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Tag Archives: movies

Kids Need a Healthy Diet

Sweet

Movie Night  1527087-popcorn-and-plate

I wish I got as excited about anything as much as my daughters get excited about the declaration of movie night in our house.  Now keep in mind at 6 and 2 years old they are not exactly film buffs but they are seasoned connoisseur of another component of movie night; snacks.  Specifically popcorn.  My kids will devour popcorn and for the toddler, it is the main attraction of movie night.

We are at a fun place right now when it comes to entertainment selections because the little one is old enough to follow along and enjoy a show or movie as long as it is on her level (mostly Caillou) and my older daughter is at the age where she feels like she needs to distance herself as far away as possible from any show or movie that she deems: for babies.  They are both aware of the others disdain for certain shows and have become quite the little antagonists.

That is where the movie snacks come in.  They are the common denominator and unite them even when their movie choices differ.  It is fun to watch them get so excited over something so small and though the snacks may not be the healthiest thing, the laughter and fun are things that are definitely good for them.

One of my favorite things about being a parent is that no matter what happens, you are always a pallet on the floor or a tent in the living room away from being a hero.

That is pretty sweet.

 

Weak

How ‘Bout a Bowl of Disappointment? my_child_will_not_eat (1)

My kid’s favorite thing to eat for breakfast on Saturday morning is whatever we are not having.  Seriously, the preparation of meals in our house has to be one of the most futile activities we take part in.

We are always trying to find balance between, “you can’t get up until you finish eating” and “just give her an apple sauce squeezy so she at least eats something and shuts her cry-hole.”

Sometimes I feel like it would be faster to just pinch her so she starts crying, toss a plate of food in the garbage, and squirt ketchup on the dog. Might as well at least make the ordeal only last a minute instead of 15.  It is important to us that they learn about different foods and don’t live on chicken nuggets and yogurt for the next few years.  We are finally getting better at utensils and manners but unfortunately, ours was part of the new generation that figures out how to work the settings on an ipad before using a spoon correctly.

We won’t give up and not every meal time is a bad one.  There are often times though, that I feel like the toddler should just tell the truth, “watching you clean up after dinner and scrape my hardly touched plate into the garbage is exhausting.  I want a snack!”

When you spend the time to create a good dinner for your family and it instantly becomes a plate of disappointment when set in front of your toddler, it is totally weak.

 

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Life in The Last Minute

Sweet

Being Sucked in Until The Credits Roll 

How sweet is that moment when you get your last kid to bed and the last toy either cleaned up or kicked to the corner?  The great nightly sigh of relief that I sometimes feel should be accompanied by a roaring crowd or at least a steady golf clap for another one in the books, another job well done.  We love our kids but that nightly respite from activity is a calmness worth basking in.

Last night, after a long day at work with the kids down and the wife lost in her Kindle, I nestled into the friendly confines of my couch’s butt groove and took part in America’s true past time, channel surfing.  Flipping between the NBA playoffs and anything else that struck my fancy, I stumbled upon an old movie called U.S Marshals.  It is the kind of movie that is right in my wheelhouse of enjoyment and from the minute I heard Tommy Lee Jones say things like “zoom in on the man by the door” and “Ok, put it on the big screen and clean up the image”, I knew what I was doing with the next 45 minutes.  I never get to say stuff like “hold him on the line while we triangulate the cell tower and pinpoint his location”  in my line of work and getting to say that stuff is rad.

I enjoyed finishing the movie and thought about how awesome it is when you come across an old movie that you like.  When you catch it in the middle it doesn’t seem like such a time investment and the serendipitous nature of your discovery is rewarding.  There are some movies that I know  that no matter what point in the story it is in, I will be locked in until the credits.  My sure things are The Empire Strikes Back, You’ve Got Mail, and any action espionage flick that has a lot of courier font being typed up on the screen saying stuff like ” Langley, 15:00 hours.”  I have probably seen the last 10 minutes of You’ve Got Mail a hundred times.  I am waiting for the day my daughter asks “Why didn’t Kathleen Kelly just track Joe Fox’s IP address and then find him on Facebook or something?”  Wasn’t the innocent technology naiveté of the 90’s comfy?

There is no doubt about it, when you have a bit of free time and your channel flips to Luke landing in the Dagobah System, it is totally sweet.

Weak

Why Do Today What You Can Put Off Until The Excruciating Last Second? 

The Problem with letting myself get absorbed into the thrilling plot twists of a movie like “Sharktopus” is that more often than not, my free time is really just a byproduct of my own laziness and denial.  I have a tendency to push responsibility to the back burner sometimes in the name of enjoyment and gratification.

When I was a sophomore in high school, I once started a science fair project during third period of the day that it was due.  In college I would often pull all nighters or sometimes even decide I wanted to sleep and set my alarm for 3:30 in the morning to get up and start writing a paper that was due in 5 hours.  I guess some people base jump or rock climb, but for me, the most intense adrenaline boosts seem to come when a deadline is on the horizon and rapidly approaching.

I get that this isn’t the best way to operate and the longer you wait to complete a task increases the odds for failure.  I am not sure if I missed a page in the “being a grownup” handbook but the whole concept of getting something done early so you don’t have to stress about it has never really taken hold.  I can absolutely see the benefits of doing stuff early but I think that I have convinced myself that the stress and sometimes panic fuels me to create my best work.  (That sounds like even more of a cop-out now that I have written it.)

I need to improve in that area of my life and my first step is probably addressing my general organizational skills which sadly, still look pretty much like the bottom of my tenth grade locker.

Writing this blog has been fun and I would love to continue by trying to think of more almost funny material or recycle old jokes that I haven’t put here yet but I have a huge proposal that I have known about for a month and it really needs to be finished by the close of business today.  Guess it is time to get started.  The last-minute may be exciting but waiting that long all of the time is totally weak.


What is “Cook Until Done” Divided by 30 Seconds?

Sweet

Shortcuts 

Lots of people love quotes.  I see them in your status updates and on the signature lines of your emails.  I guess I am impressed that you are a big fan of Hemingway and Voltaire, or that you got one of those quote a day calendars for Christmas.  I like quotes too, it’s just that putting a quote at the bottom of my email and crediting it to “Billy Madison” is not quite as professional.  I am not saying that I am not well read, but my favorite thing about Dr. Seuss movies is that I can finally be one of those people who say “It wasn’t as good as the book.”  One of my favorite quotes is from a movie called Road Trip.  There are several great lines but the gem is this: “It’s supposed to be a challenge, it’s a shortcut! If it were easy it would just be the way.”

Man, I love shortcuts.  Getting off the beaten path and having a bit of an adventure, all in the name of saving 5 minutes.  I like making my gps have a seizure, and sometimes it has been a while since I have seen my wife’s eyes roll.  Taking an unannounced shortcut is sure to do both.  In a world that is so digitized and matter of fact, short cuts are one of the few treasure hunt type adventures that we can still relish in.  Is there really any greater brag as a man than to make great time because you took a shortcut?

It is true that they don’t always pan out.  I questioned my own sense of adventure (and direction) earlier this month as I lead my in-laws following in the car behind me on a short cut that ended up adding 20 minutes of drive time and included driving through a deluge of blinding rain on empty praying to find a gas station in a sea of farmland.

You have to be willing to work through the occasional setback, but finding a great shortcut and going on an adventure is totally sweet.

Weak

Thought this was Supposed to Save Time 

I have cleaned instant oatmeal out of a microwave at least a half-dozen times.  For some reason when you create an oatmeal volcano in the microwave at work, you can’t just leave it like you would do at home.  It isn’t because I can’t read or follow simple instructions but I like my instant oatmeal a little less al dente than the instructions call for.  Working with unfamiliar equipment that potentially includes industrial strength wattage (or whatever cooks stuff in a microwave), can lead to inconsistent results.

