Thursday, January 28, 2010

A Grandfatherly Good Time

This post is about a week overdue.

This past weekend we had the pleasure of driving up to the mountains to celebrate my grandfather's 75th Birthday. My grandfather is called by many names- Papa, Tex, Himmy, Jim, James. No matter what he is called my grandfather is one of the most genuine, involved, intense and outgoing people I have ever encountered. In his twilight years, my grandfather has hiked mountains, boogie-boarded with teenagers and driven up and down the entire west coast to be with his grandchildren for special occasions. He also has a knack for conjuring up little diddies for people and leaving phone messages purely of his voice singing special songs. What I respect most about my grandfather is the fearless way that he honestly shares his faith with anyone who will listen. A few weeks ago my sister and her husband prank called by grandfather (yes, we are all grown-ups in our twenties now) and in the midst of my grandfather getting a little bit steamed by the bizarre man calling him he managed to ask, 'do you know our Lord, Jesus Christ?' Who does that during a prank call?! He does.

Papa, I know that you read our blog faithfully and I just wanted to let you know that we value the legacy that you have left for us and the way that you have poured yourself into the lives of your grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

The whole gang.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

This is Me Today

Ben is back at work and Lil and I were left at home to our own devices today. After ignoring our growing mountain of laundry for the last three weeks I decided to tackle the dirties. Lil is always willing to lend a 'helpful' hand. While sorting out our garments into their respective color piles, I noticed out of my peripheral vision that Lily was trying to put on my pink underwear. She managed to get it half-way up her leg and then decided that it would make a better necklace. I know what you are thinking in the back of your mind... was the ginch clean or dirty? Yuck. I will just leave that to your imagination.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Breakfast with Lil

Lily has gotten into the habit of opening the fridge and grabbing apples whenever she is so inclined (we place them in the bottom drawer for her purposes). After a night of entertaining, our fridge was full of leftovers and and lacking her favorite healthy fruit. While lazily laying in bed this morning, we heard Lil yelling 'Yuck' at the top of her lungs.

We were out of apples.

Turns out 'Yuck, Yuck'  was really 'Kak, kak,' which in Lil language means cake, cookies or muffins.

Enjoying some Boston Cream cake for breakfast

 Lily feels deep remorse for her transgression.

The question is, did she do this, or did we? Did the lack of apples force her to fend for herself, or would she have gone for the cake no matter what?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Grumblings: My Life With the Snorer

I was really excited to move down to California, de-clutter our life and live simpler by renting an apartment/townhouse. I mean who really needs all of that space? It's not a big deal to share walls with one's neighbors, right? WRONG. I recant all of my 'simpler' lifestyle rantings and can't wait to selfishly have four walls all to myself.

Let me elaborate on the situation. The first couple of nights  in our new unit  there was a powerful rainstorm brewing outside. Because we have a Spanish style place, our roof is made up of tile which enhances the sound of pounding rain. We comfortably fell asleep for two nights to the rhythmic rain dancing on our rooftop. Night #3 is when we first became aware of Him...

We entered our bedroom around 11:30pm to retire for the night when we noticed that the entire room was vibrating from a  guttural noise. I was stunned- was it possible to actually hear our next door neighbor snoring? Our unit is dead-quiet during the day, I mean our walls must be a few feet thick and sound-proofed! I have met some serious snorers in my lifetime but this guy took the prize.I have a tendency to over-focus on little noises while I fall asleep so I knew I had to take action to block the tones coming from my shared wall. I turned on the very loud fan in our on-suite bathroom, thinking that it would adequately suffice at blocking out the noise. Nope. I could still hear him. Next, I popped in a pair of earplugs. I was seething with irritability when I realized I could still hear him even with pink foam stuffed into my ear canal. In desperation I threw a pillow over my head and finally found solace. This routine has continued on every night for the last month...

One night my earplugs popped out and the snorer woke me up mid-dream. I was so delirious and vengeful that I got out of my bed and started banging on our shared walls in hopes of letting him know that I was not impressed. My banging efforts did nothing and he continued on with his grunty melody. By this point I got back in bed and started spouting off spiteful things about the man next door. Ben tells me that I said something along the lines of 'I hope he gets in an accident.'  I didn't want for him to die or anything, just end up injured enough to have to sleep for several months in a rehabilitation place. I know that sounds really harsh and hateful, but you know what? It was 2 am and I was feeling aggressive.

The weird thing about all of this is that I have never seen/met the snoring bandit. There is a family of four that live next door- a couple with their two little kids. At least that is what I have been told... I have never actually seen them with my own eyes. I am taking a stab in the dark by assuming that the snores are of male origin but I suppose that I could be off base? Maybe it is my female neighbor that evokes my hatred in the middle of the night? I still do not know what I will do when I meet my neighbors for the first time. " Hi, my name is Sarah. Do you sleep well? Because I don't." Or maybe I will just research some snoring cures and stick the list under their doormat along with a jumbo pack of breathe right strips.

 For now, it is my plot in life to fall asleep to the snores of a man (maybe woman?) who is not my husband.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Shock and Awe!

"No eye has seen,
      no ear has heard,
   no mind has conceived
   what God has prepared for those who love him"
1 Corinthians 2:9

I am still blown away by what has conspired today! Despite moving to a country where some financial experts have declared the economic conditions verging on a depression, Ben has found a job. He sent in his resume last Monday, had an interview Friday and was offered the position today. It is bizarre, exciting and wonderful. Just wanted to share the news!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Movie Madness

Now that we live in the vibrant San Francisco Bay Area one would think that we would be out and enjoying all that our beautiful city has to offer. Not so much. In the evening we pretty much do just what we did in low-key Victoria. We lounge on the couch and watch movies. Aha! But now that we are in the US we have access to a service that I could only dream about while in the great white north- Netflix. Thousands of titles at our finger tips (through streaming video) and the Blu-Rays of our choice sent directly to our mailbox. The best part is that this is costing us less than $10 a month. I know that I sound like a paid advertisement for their company but I swear I would have entertained the thought of moving back to the US primarily so that I could have access to Netflix (no offense family). I am in cinema heaven. Lately we have been heavily into indie flicks, so if you have never heard of the titles I review  it's OK, I hadn't heard of them either until recently.

I was in the mood for romantic comedy (does not happen very often, so I went with it) and the movie poster for Outsourced called out to me. Good move. Outsourced is one of the most entertaining, endearing films that I have seen in a long time. The film takes place in India where the main character Todd, played by virtual unknown Josh Hamilton, must bring his American company's new call-center up to snuff by western standards. The film delves into the serious subject matter of mega-corporations moving American jobs across seas to ensure a higher profit margin for investors. Yet, Outsourced manages to maintain a light feel and enchants the viewer with a romantic plot line, splashes of vivid color and a genuine take on Indian culture. You know how some movies leave you feeling warm and content? This is one of them. Plus it might just make you want to put 'Visit India' somewhere on your bucket list.
Grade: A

The Union: The Business Behind Getting High
Are you scratching your head over this one? Thought you might be. I am a reasonably conservative person but I am also open-minded to hearing the arguments over different sides of a debate. The Union is a  well-made documentary that attempts to tell the history of marijuana in the 20th century, all the while debunking common arguments used against the pot industry. The documentary was written and hosted by Adam Scorgie, a native British Columbian. Scorgie weaves into his thoughtful piece interviews with various dignitaries, celebrities and academics. He has a comedic touch without coming across as the typical 'pot-head' one would expect to find in this type of film. I have a tendency to become passionate about a topic when I am first exposed to something that gains my interest- if you ever want an earful just ask me my opinion of the marijuana industry. Better yet, check out The Union and maybe we will both have something to talk passionately about.
Grade: B+

Enough with all of these indie flicks! I figure that I should also throw  an old-fashioned blockbuster into the mix. Yes, Avatar  recently passed the $1 billion dollar mark worldwide- but this is for good reason. Avatar encapsulates the evolution of cinema in this century- guaranteed this movie will continue to be copied in years to come. Sort of like the way that Matrix inspired every other action movie to incorporate some kind of suspended air fight sequence. For the few of you who have not yet seen Avatar, the film takes place in the future on the planet of Pandora. In the movie, humans have devised a sophisticated technology that allows a human's spirit to dwell within the body of a lab-grown alien body. When you actually view the film, Avatar's story-line may come across a bit generic- but you really don't notice because the movie is so visually arresting. Director James Cameron, of Titanic fame,has been busy scheming up this masterpiece for the last 15 years. Even if you are not into typical 'sci-fi' movies, Avatar is worth viewing solely just to feel a part of  Cameron's surrealistically beautiful alien world.
Grade: A

Monday, January 4, 2010

Cousins and Baboon Butts

This past weekend we kicked off the New Year by going to the Oakland Zoo with Ben's cousins the Booth family. Lily had never been to the zoo before but we knew that she would love it because at this point in time most of her 'words' are animal noises. Here are a couple of pics from the from our day:

A little Lily by the Lily Pads.

The slide master.

Cruising with cousins.

Lil's favorite animals at the zoo.

Check out the hemmorhoids on that baboon! I was tempted to do an entire post devoted to the sick curiosity that is the baboon butt. But then I googled 'baboon butt' and found out that the female's behinds are red and puffy to attract the male in their group.So there's not a whole lot to it. The male baboon digs the hemmorhoidal display.

OK guys. After checking out the sick monkey butts I have had enough zoo.