Saturday, March 24, 2012

Things... I have too many of them.

Once upon a time I was a very sentimental person. I assigned great value to many of the things in my life. They reminded me of people and major life events. Sometimes the link was tenuous, at best, but I held on to that thing as a tangible reminder. I wasn't too happy about all those things the first time I moved out on my own. It was nice when the military was moving us around. Movers packed up most of our stuff. I couldn't afford that when I had my own first apartment.

Then I moved again. And again. And again. And again! Did I learn a lesson from any of those moves? No. I (then we) just moved to bigger places with more space for stuff.

We've been in this house for a very long time now. Time has flown by really. But lord have mercy how much stuff we have accumulated. There just isn't any more space. A few years ago I found myself looking around in a souvenir shop while we were on a family vacation. My habit had always been to buy some small trinket to remind me of our trip. This time something was different. I found myself hesitating.  

Do I really NEED another keyring, tee-shirt, or other assorted dust collector for my packed knick knack shelves at home? No. But I always get a little something! Why? It's a souvenir! Uh huh. And what are you going to use it for? Have you ever used those coasters? The place mats? The apron? Then why are you going to buy more???

Good point, me. So I didn't get anything. It was oddly painful but good at the same time. After all, I had tons of photos. I always take tons of photos. And they don't take up much room.

I've continued to reexamine my attachment to things over the last few years. What will happen when I die? There will be a whole house full of useless crap that chances are, my kids won't remember the significance of. They will have a huge yard sale or just throw it all out. Maybe accumulating stuff is a young person's game. My various collections of things have mostly lost their significance of late. Now they just take up space and cause me to stub my toes repeatedly.

I just don't want all this stuff anymore. I'd rather have an empty room with a chair, desk, bed and fridge. I'd cover the walls with photos. It's time to simplify. I am starting to understand my Grandmother a lot better now.

Anyone want a set of authentic Polynesian 'uli'ulis? A collection of Bermudan hand cast pottery? Blown glass art? Faux Ming vase and plate? A boat load of VHS movies from the 1980s and 90s? How about some baby toys? Crib? Various car seats? You name it, I probably have 2. You can have one! Really!

Maybe I should just have a whole house sale. Put out some signs, leave the front door open and take any reasonable offer. Sure the living room sofa is for sale. I have another one just like it in the basement. Want that one too?

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Day Tyler Got Independent...

Just dropped Tyler off at his friend's house. D was outside on a bike with his little brother (on a scooter). As I pulled away, I could see Ty walking up the street as his buddy rode his bike beside him. OMG. My son is OUTSIDE. WALKING. I waited for him to burst into flame...or something. This is the second day in a row Ty wanted to go hang out at his friend's house.

To most of you, this may sound like no big deal. But Tyler hasn't gone to a friend's house in a really long time. Not since the days of me arranging "play dates". It's nothing short of momentous. And terrifying. I wanted to just pull over and watch them from the van, just to make sure he was safe. But I realized it was time to start letting him be a responsible 10 and a half year old. When I was his age I was riding my bike all over town on my own without a second thought. It's a little different for Ty. He is often off in his own world and doesn't seem to see what is happening around him.  This can make the simple act of crossing a busy road REALLY worrisome. He doesn't always remember to look both ways.

Hopefully with three of them, they will look out for each other. Yell "CAR!" when a car drives down the road. I hope. I did quiz Ty before I dropped him off to make sure he remembers his phone number. To call me when he is ready to come home.

Crap. The urge to go back and get him is so strong. Must...stay...home. I am NOT a helicopter mom.


Please let him be ok. :(

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Movie Reviews: Rise of the Planet of the Apes and The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008)

On the PC for tonight's viewing pleasure, the above mentioned films. Both were pretty well panned by the critics, but I am a sucker for sci-fi that has environmental or genetic manipulation themes.

Movie 1 - The apes are back and they have been digitally generated. That was the low point of the film for me. They just weren't rendered well, in my opinion, and that makes them less than believable and nearly impossible for me to feel any sympathy towards. I think short actors in costume with animatronic faces would have worked better. But I am old school that way. Overall I give the movie 3 out of 5 stars. Good plot line - altruistic scientist trying to find a cure for Alzheimer's ends up with an unexpected side effect in his ape subject. The ape gets wicked smart - smart enough to steal the retro-virus and spread the genetic alteration to his fellow apes. I like the updated story line. Much better than the original Planet of the Apes series plot where the simians were working as slave labor for mankind and they just sorta evolved and took over.

Spoiler!  Add in the twist that the retro-virus, while beneficial to ape-kind is actually deadly to humans and in the end turns into a global pandemic...well that would explain why all us humans are nearly wiped out much better than the apes turning into a military force that takes control of the planet. Those damn dirty apes! Watch for Tom Felton (aka Draco Malfoy) as the evil monkey preserve worker. Hello! NO trace of a Brit accent. Well done, you!

Movie 2 - Most of the time I cringe at remakes. There aren't many films that better the original. In this case, the update has such a different feel that, other than the main character being named Klaatu and the fact that he turns his big robot off with the classic alien phrase "Klaatu Barada Nicto!", this is pretty much where the similarities end. Again, I love a movie with a good environmental theme. Save the Earth! Kill the Humans! Well, no. Not really. Don't do that. We just need to learn to be more responsible with our planet. Go green, peeps!

That is really the point the nice lady scientist is trying to impress on the implacable Klaatu. We CAN change, given the right incentive. Impending Armageddon works nicely as incentive. Fix the planet or die. And not the slow death we are currently subjecting ourselves to with little regard for the future. Klaatu has a much faster way to rid our lovely Earth of all the pesky humans and any trace of their ruinous civilization. Some very cool special effects there. I give this one 4 out of 5 stars. And stop picking on poor Keanu Reeves, you mean mean critics. The man has a certain style that works here. He makes a damn fine alien. Love you, Keanu!