I get that the microwave is a huge time saver and everything but is anyone else out there a little intimidated?  I mean that thing has like 25 buttons on it.  There are a lot of numbers and levels but if I have anything that needs to cook longer than popcorn, I just hit the popcorn button and then the plus 30 seconds button over and over until I get to the desired time.

Speaking of, I made a frozen dinner not too long ago that told me I had to cook it for 6 minutes on medium, remove film, stir, and then put back in for another 4 minutes.  Listen, if I knew you were going to expect me to be Wolfgang Puck, I would have just made Swedish meatballs from scratch. Also, I looked and have no idea how to cook on “medium”  maybe that is just popcorn minus 30 seconds or something.

In case you were ever wondering, if someone in your office cooks fish in the microwave, you have to pop 3 bags of popcorn and throw it away just to get rid of the funk. I am grateful for technology and that I don’t have to stab a stick through it to cook my hot pocket over an open flame but microwave fails are  totally weak.

*If you read my last post you might be thinking ‘this guy writes about popcorn a lot”

(There isn’t really any joke there, I am just saying you might be thinking that.)


Free Sample?

Sweet

14 hundred hours, somewhere in metro Atlanta 

How do you know a movie you are watching is going to be good?  Favorite actor?  Good reviews?  Based on a book you liked?  Well for me,there is a litmus test that is tried and true.  Any movie that starts with the sound of a typewriter as courier font populates the screen telling me something like “16:00 hours somewhere in the Indian Ocean” will be a movie I like.   It may be cliché but  the typewriter intro has never let me down and I know when I see it that if all else fails this movie will probably have espionage, a car chase, and at least 3 explosions.  So basically, at bare minimum, not a waste of 2 hours.  I am not saying that all good movies start with the sound of a typewriter, I am saying that any movie that starts with the sound of a typewriter will be a solid investment.  In that same vein, a movie that starts with a montage set to some pop song where you see a person only from the neck down walking in and out of different shops and carrying different bags will probably be something you should just go ahead and stop now and use the next two hours evaluating your decision-making abilities.  To be completely honest, I am a sucker for a good romantic comedy and the great movies that use Christmas as a backdrop are one of my favorite parts of this time of year.  What is your favorite Holiday movie?  (what a cheap way to solicit your comments.)

 

Weak

Now what do I do with this toothpick? 

This past weekend I dined for lunch at a place called the Cajun Cafe.  I ordered “Cajun Chicken” and was then asked if I would like fried rice or Lo mein. What the heck?  You now get one guess on the type of dining establishment I was patronizing.  Correct, a mall food-court.  I am not certain when every place at the food court turned into Mandarin Express but I can tell you why.  The secret, my friend, lies in one small bite of saucy fried chickeny goodness on a toothpick being thrust into your personal space as you walk by.  Who turns down that little guilt free bite of awesome?  It rarely stops me dead in my tracks and causes me to drop everything an order a little styrofoam box of it.  But that sweet and tangy residue will linger on my palate long enough for me to give your eatery some serious consideration when decision time comes.  Inevitably when heaped in a pile into the big section of your to-go container it never has the same wow factor it did when the guy in the silly hat was out in front of the counter peddling his wares to the passer byes.  The thing about the free sample is that it always leaves you wanting more (that and toothpicks are awesome dining utensils).  One tiny piece of delicious chicken is just enough to peak our interest and not so much that we realize how “meh” it really is.  You can try asking for a toothpick and eating your entire meal with it but alas, you cannot capture the magic of a free sample.  Maybe it is a trend but for now, the next time you order a turkey sandwich or a gyro wrap in a food court be ready with your decision on adding an egg-roll for a dollar.  Cajun Cafe Lo mein?  Weak.


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