Monday, May 28, 2007

Scratch Plan A, even though there's very little time left...

Only two weeks remain and then it's MOVING DAY!! I can't believe how fast this whole process has been. Our apartment here in NH is a maze of boxes, which the cats love. I caught Jack sleeping in an open box, snuggled in with the DVD's. He's also taken to sleeping in the empty bookshelves. I think it's too late now to break him of the habit....I just hope when we get to Maine and get books back on the shelves, he'll realize there's no room left for his body! Today I packed up my scrapbook table, which created a huge space in the living room. That's when it hit us...we're really moving. There are boxes everywhere, only a few kitchen items remain, half our cloths are packed, we've been on the phone almost daily with our real estate broker and various paper pushers, but it took seeing our living room rearranged to make it real. At this point we have done all we can do and now it's up to the bank and lawyers to set up the closing. It's a weird time of waiting to know what's going on, coordinating all these different things. It's all so up in the air. Originally we were shooting for the 1st for a closing date, and the 4th for the move. However, due to circumstances beyond our control, we are now looking to close on the 12th, after loading up the truck on the 11th. I don't know if we'll have any help in the heavy lifting department from family because they are already coming down on the 9th for graduation, and they would have to turn around and come back the two days later to help on the move. (Hotel stays are not an option...rooms have been booked for months due to graduation) It's not fair for them to do so much driving. So...we may need to break out the professionals. Our king-sized bed alone weighs about two elephants and will need a crew of brae Scottish caber tossers to lift it. As for me, I get the joy of transporting the two cats by myself because Mark will drive the moving truck. Yeay, 4 hours of screaming, crying felines. Well, it's sure to be an adventure no matter what happens. At this point it's all still speculation. Things can change with a single phone call. And everything can be upset again if I have to fit in a job interview...I hope I hope I hope :)

For now, we'll call this Plan B.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Drink up, me hearties, YO HO!

Yeay!!!! Guess what I just came back from? That's right!!! Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. Arrrrgh! And what an awesomely fantastic whirlwind it be. All the ends to the second movie are tied up, with some interesting surprises. I don't want to give away any of the secrets, so I won't discuss the plot, but it was bigger, wilder and more of my favorite, the ever charming Capt. Jack's craziness. The $300 million was well was some of the most incredible special effects ever. The first movie still remains my favorite, but the third was heart-pounding, action-packed, musically fantastic, visually striking, Jack-packed ;) and full of twists and double crosses. It was great to finally get the end of the story. Or is the end? Disney rumors abound that there could be a 4th movie. With the success of the franchise so far, and the fact that Johnny Depp wouldn't mind signing on for another, I think Disney might not call it quits with the hat trick. I was so excited for the third movie that I spent today watching commentary and deleted scenes from the first movie, and the entirety of the second movie. I know I'd go see more if 4 and 5 were in the future. Between the antics of Capt. Jack and the music that gets me so wound up, I don't care what the story would be...just give me more! After all, I just spent 20 minutes swordfighting Mark throughout the apartment with soundtracks blaring in both the livingroom and kitchen, for crying out loud! I think I have a problem. Perhaps I should ship out, mateys. Tis time for me to rest my bones after all this adventure, but I put the question to ye: Are ya ready to make sail, and prepare for the final battle? Go see the next chapter.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Star-studded Finale

Tonight was the finale of Dancing with the Stars. After a phone call from my mom at 9 to tell me how excited she was, and to tell me that dad was even staying up to watch(!) Mark and I settled in to watch the results show. Yesterday Laila Ali, Joey Fatone, and Apolo Anton Ohno danced 2 dances, one the judges picked and then a free style. Laila did a Paso, which was fiery and probably her best. Joey did a cha-cha that had some N'sync puppet moves and the judges complained was not cha-cha-ey enough. Apolo did a rumba, without a chair (the judges complained of that the first time they did a rumba) and Julianne wore what amounted to a nightie and Len, the head judge complained that it wasn't romantic enough. I agree with what Bruno said...they practically made love on the floor! But then Apolo and Julianne have great chemistry and are always provoking controversy with the judges. All and all, the first round of dancing wasn't as good as I thought it was going to be. But then...then... the freestyle ROCKED!!! Apolo and Julianne did the most fantastic break dance routine, and then Joey and Kym wowed the crowed with "Last Dance" that was full of lifts.

