Monthly Archives: July 2011

Transformers: Dark of the Moon – A Short Review

When I saw Transformers in the theater so many years ago with my friend Ross I remember feeling like I was floating above my chair for the entire film. When it ended I wanted to clap. It made me feel so alive and enthusiastic.

Then, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen came. I felt like clapping at the end and I enjoyed it. It made me feel good as I left the theater.

About a week ago, my husband and I saw Transformers: Dark of the Moon. I didn’t miss Megan Fox and I didn’t dislike Rosie Huntington-Whitely necessarily. To be honest, she was scenery and really didn’t add to the film. She could have, but in Michael Bay’s almost trademark way, he chose to portray her as only a body. In several scenes I thought we had taken a break for a fashion shoot. For no apparent reason there would be a lull and there she would be with other worldly lighting, just standing there doing nothing.

I did like the movie overall, but when it ended I felt like leaving the theater.

Dear Parents of Screaming Children…

I love children. I really do. I have three of them including one infant. However, when I go out I do not pay for the added experience of having your child scream.

Recently, my husband and I went to see a movie. We drove an hour away so that we could have a sitter. We got to the theater and paid $30 for both of us to see the movie and I was okay with all of that. However, throughout the movie there were no less than three screaming babies.

We went to see Transformers: Dark of The Moon. This movie is rated PG-13. You know why? Because the movie is best suited to people thirteen years old and older. Is a baby thirteen years old? No, they are not. The loud noises and explosions in the movie are not meant for babies and it makes them upset.

If we had gone to see a G rated movie I would have been totally fine with a little noise. It’s a children’s movie. You have to expect that. Annie one time threw a fit because I wouldn’t get up in the middle of the movie and buy her a snack from the concession stand. I told her that if she didn’t immediately stop we would leave. She stopped.

Yesterday, a group of us went to Chili’s. (My brother gets a discount so we go there more than I’d like.) The food was exactly as you’d expect at Chili’s since this specific kitchen had upgraded to the Kitchen of the Future. Within moment of us arriving a newborn baby girl started shrieking. She wasn’t crying. She was SHRIEKING. I had my son with us and he bounced and played the whole time. Granted, he is much older. When he was that age and we absolutely had to get out we did take him with us. If he began to get fussy one of us would take him out. I would take him to the bathroom and nurse him. We would walk him around outside. We did not allow the baby to make others uncomfortable. We did not let him scream for an entire hour.

Yes, you have the right to take your baby to movies and to restaurants. However, your rights end when they begin to infringe on the rights of others.

The War at Dinner

My daughter, Annie, often has a hard time finishing her food. She has no medical condition keeping her from getting it down. She just is picky. She also will randomly decide she doesn’t like something she’s eaten hundreds of times before.

Tonight, she decided that she didn’t like cucumbers. I was pretty patient. I told her that based on the facts that I have seen her eat them and love them on many occasion and that she had a grand total of two whole slices of cucumber that she would be eating them.

The war began.

“I don’t want them. I don’t like them. I don’t want them. I don’t like them. I never eat them. I don’t want them. I don’t like them. I never eat them. I don’t want them. I don’t like them. I never eat them. I don’t want them. I don’t like them. I never eat them. I don’t want them. I don’t like them. I never eat them.”

I was beginning to feel slightly brainwashed. I started to wonder if, in fact, I had ever seen her eat them before. It began again.

“I don’t want them. I don’t like them. I never eat them. I don’t want them. I don’t like them. I never eat them. I don’t want them. I don’t like them. I never eat them.”

I seized upon the facts. They were my only hope. I thought back to all the times that I have made this child salad. I make salad a lot. Salad here has lettuce, tomato, green peppers, and… CUCUMBERS! I was correct! Victory was in sight.

I told her firmly that the cucumbers would be eaten. The battle lines were drawn. She decided to change tactics.

“I’m hiding my mouth!” says she.

I’ll admit, my brain’s first instinct was to yell “WE FOUND OSAMA BIN LADEN, PUNK! WE WILL FIND YOUR MOUTH!”

I took the better parental path. I did not waiver. I remained firm. Her mouth was found. The cucumbers were eaten.

