Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Devil Wears Prada

It doesn't happen often. In fact, never before.
I like books and I like movies but I usually don't like when one becomes the other. And I'll tell you why. The very nature of books, printed words, all the thoughts and feelings being laid out, the imagery taking place in the mind of the reader, is altered when put on a screen - big or small - and some of what I may or may not have thought is lost.
This is not to say there are not some really well done book to movie adaptations. True to the spirit of the story without being too literal and those I can respect. (The Hunger Games anyone, anyone?)
But it's very rare when I find a movie that I like BETTER than the book from which it was adapted.
And The Devil Wears Prada is that one exception. I just finished reading the book and I have to say, I don't like it nearly as much as the movie. This is not because I saw the movie first, I've done that before (The Firm and The Lord of the Rings trilogy - don't shoot, I know, it's a classic.) and even with the imagery preset in my mind, the books were much more thorough and well done.
In the case of The Devil Wears Prada, the book, I didn't like the main character, which makes it hard to enjoy, because I'm pretty sure we're supposed to sympathize with her. She's a chain smoker, which might not matter to others but I don't like it in a person and she doesn't have the integrity they give to Anne Hathaway's version in the movie. Also, the evil boss is not so evil in the book, just demanding and mean. She never asks the impossible, as is suggested in the movie, just to her exacting specifications. Andy's boyfriend in the movie is a nice well-adjusted guy, in the book he's a holier-than-thou, weak, little man. Nigel, played by Stanley Tucci - who I LOVE - in the movie is actually an amalgamation of three characters from the book and the impact of his influence on Andy is diluted. The only character that carried over faithfully from print to film was the first assistant, Emily, and that was okay because I liked her. In both places.
There are other differences, obviously, but the it's mainly that Andy is not a nice or good person in the book and her lack of principles makes it had to be on her side.
So score a few zillion for the written word and one for the big screen.

This is me and that's what I thought.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Work Vibe

My work situation is not the usual sort of work situation.
Firstly, I work for and with family, so I know and care about all the people involved in the conversations I overhear. It's harder to maintain the professional distance that one needs as a personal assistant when I find out someone is sleeping with someone they're not married to, or so-an-so has cancer. But that's not what this is about.This is about the nieghborhood in which I work. It's a little bit infamous, a little bit fancy looking and it has a bit of a reputation. Aaaaand some odd sights.There are large numbers of vans with the roofs cut off tooling around, taking pictures of houses and hedges - albeit very nice houses and hedges:And nice pools and pool houses:These same vans of tourists take pictures of a police officer with a pulled over car JUST IN CASE it's a famous person getting a ticket. When the cynical drivers of the vans aren't schlepping tourists, they take a break:Other things I have seen while driving to, from or around the work neighborhood. If you need decorative ironwork:

This is me and it's never dull.

Monday, April 23, 2012

1,000 Posts

I feel like my 1,000th post should be monumental or substantial or significant somehow.
Now, I am a very practical person - I can get stuff done when asked - but I do not come up with the ideas so good. Party conception-ing just isn't my forte. So I asked Tarzan what he thought I should write about for my 1,000th post. He asked me two questions.
1. What I have learned from blogging?
An interesting question; I didn't plan on learning anything. I started this blog as a distraction, a way to double dip if you will; keep a journal as we are encouraged to do, for future generations and first person perspective on current society AND also to distract me at work when I felt like punching people. (Since I never actually punched anyone, I think it worked.) There have been a few other things to come out of the last 999 posts however. I have learned that I am funniest when I am not trying so hard to be. I have learned that this anonymity thing is very important if I am going to whine. I have learned how very important comments are, which means, I actually DO care what other people think of me, at least a little bit. I have learned that I get more comments if I ask a question. I have learned that I need to be way more organized and figure out a decent cross referencing system because the labels are not as good as it looks like they should be. I have learned that my life is more interesting when I share it with other people. And I have learned that I don't have to meet people to become good friends.
2. What do I hope to see in the future with/from the blog?

On a purely selfish level, I hope to see more posts and comments from myself and others, respectively. I hope that I get the chance to print out a hard copy, pictures included, to share with my mother who disdains the Internet, except for Skype, which she uses to talk to my sister on The Other Side Of The World. I hope that I will be more organized and consistent. I hope that I will make more friends. I hope that I will always be able to type so that I can share our crazy life with all of you.

This is me with my 1,000th post.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Pictures Of Spring

The winter has been wonky this year, random cooling and warming trends with no apparent rhyme or reason, so when Spring arrived it was a little muted. We did some work on the front yard but that was because of necessity and time available, not because of season. In the last few days though, I have decisive proof that time marches steadily onward:I am so excited so see the blackberries are growing well. I tend to overdo and then not do with my plants, feast and famine with the care if you will, but I recently realized that the blackberry vines are in a great spot. They get sun but not all day and not the harsh southern sun, when it rains it the roof from the shed doesn't drip on them directly, but they get a lot of water AND the dryer vent provides a lot of humid warmth and they like that. Of couse, so do the weeds.We have a few blossoms on the apricot tree this season, which I hope means that we might actually get an apricot, who knows. It got fertilized this year, which is new, and might have helped. Sorry, this shot is under-focused:And the sunsets this spring have been really awesome:I'm not sure why, it must have to do with clouds and the ozone layer and stuff, but it's really pretty.Completely random, spring is also the time that snails appear in the grocery store:Apparently. I have walked that aisle in the store a hundred times and not seen the escargot kit before. Oh yes, snails, shells and instructions:It's the complete package.

This is me recognizing the season.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Happy Birthday Tarzan!

It has been a mighty long day. And I feel that I don't deserve the wife button today.
We are scheduled for a lot of thing, all the time - no excuses, we just are - but I REALLY need to get organized. Somehow I am always one step behind and usually, it doesn't matter that much. I skip a shower, fail to switch a load of clothes to the dryer (dangit!), or just run around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to squeeze 5lbs of sand into a 3lb sack.
But, today is Tarzan's birthday.
I had such plans. You know what they say about good intentions. I put shopping off because of other things until here it was - his birthday - and I didn't have his present, ingredients for dinner or for his pie. I actually ducked out of work early - not like it's hard, working for family does have it's advantages - to try and recover some of the time and goods.
But traffic hates me. Construction EVERYwhere. While I did manage to find part of the present I wanted it wasn't how I wanted it to turn out and I didn't make it home in time to find a store that sold blue cheese so I could make the dinner I had planned for him. He had to go to an audit meeting tonight - that one is not my fault - and the pie took me several attempts to get the crust to work. Grr, I will defeat you yet, my piecrust arch-nemesis.
Of course, Tarzan is all sweet and forgiving which does not make me feel better about the whole thing. I do mean it when I say: HAPPY BIRTHDAY TARZAN! and I only make a big deal out of your birthday because I love you so much.

This is me and I could have done it better.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Interesting Sunday

Did anyone else have a 'special' Stake Conference today because a General Authority just wanted to stop by and "say hi?"
We did.
Bishop Davies of the Presiding Bishopric was the reason for our out-of-season-and-not-on-the-regular-schedule conference today.
Just because.
He shared some stories, some funny, some a little creepy, asked us to love one another - not a bad sentiment, I'm down with it - and then left.

This is me and it was SO anti-climactic after all the speculation.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Hand Education

Guess what I learned today?
I learned that the thumb, index and middle fingers of our hands are used for fine motor control but the ring and the little fingers are what provide the strength of the hand. For opening lids, shaking hands, holding books, water pitchers and turning doors handles.
How and where did I learn this?
I learned this from my
favorite plastic surgeon, Dr. Z, when I went to talk to him today about the ring finger on my left hand. Which apparently has decided it was left out of the excitement with my thumb and wants some attention too.
Yes, I have developed trigger finger in an actual finger this time. Same symptoms, with the hurting and the snapping and the hurting and the swelling and did I mention the hurting? The routine is the same as well; Cortisone shots for a max of three times and then surgery if it doesn't quit acting out.
At least I know what is coming.

This is me, back on the hand circuit.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Spring Break - Friday

As luck would have it, ATL was off from work on Friday so the three of us took an excursion too see the origami exhibit at the Japanese-American Museum: ATL is very into origami:
That stuff was amazing. No pictures allowed which I thought very silly, it's paper, but copyrights or something, so no shots. One section had shapes like this: Then we lunched across the street at Senor Fish:Senor Fish was where I had my very first fish taco ever, when I was in college and it was, sadly, not as good as I remember. But the vibe was the same and it was a great walk down memory lane:Then we went across the next street to see The Hunger Games. I know, I know, it came out last week. But I am not so in love with any book-film adaptation that I want to sit in a theater with a bunch of screaming teenagers. So I didn't. And it was much better that way, I assure you.My opinion of the movie is this; very well done, though they were clearly expecting the audience to have read the book before they went and if I hadn't I would have been lost. There were some details that were excluded that I thought should have been INcluded for plot clarity with not a lot of time added. Further development of Haymitch for one, would have clarified the scenes when we were not immursed in The Games. Minor perhaps, but I would have liked to see it.
There are three more movies to go though, so they may do it later.

This is me and that was a great Spring Break.

