Monday, November 26, 2012

What I WILL read this month

When I was trying to figure out my reading goals for the month, to write up for the monthly What's on Your Nightstand carnival, I decided to look back at my post for the Fall into Reading challenge since it will be over just before Christmas.

I've done well of keeping my goal of doing some personal non-review reading, and specifically reading more Christian nonfiction.

However, due to the fact that the group that I was reading it with stopped reading/discussing it, I haven't yet finished Soul Detox. I was liking it a lot -- I just happened to get derailed. So, I'll finish that, and get it moved out of my Bible study box and replace it with one of the other books that is awaiting my attention. There are many more I am looking forward to.

Another book that is on my list that I haven't gotten to is Embracing Obscurity. I'll give it a go, but due to some less-than-stellar reviews (like Carrie's), I'm not as interested as I once was. And my reading time is too valuable to finish a book just because it's on my list, so I'm not going to promise anything except that I will start it and give it a fair shake.

But looking back at my list, a certain book glared at me. A book that I still haven't read. A book that I even stopped putting on my Callapidder Days' challenges because I was so incredibly lame about it.

I WILL read it. In fact, I may start it now. And I won't say anything else about it until the deed is done.

What about you? Is there something that you really really want to or need to read this month? Let us know over at 5 Minutes for Books.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday Bust

We don't do Black Friday.

Last year Amanda really wanted to go. I figured things would be quiet mid-day, so we did go out after lunch. We couldn't even get into the outlet mall parking lot, but did go to a freestanding JC Penney and got a few deals -- clothing "needs," not gifts. She was happy, and I didn't die, so I guess it was worth taking one for the team.

This year, a store offered something that enticed me:

I managed to convince Amanda, and we dragged Kyle along reluctantly. We decided to try to leave a little before 7:00. We were running a little late, but we thought, "Certainly there will not be 100 people lined up before 7:00 a.m. waiting to get into a used bookstore. Surely if we are there by 7:30, we'll still be one of the first 100."

 As you may have guessed from the title of this post and my tone, we were wrong. We got there before 7:20, and saw the people in the store with their bags and gift cards, but there was no smiling store employee standing at the door with one for us.

 I had two bags of books to sell back and had wondered if the other 100 people might have had the same idea, but they didn't, so I got my credit, and then went on to spend as much or more as I've ever spent in one shot at that store. I did get $15 off with my Black Friday coupon, so I guess that's not bad. But Kyle talked me into a game that I probably only agreed to because of the special oxygen that reacts with tryptophan to cause unprecedented buying urges.

Half-Price Books - 1, Jennifer - 0 

A new Waffle House opened this year near the bookstore. Amanda has been wanting to go, and there wasn't a crowd, so we capped off our shopping with some waffles and hash browns.

Shop-owners - 0, Jennifer - 1 

Kyle needs a bath mat for his cold floor, so I thought we'd go to Kohl's, since it was just across the street. We got a bath mat -- two, actually -- one for him and one for Amanda. Amanda got some clothes she needed for her Christmas church performances, I bought Kyle some jeans and pants that he "needed," picked up some wrapping paper at the "don't forget me" station near the cash register, and left almost $100 poorer. But now I have Kohl's cash, I have $30 that I can spend next week. That's where they get you: Come back, soon. Save even more money!!

Kohl's - ?, Jennifer - ?

We'll wait to score this one until next week. If I actually remember to go, and if I only spend $30 or $40, then I might win. Otherwise Kohl's got me.

Did you shop last night or this morning? Will you shop today? Are you shopping online right now?

Monday, November 05, 2012

We Loved Wreck it Ralph

My 14-year-old daughter was dying to see this movie (perhaps because of the Owl City song attached to it? ** See update below). I was going to take her and her friends, and so I asked my 8-year-old son if he wanted to go with me. He did.

I didn't know much about this movie. I'm not that interested in wrecking. I knew it was Disney, but didn't realize that it was John Lasseter. I'm always a fan of Pixar movies, so knowing who was behind it increased my interest.

It started off in an arcade 30 years ago, and quickly fast-forwarded to today, when the game Fix-It Felix, Jr. is still going strong and about to celebrate its 30th anniversary. The problem is the Ralph is tired of being the bad guy, the one who always wrecks things. But the game characters (who come to life after the arcade closes) don't even want him around, and he's tired of it.

If he gets a hero's medal, they'll treat him right, so he goes into a different video game in the off-hours to earn one.

The story is fully developed and really wonderful. The message -- of being a true hero, figuring out who you are -- is uplifting but not at all didactic.

We all three loved the movie. It's probably one of my all-time favorite animated pictures.

CONTENT:  I didn't hear any swear words, which I appreciated. The "sexualized" humor that always seems to crop up unnecessarily in children's movies was mostly absent. There is a little love story (between two animated characters), and they kiss twice, which caused audible groans from the boys in the theater.

The violent content wasn't too bad either, considering that much of the movie takes place in video games, including a shoot-em-up commando sort of game, Hero's Duty. It didn't seem intense to me, but there are several scenes featuring cartoon violence (think about typical Looney Tunes fare).

The only content that people might choose to avoid, especially for younger viewers, is the potty talk. There's a whole riff on the name "Hero's Duty" as "Hero's Doody." Just as the kissing caused groans, these jokes definitely caused loud laughs.

Have you seen it? Did you love it? +++++ Updated 11/5: I was just sent a link to the Owl City video: