Saturday, August 23, 2008

My Newest Best Friend

Netflix. There's a certain time of day. A magic hour, if you will. You've done all the housework you're inclined to do, the kids are all dispersed and playing. It's not time to start dinner yet, and the house is quiet and still. What time is this? It's the Netflix hour. I cuddle up to my beloved computer, click on the watch instantly tab, and am transported. Remember, we don't have TV channels, so any kind of video stimulation is bliss. I have some pretty rigorous standards for said video stimulation, though. I don't want language, I don't want icky violence. I don't want skin or sex. I want to be uplifted, educated and entertained. Here are some great movies that I've enjoyed lately that pass my muster.

This movie amazed me for several reasons. First, it's not in English. I think it's in Mongolian, with subtitles. I started watching it alone, and before I knew it, the entire neighborhood was crowded around me transfixed. It was beautiful. It was culturally enriching. It was cleaner than your baby's bum after a bath.

This is the story of a quasi-homeless man that befriends a flock of wild parrots in San Francisco. Again, the entire family loved it. By entire family, I mean everyone but my husband. He's never home for the Netflix hour. He would have liked it too, but he would have wondered vocally why the guy didn't just get a real job. I can tell, I know him. Do any of you ever hear your husband's voice in your head too? Anyway, touching movie.

Now, my last baby was born in the hot tub of a little house called a birth center. It was a life changing experience. That'll be a good post for another day. I'm not a rabid, guilt inducing, natural birth activist, though. I'm pretty balanced and grateful for all the options we have today as women, but I found this movie mind blowing. Seriously, if you're of child bearing age, you need to see this movie. As to my criteria for movie acceptability, I made an exception for this one. You'll see women giving birth. You'll hear a few of them cussing while in labor. That part cracked me up. What you learn in this documentary will shock you, and challenge what you know, and how you feel about the way we labor and birth in America. It almost, almost made me want to do it again. Almost.
Whoa. This one brought me to tears. This movie documents a Jewish father's wish to teach his grown sons. He's brought them up to be as devout as possible. The sons live in Jerusalem and study Torah for a living. Towards the end of his life, the father worries that he may have done his sons a disservice for not teaching them that there is good and godliness in the gentile world too. He takes them to Poland (hooray for Poland!) to retrace the steps of their grandparents and try to find their Polish rescuers during the holocaust. What you see, and what they learn is unforgettable. I think, in an insular religion like mine, this was a very timely and relevant message for my family as well. You will find evidence of the divine anywhere if you are open enough to look.
Thank you, thank you Kim! This was a fantastic movie. We watched this all together, husband included, and he immediately decided we have to buy it. I love Charles Dickens. What a storyteller. Hooray for courageous, honorable big brothers! And who can resist Anne Hathaway?
Again, Kim, I loved it. This one sucked me right in. It's in a series of six 50 minute episodes, and it took up my entire day. I loved its twists and turns. In the interest of full disclosure, there is a brief minute where a guy undresses and washes in a stream, but there isn't a dangling participle to be seen, thank goodness! Again, Dickens tells a wonderful story.

I'm an opinionated gal. A few years ago, I was pretty sure I had the geopolitical world figured out. I knew who the good guys were, who the bad guys were, and what should be done to keep everyone in their places. Living with a devout Muslim for a year, and attending the mosque with him really challenged my notions, and what I've been taught about history. The more I learn, the more I realize I don't know. I'm more and more grateful that I'm not in charge. This documentary follows about eight kids who live within 20 minutes of each other in Israel. There are Muslims and Jews of varying backgrounds and beliefs. None of these kids are judged, there is no bias. The movie is made by a Jewish American that all the kids clearly love fiercely. After sharing a year or two of these kid's lives, you'll never see the news of that region the same way again.

There you have it. I sure love a good movie.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Yearbook Yourself

I saw this on a few other blogs and just had to try it. This site gave us hours of entertainment! It was great trying on different hair styles and eras. I think I would have been pretty 'groovy' in the '60s.I'm thinking this is a pretty good look for me. Note to self- poufy teased hair is a good thing.

Now the eighties, that's another story. Shout out to my friends: if I start doing this number, put a blanket over my head and escort me to safety.

These hair do's brought back fond memories. I never had them, but they're very familiar. I know lots of gals sporting them. Remember a certain twin in our senior class?This one reminds me to step away from the ice cream. It's going to loom in my memory like the ghost of future feasting. I will honor what you have taught me this day, and eat in moderation all the days of my life. Well, most of them.

This is the one that kills me. It's an almost exact replica of our family pictures of 1997. Seriously.The only problem is, according to, I was about four years behind the times. Ouch.