Saturday, December 20, 2008

Inclusion: Not always a good thing

Earlier in the week, when I heard of the brouhaha over President-Elect Obama's choice of pastor Rick Warren to give the invocation at his inauguration, I thought, "What's all the hubbub, bub?"

My initial reaction was that while the choice of Warren (who is against gay marriage but has been active in the call to end the world AIDS problem--I applaud his efforts in the latter) might anger some activists, it was indicative of Obama's pledge to be inclusive, to discuss issues with his detractors as well as his supporters, and to begin the Great American Dialogue. The GAD is something I made up, but I think it's about time we started realizing that there are all kinds of different people with all kinds of different views, and you can't begin to achieve that sort of understanding without discussion, thus the GAD. Hey, since I'm writing about this, and you're reading about it, on the Interwebs, does that mean it's the eGAD? I like that! Of course, in the interest of inclusion, it really needs to be the Great International Discussion, or the eGID.

But I digress.

So at first I thought that while I don't agree with some of Warren's convictions about homosexuality, he has the right to feel that way, and I can sort of see why Obama picked him (the trying to be inclusive part). I know of other people who agree with him about homosexuality, and I don't hate them. I don't agree with them at all, but I'm not going to hate them because of their erroneous ideas, ha ha. I do realize that not everyone shares my views about various things, and I'm all for tolerance; however, I also have the choice as to whether or not I listen to or read hate-filled and bigoted rhetoric, and I choose not to. If you hate Obama because he's black, or hate gays because of who they love, that goes deep and nothing I can say is going to convince you otherwise--that kind of understanding can only come from life experience, and hopefully life will provide a big ol' sledgehammer to knock you on the head about it so you can get yourself right.

I believe I digressed again.

I was okay with Obama's choice of Warren at first. Then I saw this interview with Anne Curry and Warren. (Indy, I discuss what was said afterwards, so you'll get the idea of his comments.)

I do believe I've changed my mind. I was appalled to hear Warren say that even if it's proven that homosexuality is a genetic trait (and that is exactly what I believe, and I believe it will eventually be proven), he would still think it is wrong and believe it is a choice that can be overcome.

Are you f***ing kidding me?!

DUDE. You are talking about a genetic trait, like hair and eye color, or a myriad of genetic diseases. Are you telling me that if I'm unhappy about my green eyes, I can simply make a choice and hey presto! I've got blue eyes? Or that someone with Sickle Cell disease can make their red blood cells magically whole merely by strength of will? Or perhaps those men with male pattern baldness--a trait passed down through females--can grow a thick, luscious head of hair because they have made the choice to go against their genetic code and not be bald? By the way, you seem to be getting a little thin on top, Rick. I hope you'll get to brainin' on that.

Oh, for Pete's sake. His remarks in that interview were pretty much the stupidest, most vile sort of lame excuse for hatred and exclusion that I've heard recently. To equate overcoming natural and environmental tendencies towards fear, anger or shyness with homosexuality is ridiculous, and comparing the choice of being promiscuous with the genetic coding of homosexuality is just as bad. And I really didn't need to hear that you want to screw every beautiful woman you meet. And hey, if we're really talking about anthropological tendencies, the true impulse would be to screw pretty much every woman you meet, as long as they are capable of bearing children so that you can produce as many offspring as possible. Whatever concept of "beauty" you have is a product of current standards and secondary to your primordial urges to find women who can be breeders.

I'll be watching the inauguration, but I think I might have to miss Warren's invocation.

By the way, Warren, I happen to like my green eyes. If at some point you decide that you don't like green eyes, and that green eyes are wrong, I won't be flexing my braaaaaain powers in order to change them to whatever color you think is "right."

Friday, December 19, 2008


HOLY CRAP! I'm on The Godfathers Yahoo group and just got the notice that they're bringing their reunion tour to the states.

YESSSSSS! [fist pump]

And as the lead singer promised me, they're coming to Chicago, and not just on any day...on Valentine's Day. It's a St. Valentine's Day Massacre show! And I get to go! I get to go! I'm not working, it's Valentine's Day, and oh yeah...I GET TO GO!!!

They're coming to your town, too, Dan. If you get a chance, I highly recommend them!

The American Return of The Godfathers

First US tour for nearly 20 years……

First ever Saint Valentine's Day Massacre show in the US!


Wednesday 11 Boston, MA-The Middle East

Thursday 12 Washington DC-9.30 Club

Friday 13 Cleveland, OH-The Grog Shop

Saturday 14 Chicago, IL-The Metro

Sunday 15 Minneapolis, MN-Seventh Street Entry

Monday 16 Milwaukee, WI-The Shank House

Wednesday 18 Hoboken, NJ-Maxwells

Thursday 19 Brooklyn, NY-The Bell House

Legendary English rock and roll band THE GODFATHERS explode back into the USA in 2009 with their first American tour in nearly 20 years. The tour includes a landmark Saint Valentine's Day Massacre show on Saturday 14th February at The Metro, appropriately in Chicago. This will be first ever Godfathers' Saint Valentine's Massacre show outside London since its inception in the notorious London Dungeon in the late eighties. The London Saint Valentine's Day Massacre shows have become legendary events in English rock'n'roll folklore and The Godfathers are delighted to stage the first American Massacre at The Metro. The tour kicks off on February 11th in Boston and then takes in Washington DC, Cleveland, Minneapolis, Milwaukee and Hoboken before crash landing into the Bellhouse in Brookyln on Thursday 19th February.

I'm so excited, I'm shaking. I've been hoping they'd come to the states since they reunited last year, and I've been hearing rumors. I suppose I should back up a bit and say that The Godfathers are one of my favorite bands from the 80's, and although I've never had the privilege of seeing them live, I hear they're one of the best live bands you'd ever want to see. Here's the link to their biggest U.S. hit, "Birth School Work Death."

I went ahead and ordered 4 tickets--I'm hoping that Shane and a friend will be able to go, too. I'm as happy as a little girl! As Mark would say, Love and Rockets, man, Love and Rockets!


I sent an email to Peter, the lead singer, saying that I was thrilled to hear about the show, and asking if I brought a CD, would there be a chance that he'd sign it? He wrote back:

Of course I'll sign your CD!!

Looking forward to meeting up and pressing the flesh in person!!!

Saint Valentine's Day at The Metro is going to be a blast!!!!

AWESOME! He went on to wish me and my family a merry Christmas and happy new year. How cool is that?! Isn't it neat when people really appreciate their fans?

The return of my Secret Admirer

Well, my clever plan backfired. Early next week, Ken has to work a couple of night shifts, so I thought I'd try to transition into staying up late and sleeping late, so that we're a little closer in our schedules. The staying up late part was no problem for this night owl gal (I think I was up until 4:30 or so), but the sleeping late part was. I've been getting up earlier anyway, and this morning I was startled awake by thunder and lightning. Yes, in December, in Indiana. It looks like in the Nutwood area we got freezing rain rather than snow. It doesn't look too bad, though, with just a light coating on the trees and on the deck, and it seems to be changing over to just rain. I'm not sure what tonight will bring, but I hope it doesn't make it bad for Ken getting home. In the meantime, Sheeba and I are snugs as bugs!

Hey everybody, looky-look-look-look who's back!

Anonymous said...

hehe...funny you should mention that. you know, there are some seemingly "normal" bloggers out there and then there are those 'bat-shit crazy' (whateverthehellthatis)ones. so sweet and nice on the surface, but look out! it's so sticky sweet it's sick! oh, sorry, sounds like some nuttywood jun....oh nevermind.

O Anon, Anon...I've missed you so. Your wit ("Nuttywood"--that's a play on Nutwood, right? Very clever!), your way with words, the charming way you start to say something, then like a shy flower, you hold your words, teasing me with the promise of thoughts unspoken.

I've missed you the way the parched ground misses the replenishing rains; I've missed you the way the still and silent forest misses the call of the whippoorwill; I've missed you as if I were a Shasta daisy on a dark and dreary day, craving the kiss of the summer sun.

A day without you is as painful as having a massive cold sore on the day you're getting your driver's license renewed, knowing that you'll see that cold sore for the next four freakin' years. Your absence is as hurtful as being told that Michael Bolton and Celine Dion are giving a Christmas concert together and your attendance is mandatory. Not having you around has been heart-wrenching, the way watching a 24-hour marathon of "Diff'rent Strokes" would tear at my heart...Nay! My very soul. You want to leave me? Watchoo talkin' 'bout, Anon?!