Parent 1 – Child 0

Why Babble.com has it Wrong on Their Money Saving Advice

I like saving money as much as the next person, possibly more than the next person since I don’t have a lot of money. However, because of the economy we have an influx of articles touting money saving ideas. Obviously, not everyone has the same needs, but in Babble.com’s article I found a few issues that needed to be addressed.

One of their ideas is to sell your house. Their feeling is that if you are upside down on your house you should do a short sale. They tack on a “HEY! You could get a $3000 HAFA credit if the sale completes.” That is possible, but they fail to mention the pitfalls and qualifications for short sales. This is not selling lemonade on the corner (if your HOA allows that.) This is a messy situation. They should have at least mentioned that to even qualify for a short sale you must be in or near default status. The bank is not going to make this deal if you are able to make your payment every month. Beyond that, your credit score will be affected. Not at all by the short sale, but by the very fact that you are forced to go into default.

Moving on to the next tip: They say you should move back in with YOUR PARENTS. Are they for real? Yes, I realize that “Multi-generational living” as they call it used to be the norm. However, it isn’t now. Part of that is because people don’t respect their parents like they used to and part of that is because it’s significantly easier to find a place to live. I imagine 150 years ago you might actually have to build the house your family would live in as opposed to moving in to one of the many homes and apartment complexes that are available. Would you save money? Possibly. However, your parents then are expected to take on some of the cost of your family and not to mention the stress of having you and your fam around.

They say you should maximize your couponing. I don’t have a problem with that necessarily, but don’t cut out coupons for things you don’t buy. Why do you need 32 packages of bacon if you don’t eat it? Even if you got it for free it’s a waste. Also, most coupons are for processed or prepared food. You save a lot of money by preparing your own food plus you get less preservatives and TONS less sodium. (They do use the extremecouponing name which sent me into a rage. Talk about illegal and insulting.) To learn about couponing in an ethical and non-ridiculous way visit http://www.couponing101.com/

Their other tips really are things that you should be doing anyway like swapping baby and children’s items around with your friends, shopping around for insurance (duh. Who are these people who just take the first insurance quote and run?), and finding the best cell phone service deals. They say to ask your cell phone company what they are willing to do. Let me tell you, basically not much. They might be able to find a plan that works better for you, but they are generally not matching a competitors rate.

I do have a problem with the fact that they suggest a pay as you go phone as an option. I am not talking about a Metro PCS or Virgin Mobile phone with no contract, flat fee, monthly rate. They suggest a phone where you load the minutes monthly and you are charged per text or per call. My main problem with these services is that they have a tendency to charge fees, some of them slightly ridiculous. Research is definitely necessary.

My biggest issue with the article is that even though it’s supposed to be informative, there is very little in the way of usable information. There are very few links to help you learn more about these tips and of those some of them don’t even work like the link for hiremymom.com. (As of this writing, the site won’t load and there have been no twitter posts since June 3rd when prior to that the updates were nearly every day.) It makes me wonder how much research was actually done for the article or if the writer simply sat around, drank coffee, and made stuff up. (I say that as I’m finishing my third cup of coffee and typing away. I INCLUDED LINKS THOUGH!)

Casey Anthony’s Verdict

I have attempted to ignore this case. However, today I watched as she was pronounced not guilty.

This case was tried long ago in the court of public opinion. However, your opinion and my opinion, whatever they may be, don’t count. We aren’t on the jury. We don’t carry the weight of the jury’s decision. If we look at the evidence that was presented we must come to the conclusion that the State of Florida failed to prove their burden.

The State could not prove how Caylee died. The State could prove things about her death, but not a solid cause of death. They also had compelling testimony that they chose not to have heard. I think they will agree that this was a mistake at this point, but ultimately the jury found that the evidence was circumstantial.

Now, I want you to think about something. I want you to put your rage that justice was not done or your fury that we still don’t know the truth aside. I want you to put yourself, mentally, in the eyes of a defendant. (Not the defendant, but of a person charged with murder or another crime in which you would get the death penalty or a life sentence.)

Tell me that you would not be immensely relieved and smiling a little knowing that you wouldn’t be serving life in prison or receiving the death penalty especially when you know that nearly the whole country thinks that you’re guilty.

Now envision yourself as a member of the jury. Think of the physical evidence presented.

Tell me that you would convict based on the physical evidence that was presented.

I’m waiting…

I really don’t believe you would convict if you had been on the jury. It’s very easy to make decision if you’re not forced to carry the weight of it. The State was only able to prove one thing. Casey Anthony is a liar. Therefore, the only thing that they could legally convict her of was that one thing.

Happy 4th of July!

I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July. I know I did. My friends came and I cooked and it was a really lovely time.

I cooked baked beans, brownies, and oatmeal chocolate cookies. I bought the potato salad after accidentally ruining my own. (I got distracted and overcooked the potatoes. POTATO SOUP AHEAD!) James bought a grill and tried his hand at cooking the hot dogs and hamburgers.

All in all it was a good time. We had plenty of conversation and food. Jack enjoyed all the company and Mimi bought him a new toy that he loves.

Alright, bed time for me. I’m tired beyond belief.

Ruth’s Steakhouse

Yesterday, Max and I wanted to go out to breakfast. I think he wanted to try out Steak n’ Shake’s breakfast, but I wanted to try a restaurant that I had seen a few times in passing. In addition, I love little diners or locally owned restaurants like Ruth’s Steakhouse. I convinced him to try this restaurant with me and I believe he was glad he did.

Ruth’s Steakhouse is located at 7409 Us-301 S in Riverview. It’s located in the same shopping center as The Riverview Flea market and the Dollar General. It’s a very honest looking place. By that, I mean that they aren’t trying to be anything they aren’t. They are a small restaurant that serves up honest food. The restaurant itself is a one room place about half the size of the interior of a 7-11. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

After you seat yourself at at table, there are no booths, a server will quickly come and take your drink order. The servers are all very friendly and they spoke to my kids in a comfortable way that made me feel like we were truly welcome. They serve Pepsi products, which I will admit, always makes me sad. Max ordered a Sierra Mist and I ordered a coffee. Jack was content with the contents of his bottle. The coffee was weaker than my preference, but Max said his Sierra Mist was the best he’d ever had.

The food is priced fairly. I ordered the breakfast special which included 2 pancakes, 2 sausage links, and 2 eggs for $4.55. Max ordered  a meal off the children’s menu for $3.90 which consisted of one egg, 2 slices of bacon, and 2 slices of toast. They only serve white bread. We also ordered a half serving of biscuits and gravy for $2.50 which was a biscuit sliced in half with a generous serving of gravy on top.

The pancakes were perfect and the eggs were cooked exactly the way I ordered them, over medium. I cannot understand why so many restaurants can’t get this right, but I want my egg whites cooked through. The sausage was acceptable, but the sausage gravy seemed to be from a mix or a can with chunks of sausage patty thrown in. Despite this, the gravy was good and for the price I thought it was fair.

Max devoured his food so quickly that I’m 100% sure he loved it. He ate the gravy and, despite better training, declared with his mouth still full that it was “GOOD!”

The meal total with drinks was $15.14 and I felt it was a good value, especially for Riverview where I have not seen many restaurants of it’s kind. I will definitely go back soon to try the dinner menu.

Ruth's Steakhouse on Urbanspoon

The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook

Thursday, Max and I took Jack to Baby Time at our local library. Jack loves interacting with other babies and children in general. After it was over, Max wanted to get a few books and we saw this and knew we MUST have it.

We took the book home and we didn’t really have time to look at it until yesterday morning. I took the boys for breakfast at Ruth’s Steakhouse and we took the book so we could look through it while we waited for our food. It was filled from cover to cover with recipes from the book that are both delicious and written well. Every recipe tells you where it is found in the Harry Potter series and the circumstances surrounding it. In addition, there are historical facts behind the food itself given for each recipe. These little blurbs of information are placed in a way that they don’t interfere with the recipes and they add to the pleasant tone of the book.

We came home after doing some grocery shopping and we decided to make Kreacher’s Creamy Onion Soup. It was AMAZING. Max loved it. The recipes are not always a quick fix. The cooking time of this recipe is about an hour, but that should never keep you from making something as wonderful as this soup was.

I bought the book this morning for $7.02 on Amazon and I’m keeping the library copy until I get it. Good job Dinah Bucholz. You are a true friend to Muggles and Wizards alike!