Friday, April 06, 2012

Spring Break - Tuesday Through Thursday

Vegas Baby!
Tarzan and I had a "free" trip to Vegas planned - meaning we go, we sit through a vacation ownership presentation, they try and get us to buy one and they pay for our hotel - and Spring Break seemed like the perfect time to go:
As a tribute to
Rocketgirl I took a picture of my feet as we started out:I always forget how much Vegas irritates me until I get there. We're spoiled in the Jungle since cigarette smoke is almost completely forbidden where the people are. Vegas allows it nearly all places, including the casino floors which pretty much connect all other spaces - that being the point of Vegas and all - the casinos.There were A LOT of tattoos hanging out in plain sight and lots of nearly naked people. None of which made me comfortable to be there.The hotel was very nice however - we got to stay at The Jockey Club - and right in the middle of The Strip so we didn't have to drive anywhere.
And the weather was perfect.
Our first night we went to the infamous buffet at the
Bellagio hotel. So amazing. A tad pricey, true, but they had all-you-can-eat crab legs:Tarzan consumed his fair share. We discovered we like snow crab legs better than king crab legs. Who knew? We tried to sample everything and ate a ton but saved room for the adorable desserts:Check out the tiny little lemon meringue pies:After dinner we walked the beautiful indoor garden which helped clean the cigarette smoke from my brain:The lobby had a gorgeous ceiling array by Dale Chihuly:And another piece in the casino:This was all in the Bellagio. I was a little awed by the scale of all the different hotels. Each a miniature city almost. It was late by this point so, one quick look at the musical fountains out front and we called it a night.
We started out early so we could get a few things for my brother - he's serving his mission not too far away from Las Vegas - and drop off a care package at his mission home before we had to be back to the hotel for our mandatory presentation. It wasn't too bad. I hope this doesn't make us appear to be scamming the system or something but Tarzan and I have been to a significant number of these presentations and the timing has always been such that - like this time - we tell the sales guy that Tarzan just got laid off - always true statements - they feel sympathetic - Tarzan is very charming - and don't push the sale. So we get out fairly easy. We pick up our bonus gifts and the sales people like to discuss the state of education in the world with Tarzan. It's a win-win.
We toured about half of The Strip, finding all sorts of crazy things inside the buildings:Yes, those ARE wooden undies hanging in the window: And a first edition Book of Mormon: Told you it was crazy.
Dinner that night was at
Zine, an Asian place we were interested in, and then...
We had tickets to see BLUE MAN GROUP! Tarzan had been waiting for years to see this show so he was way excited: And it was a really good show. Totally random, the percussion was occasionally too loud and the strobes were a bit too much for me, but they were really funny and clever and I even learned some stuff, so it was well worth having to close my eyes for a few of the flashing lights.
We walked some more of The Strip before we checked out, then hit the road for home:
It's good we left early because traffic was awful nearly all the way, but we made it before the sun set, and despite the fun and the lovely hotel room, it's always nice to sleep in one's own bed.
This is me and Vegas Baby!

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Spring Break - Monday

Tarzan has Spring Break this week. (Lovely concept; Spring Break. I don't think I appreciated it enough when I was in school.) So I took the week off too. Not that I work like he does, but some time together is never a bad thing.And Tarzan had some big plans.First up, the yard.
Our yard has been getting a little overgrown lately - which I suppose speaks well to our ability to grow things though not for our trimming skills:Tarzan talked to one of our neighbors who was willing to help him dig up all the weed blocker - which we learned doesn't really block many weeds - fertilize the fruit trees - it's way late in the season for that, I know - and thin the succulent plants which were threatening the front porch foundation.I was in charge of finding a new ground cover, preferably something that doesn't need much care or water. It couldn't be too tall fully grown either, or too fragile because the cats like to sleep in the sun in the front yard and they inevitably choose the most delicate plant for a bed. These were the ones I decided on:I helped with the planting of the new stuff, but Tarzan and the neighbor did all the heavy lifting:If all goes according to plan, I won't think about the yard for six weeks and when I remember that it's out there, everything will have settled in nicely:
This is me. Here's hoping we didn't kill everything.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Conference Resolve

Rather than New Year's resolutions, I have decided to develop General Conference resolutions.
Tarzan taught the Gospel Essentials Sunday School last week and the lesson was on the Atonement. I was impressed with his ability to explain such a complex event to those who are new to the gospel. And he summarized it well with this: Two things are an obstacle to us getting back to God. Physical death and spiritual death. Physical death is taken care of by the
Atonement of Jesus Christ.
No exceptions - we will all be resurrected - so no worries.
Spiritual death is also resolved by the Atonement - provided we make an effort to increase our understanding and try to be more like Jesus.
This is me trying to improve.
All the talks at the conference this weekend were good. Are there ever any that stink?
I was impressed with one talk this morning from Dieter F. Uchtdorf about forgiving others and avoiding resentment. I don't think I hold a grudge but I am a big advocate for justice and one point that he made was we need to be more merciful.
So I resolve to show mercy, help those around me and not judge why others are acting the way they are. One of the hardest things to watch but most important parts of this life if the ability to choose for ourselves what we will do. I have to not be angry or get frustrated when someone chooses different from me, different from what I believe to be right, different from what they may have just heard the prophet say, different from what they know to be right. It's part of life and learning.
I have to let them learn.
Myself included. I need to learn from a choice rather than be annoyed with myself for not choosing differently. Next time I will get it right.

This is me, promising to try harder to be good.

From Whence You Cometh