On this evening's results show, they each danced one more, their choice from the season. Laila did her Mambo, which was great, Apolo did the Paso, and Joey did his Star Wars tango. Len gave Joey credit for performing the tango ,which got him 8's the first time around, to show how much he had improved. The two-hour finale tonight was filled mostly with commercials, but they did give a nice look back at finalists, and the comments they made about each of them convinced me that Joey was going to win. They said he has had the most standing ovations, and brought the highest level of entertainment to the show in all 4 seasons. In watching him, his skill and personality just shine and he always seemed to be getting the encore. He's just looks like he's having so much fun on the floor. But Apolo, who has never danced before, looks like he's a pro and the chemistry that he and Julianne have is undeniable. They just sizzle. After the first hour, Laila was counted out and it was down to the boys. My mom called me again to discuss the her dismissal and who she thought it was going to be. We were in agreement over Joey and I even had a dollar riding on this outcome! I was all set to buy a home-made donut with my winnings, and they announced that the Season 4 champions were Apolo and Julianne! I couldn't believe that it wasn't Joey! He's so good. But then, so was Apolo. Both of them deserved to win, and both Kym and Julianne had the best, most challenging choreography. I just felt bad that Joey may have felt like he didn't win over all the people, because of the outcome of the vote. Phone call number three to mom had us agreeing that they were both awesome and so the outcome couldn't be disappointing. Over-all, it made for good television. As much as I hate reality tv, and blame my mom for getting me into watching this, it was really enjoyable and made me want to dance. And after all, isn't that the point,? Time to get up off the couch and move-it, move-it!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Avast me hearties, the Pirating be close at hand!

Waaaahhhhhooooo!! Okay, that's not a very pirate-like yell, more the sound an excited little girl makes, but whatever, I don't care, because....I just scored 2 tickets to a special advanced showing of Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End!! The Disney website explains that there will be an early opening of Thursday, May 24th at 8:00 in *select cities. We've never been in a *select city...places Maine and New Hampshire are not what people consider *select. Usually that means you have to be in a hip, happening place like Manhattan, L.A., or San Francisco to catch an advanced opening of a movie, especially one this big. BUT NOT THIS TIME!!!! As luck would have it, the tiny, grubby little movie theater not 5 minutes down the street from us is going to have the special showing the night before the regular release! This place is not that big, and I saw what it was like when Dead Man's Chest came out, the place was a madhouse, they sold out fast! So fast that they opened up two later showings which we managed to get tickets to, so that we were there past midnight. So, as soon as I saw the ad for Thursday night, and not knowing how long the information had been posted, I didn't figure I'd even be able to get tickets....BUT I DID!!! They had only sold 11 tickets so far...they must have only just put the sign up for the early open. I can't believe it, in less than a week, I can see Pirates!!! Waaaahoooooo! Just 5 days, 7 hours, 23 minutes, and 18 seconds!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Making the house a home

We are closing in on the final month of the housing saga. Last week I made another trip to Maine to be there for the home inspection, which went really well. The place is in great condition, and there's nothing that needs to be done structurally to bring it up to code. We didn't think so since the place is so new and so nice! We did get water and air tests during the inspection as well. The water is fine, but unfortunately, we found that there was 3x the amount of radon in the air than the state says is healthy. So, we need to have a mitigation system put in. I was panicked at first, because you hear "high levels of radon" and it gives you pause. Plus I wasn't sure how easy it was to fix. But apparently it's just a small tube that's inserted in the basement under the foundation, and goes out through the roof. A fan in the tube sucks the radon out from underneath the house and vents it into the open air. It's energy efficient too, bringing the level down to well below what the state demands. So, it's one more thing we have to take care of, but it's not the end of the world. We also have talked about moving the closing up to the first of June, instead of the 14th. This would give us time to move in and get a bit settled before Mark starts work on the 18th. That gives us even less time! Assuming that the bank can get their appraiser out and all the paperwork taken care of. I never realized just how much was involved, the many steps to this process of buying a home. And I'm so non-smart in this area...want to know the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur, when the Normans invade the Saxons, sure, but ask me to explain liability, comprehensive, deductible, it's all gobblty-gook to me. Or it was...With Mark still on rotation, it's fallen to me to get quotes on homeowners insurance policies. And just as with learning about the house--soffet vents, furnaces, foundation insulation, I can now tell you about liability coverage, comprehensive and collision deductibles, fraud protection, and band-width speeds. Wait..that last one wasn't about insurance, but I've spent almost as much time on the phone last week with phone/cable companies as I have insurance agents. Turns out, Washington is much more in the boonies than we thought and we're lucky to have DSL access at all. I thought Mark was going to cry himself to sleep over the scare of no Internet, but fortunately for him ( I suppose unfortunately for me, I'll have to keep seeing his "computer face," the top of his head, eyes, then back of the laptop screen) we can get service, even out in the boonies. We won't, however, have cable. The current owner has a satellite dish which is staying with the house, so fortunately we won't have to purchase equipment. We talked about going without cable, but we both watch way too much tv for that.
Speaking of tv, we watched the semi-finals of Dancing with the Stars last night. I was never into the show, but my mom got me hooked on it, and now I can't miss it. All the remaining dancers are good (with the exception of Ian Zeirling...he's just too stiff, his dancing doesn't look natural). Laila Ali is pretty and has lots of character, but she's not as good as Apolo Anton Ono or Joey Fatone. It's going to come down to those two. I love watching Apolo and his partner Julianne. He's never danced before in his life, but he looks like he's been doing it forever. He has a natural grace and ease about him, maybe it's because he's an Olympic athlete, but they are just great to watch. Joey is also fantastic. He's got a small bit of dancing experience from N'sync, but nothing approaching ballroom. He and his partner Kym, pull out all the stops and do very tricky steps. He's also got this amazing charisma and showmanship. Mark and I have a bet, he thinks it will be Apolo who wins it, I think Joey. I think Apolo is just as talented, if not more so athletically, but Joey has that something extra and the crowd loves him. Below is his jive from the semi-finals last night which was AWESOME! Mark thought it should get an was so cool, the essence of what a jive/swing should be. I also included Apolo's Cha-cha, which raised one judges eyebrows, thinking it was too raunchy. I think it was fantastic!
Well, enough blogging out of me for now, I've got to carry on with the packing!

Monday, May 7, 2007

Summer Blockbuster Explosion!

Alright movie fans, every time I turn around, there is another trailer that comes to my attention and I think, man, I need to see that. I don't think I've ever had so many movie trips lined up in one summer! I think it's time for a breakdown of this summer's coming attractions...a wild ride of sequels, magic, pirates and superpower.
I was never into comic books, but I just can't get enough of superhero movies. We saw Spiderman-3 this past weekend, and it was interesting to see the web-crawler take on not one, or two, but three villains, try to get the love of his life to marry him, and deal yet again with his uncle's death. Special effects were great, fight scenes were very cool, but the dialogue was only so-so. The highlight was the snappy banter in the climactic end fight. I'm glad we saw it, but I still think Spidey 2 was better.
June 15---Next up is the family of superheros, the Fantastic 4, Rise of the Silver Surfer. Knowing absolutely nothing about the comics, I enjoyed the first movie, especially Julian McMahon, who I loved as Cole in Charmed, and Dr. Christian Troy in the edgy Nip/Tuck. Rise of the Silver Surfer looks to be packed with even more cool special effects, and more of Johnny, the Human Torch. I can't help it, he reminds me of my brother...very much the hot shot!
July 4---Mark, of course, is very excited for the release of Transformers (Robots in Disguise... said in a very techno-robotic voice:)) Again, I know nothing about the was a boy thing. I was busy watching Rainbow Brite, not mac trucks that turn into several stories tall robot things. But, director Michael Bay is great for action, and the special effects will most likely steal the show. Who knows, instead of humming the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles theme, I might be humming "Transformers, more than meets the eye."
June 27---Ahh, Bruce Willis. The more you beat him up, the harder he beats back. Cop John McClane is back and saving the world and, apparently, his daughter, in Live Free or Die Hard. This looks to be action blasted with stunts, cars, jets, crashes, explosions, ass-whoopin', you name it, it's in there. It almost feels like Bruce Willis is trying to prove he is still every inch the action hero. Hey, I believe it, and can't wait to see it. My dad has actually agreed to go to the theater to see it with me! (My dad hasn't taken me to a movie since Aladdin!!!) Very exciting. Here's a little preview to get you excited too.

