehoboth, Delaware, sunning and playing in the surf, and eating way too much at all the great restaurants (it's back to the diet this week, darn it).

One of the things I love doing while we're in Rehoboth is just walking around the little community right around the beach, taking photos of storefronts and the colorful window displays. On this trip, I discovered a shop selling these garden thingies, and fell for this guy – if I had a garden, I'd have brought him home with me.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Vacation's All I Ever Wanted (just like The Go-Gos)

Don't know how much blogging I'll get done this week because Joysweb is going on vacation! We're off to the beach for a little R&R (that's reading and relaxation, naturally!).

So . . . back in a few. Catch ya later.

Wordless Wednesday: A Little Texas Nostalgia

(Click on photo to enlarge.)

For more Wordless Wednesday offerings,
please visit the website here.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Random Photo Monday: Many Happy Returns

Actually more than one photo today, and not entirely random.

Several centuries ago, on a planet far, far away . . . there was a teenage wedding and the old folks wished them well. Oops! Sorry, but I always slip into Chuck Berry mode when I think about our wedding; because while M was twenty and very nearly a grownup, I was still just nineteen and nowhere near as sophisticated as I pretended to be.

And that part about the "old folks" wishing us well – I'm sure they did. But it was hard to tell because most of them simply sobbed through the entire ceremony. We had one of the weepiest weddings in history – mostly, I think, because we were so young and looked even younger. Even my maid of honor – who was also my aunt – wept. I'm told even my father-in-law brushed away a tear or two. But M and I were happy – we were having a lot more fun than we'd thought we would.

The bridesmaids' dresses looked much better in real life than they do in the photos. But that peau de soie must have been unbearably hot in the Texas summer. Sorry, girls.
We almost didn't have a wedding at all – not a real wedding ceremony with the white dress, the cake, and the reception in the church hall. When we decided to get married before moving to Austin for our junior year of college, we assumed we'd just go down to the courthouse in San Antonio and sign the papers and that would be it. Well, it was the '60s and we were on our way to being hippies and were really trying to avoid all that middle-class bourgeois establishment tradition. But when our mothers heard "no wedding," they were so obviously devastated, that we had to relent. I guess even radical "freaks" (as we thought of ourselves back then) want their moms to be happy.

So, getting back to the point. One very hot and rainy day in late August, back in – well, about 256 years ago, if my calculations are correct – M and I got hitched, in a small but lovely Presbyterian church in San Antonio, Texas. I had my auntie and my little cousins as my attendants, and M had his three best pals backing him up (they'd taken him out the night before and gotten him completely blotto, but he still made it to the church on time). We survived the heat and the rain showers, and the fiasco of the wrong flowers being delivered. And M didn't smack me or even get mad when I kidded him after he stumbled over his vows – although we'll always remember that my first words to him as his wedded wife were "You blew it!"

It's not really polite to threaten your Best Man
with physical violence in the receiving line, Dear!

And I wouldn't be at all surprised if that was what he was feeling about the whole venture right about then. But after all these eons together, I think we've both long ago come to realize that we really didn't blow it – we made exactly the right decision. Even though one of us was still just a teenie-bopper.

So, as Chuck Berry also sagely said, "C'est la vie, said the old folks / It goes to show, you never can tell!"
I know it doesn't look like it, but he really had kissed me once or twice before the ceremony!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Friday Fill-Ins #138

Friday again already! And here we are in late August – don't know how that happened. Before you know it, we'll be decking the halls and hanging up the mistletoe. But for right now, it's time for another Friday Fill-Ins! So here goes:

1. I remember, I remember a LOT less these days.

2. Dear M I want you to know that you'll always be my favorite fantasy rock star.

3. Is that my ___________!!??? Well, after trying on swimsuits this week, I could fill in several different body parts here, but I'm actually trying to forget the experience!

4. I'm trying to resist the temptation of buying every book on my wish list. And I'm having a really hard time.

5. I'm saving a hug just for you! You can collect it whenever you need it.

6. If I made a birthday list diamonds would definitely be on it!!! I can dream, right?

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to just relaxing a bit with the hubby, tomorrow my plans include the usual shopping and errand running, and Sunday, I want to watch "Mad Men" and get some reading done!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Vintage Thingies Thursday: Greetings from My Paper Dolls

It's been quite a while since I participated in a Vintage Thingies Thursday. But I've been going through some of my (way too many) collections, and thought I'd share a couple of examples from my pile of vintage paper dolls.

When I was a little girl I always loved playing with paper dolls. Actually, I love playing with them now that I'm a big girl, too! I had an enormous collection – some store bought and some homemade. I kept them in shoe boxes and envelopes and empty candy tins (remember those?). My favorites were the ones that came on greeting cards, like this one from Hallmark, probably created sometime in the mid-1950s. Unfortunately, it's not one from my childhood collection – I bought this one on eBay a few years back. But I'm sure I had one just like it.

The paper dolls were always on the fronts of the cards; and the inside and back included several outfits for them. And these are wonderfully typical of what the best-dressed little girl or paper doll would have been wearing in about 1954.

My other favorites were the dolls I made myself – usually by tracing pictures out of books or magazines or catalogs. Some of them were a bit unusual, like this kitty cat I traced from a book called The Everyday Story Book. He is one of my "originals" – I recently pulled the book out of storage and opened it up for the first time in decades, and there he was!

Vintage Thingies Thursday is hosted by Suzanne at Coloradolady, and as she says, "Thursday is the day to showcase your vintage treasures and to share your special things with everyone." Please visit her blog to find out more about VTT or to participate yourself.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Outdoor Wednesday: Roadside Market

Outdoor Wednesday is hosted by Susan at A Southern Daydreamer. To see many, many more outdoor photos or to post some of your own, please visit her blog.

Next week, M and I will be heading off for our annual trek to the beach at Rehoboth, Delaware. Our wedding anniversary comes right at the end of August, and it's become one of our rituals to spend it in Rehoboth. And while the ocean and the beach and the community itself are the main attractions, of course, another nice part of the trip is all the little roadside farmers' markets we pass going and coming. There are still plenty of small farms in that part of the country, and the roads are lined with miles and miles of cornfields – usually turning a bit brown by the end of summer. And even though I'm a city girl at heart, I've always had this strange desire to wander around in a field of corn with stalks right up over my head. Think Field of Dreams, or Cary Grant running from the crop duster in North by Northwest. A nice thick forest of corn. Yes, Doctor Freud – we probably should talk about my neuroses some other time.

We usually stop at one of the bigger markets on our way home from the beach visit, and pick up lots of those gorgeous huge tomatoes and peaches and nectarines and blueberries and whatever else looks yummy. Hmmmm. Reminds me I haven't had breakfast yet! So, here's a shot from last year's trip.

And no, those birds sitting on the tomatoes aren't real. At least, I don't think they are.

(Click on photo to enlarge.)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Friday Fill-Ins #137

Friday again. Time for another Friday Fill-Ins. So without further ado, here goes:

1. When will I be loved? No, I'm not feeling sorry for myself – just remembering the old Linda Ronstadt tune. Here's the little girl with the big voice, in younger (and thinner) days:

2. Fear the Worst, by Linwood Barclay was the last good book I read or movie I saw or tv show I watched.

3. Everything has its beauty but wouldn't cockroaches look nicer if they were pink and green?

4. A chicken pot pie that gave me major indigestion is what I had for dinner. But it was very tasty before the tummy upset.

5. I'd like your comments. I love 'em! Just say hi!

6. With my hubby is where I want to be right now. Well, that's where I always want to be.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to eating a very light dinner and not having stomach pains (yuck!), tomorrow my plans include shopping, errands, and watching one of our Netflix DVDs (either "Matchstick Men" or "Bee Movie"), and Sunday, I want to stay out of the rain that's predicted, and get some reading done!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Carousel Cat with Fish 1903

(Click on photo to enlarge.)

For more Wordless Wednesday offerings,
please visit the website here.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Random Photo Monday: Grandpa Horn

Well, it's a little late, but I thought in honor of his birthday, I'd put up a photo of my husband's maternal grandfather, Milton Lee Horn. He was born August 9th, 1898, in San Antonio, Texas.

And yes, I said grandfather. In spite of the fancy duds, he was definitely male. Probably around two years old in this photo, he really doesn't look too happy about the ruffles and lace, does he?

Grandpa Horn was a descendant of one of the Alsatian families who came to Texas from Alsace-Lorraine in the mid-19th Century and settled in the Bexar County area. Arriving soon after Texas became part of the U.S., at one time his clan owned a goodly chunk of what is now the "near" Northside of San Antonio. But with uncanny business acumen, they'd managed to give away most of that property by the time Grandpa died in 1989. Which means it's probably just as well that my hubby became an English teacher, and didn't give real estate a whirl. That kind of financial know-how just has to be genetic!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Friday Fill-Ins #136

It's been a couple of weeks since I did a Friday Fill-Ins post. The last few Fridays have been pretty busy around here for some reason. I thought things were supposed to slow down in the summertime, but here we are with a week of August down the drain already! OK – stop griping and start filling in! Here goes:

1. Going to the beach is my favorite summertime vacation trip.

2. My favorite John Hughes movie is _____. OK, I wasn't a tremendous John Hughes fan. I think most of the films he directed were fairly entertaining, but I guess I was just the wrong generation or something because they never really grabbed me. But apparently he wrote and produced one of my favorite film series – the National Lampoon Vacation movies. Especially "Christmas Vacation" – a definite classic. So for that I'm grateful.

3. Anything made out of silk is something I love to touch.

4. The full moon makes people crazy, so they say. When I was little, I liked to find the rabbit in the full moon every month.

5. I should be doing laundry right now. Or yoga. Or needlepoint. Or reading a book. Is there a support group for meme addicts?

6. When daylight fades I look for fireflies. Well, for a few more weeks, anyway.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to just relaxing and watching another episode of "Eureka", tomorrow my plans include maybe doing a little browsing at my favorite used book store and Sunday, I want to get some reading done!