May 18---The summer of sequels starts off with Shrek the Third. I loved the "Holdin' out for a hero" sequence in Shrek 2, so I'm interested to see what they come out with next. Honestly, I didn't think they'd even do a third one. But it does seem like there is an outpouring of sequels, some it seems are just movies for the sake of being a sequels: Rush Hour 3, Ocean's Thirteen (which I'll probably like the best of the lot), The Bourne Ultimatum (sadly, I had trouble keeping up with the first two), and 28 Weeks Later (which I will absolutely NOT see, and damn you, Dan, for making me watch the first one...I still have nightmares...shudder) *Side note*Oddly enough, I am also not interested in watching Disney's new Pixar animation, Ratatouille. Who would have thought I'd say that about a Disney film?

Okay, I had to save the best two for last. And, ironically, both are sequels. Mark your calenders folks, these are the MUST SEE MOVIES!

July 13---It finally arrives, (just in time for Book 7, which is released 7/21/07) Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix!!!!! I am so excited!! I get goosebumps watching the previews. It makes me want to go back and read all the books, but especially Book 5. With not just the movie coming out, but Book 7 just a week later, it looks to be a Very Harry July! Mark and I have done our share of Potter Party Midnight Madness, and this time around I think it will be the biggest one yet! Hopefully I'll have my dream job by then, and can get the entire town of Camden involved, creating our very own Diagon Ally. Ahh, to dream big... The regular trailer is included below, but be sure to check out the above link to see the other international trailer, which gives an even more delicious look at what the movie holds. Accio Movie!

May 25---And finally, your favorite and mine: Pirates of the Caribbean, At World's End.
Yeay!!!!!!!!!!! You can't see it, but I'm clapping my hands! I get chills watching the preview, and get so worked up with adrenaline pumping and feet twitching, that I sit on the edge of the chair or couch or pause in the middle of the livingroom floor,just drop what I'm doing, and fixate on the TV. I'm riveted. Literally. Oh my gosh, I just can't stand it. I can't help myself, I end up either jumping up and down afterward, or smacking Mark on the arm (I have a tendency to arm-smack when I'm excited...just ask my mom when we go shopping!) going, "I can't wait!!!! I love Pirates!!!" I don't usually go on the opening night to really big, highly anticipated movies because the crowds are too intense. But I want to be at one of the first showings. Ha, me and millions of other people. Who knows, I may just bring along my Captain Jack action figure...I did for Dead Man's Chest (And, how lame am I? Not just that I have an action figure, but several. I brought my Raphael action figure to TMNT, and my Rick O'Connell to Mummy Returns. *Another Side note* On the topic of sequels...guess what our friend Brendan Fraser is up to...that's right.
Mummy 3. Apparently who's returning is still rumors, but Brendan is a go. Oh yeah!) So, grab on to you eye-patches and get ready for some swashbuckling fun...

Ohh, I love it! Don't you loooove it! It gets me so excited ;) Man, I need to get out more.

Out more? Outside? Who needs the beautiful sunshine and warm weather of summer...I'll be inside at the movie theater!