Although as Mark wrote, it is flattering to know that you care about me so much. He sees your affection for me. It's been a while, but you couldn't stay away. It gives me great hope to know that there is something about me that draws you...that even if you're gone for a while, you'll be back. If I didn't believe that, I...I...I'm not sure I could go on.

Okay, I'm done. I hope you all don't mind that I addressed my dear Anon in this public forum, but since they remain a very secretive Secret Admirer, it's the only way I can tell them of my feelings. Hey, did you see that they think I'm sticky sweet? Is that sticky sweet like in the Def Leppard song? "I'm hot, sticky sweet, from my head down to my feet." Anon, you make me blush! Or is it stick sweet in a goody-two-shoes, Pollyanna kind of way? Hahaha! I can honestly say I don't think anyone has ever called me a goody-two-shoes! You all know how shy and retiring I am, never wanting to speak my mind or do anything that would rock the boat. [wink]

How about a poll? Tell me what you guys think!

So nice I had to do it twice

I see that there are some web awards out there, and you can see all the winners here. Check out who is right up there at the top! That's right...none other than....

Thursday, December 18, 2008

What lies beneath

Sheeba and I had a lovely little nap on the couch last night waiting for Ken to call. He had some major delays, but got there safely. I suspect there may be more delays when he flies home on Friday.

Today was a very nice day, even if fairly nippy. I had no problem getting out of the driveway, and before I left, I sprinkled some salt on the spot where I drive up into the garage, so I had no problem getting back in! Yay! Tomorrow will probably be another story, as we're supposed to get quite a bit of snow and ice tonight. I was happy to get my errands run today, so I can just hunker down at home tomorrow and not worry about getting out in the nastiness. Even though Ken is flying through Cincinnati rather than O'Hare, I'm afraid that there will be some delays all across the country due to Chicago getting hit pretty hard. I'll hope for the best, though!

After a quick trip to the Post Office this morning (I waited in line for ten seconds, tops--awesome!), I stopped by WalMart to pick up a couple of things. While I was there, I walked around a little bit and browsed. I had that weird feeling of wanting to be out and about, because I knew that I'd be stuck here tomorrow. It's not like I don't go for a few days at a time during nice weather without going anywhere, but just knowing that I won't be able to tomorrow made me want to be out today. Isn't it strange how that works? At least I didn't go into storm mentality and load my cart with bread, milk, toilet paper, etc...ha ha!

Oh, and my wrapping is finito! I did everything yesterday except Ken's stocking gifts, and I got that done tonight. What a relief!

I was looking at some old stuff yesterday and it got me thinking. This has nothing to do with any of you all, this is about people I've known in the past. Have you ever encountered one of those people who, on the surface, seems to be reasonable, nice, pleasant to talk to, okay to be around...only to find out later that they're more than a little loony? In fact, they might be downright batshit crazy. It really amazes me that there are people out there that can function at a fairly normal level, all the while harboring some truly twisted ideas and delusions. There have been some that I've even come to believe are seriously mentally ill, but are together just enough that they can function in normal society and relationships...for a while, anyway.

There have been times when people have warned me about a person, but I took the plunge anyway, much to my eventual dismay. There have been other times when I was warned and I remained on guard...good thing, because yep...batshit crazy. It's kind of scary to think that there are people out there who can hide their nuttiness so skillfully, but it does seem that it will eventually out. I always saw clues, but ignored them until it became so obvious that I could no longer do so. I learned my lesson, and if someone I trust knows the person and tells me to be careful, I take their advice and remain wary.

You never know what lies beneath.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Desert Intrigue!

While I was putting together my Eggplant Parm, and while it's in the oven, I've been watching "Valley of the Kings" from 1954 on TCM. It's in exotic color, you know! Ken and I share a love for all kinds of movies (Star Trek, Bond, Mob, etc., etc.), but he's not all that much into older movies, and that's cool. It's not like I don't have plenty of opportunities to watch them during the day! When I saw this one in the TV guide, I had to watch it. Archaeology! Egyptian tombs! Belly dancers! The pyramids, and the pharaohs! Ra-Hotep! (Although it sounded more like Rahm-Hotep to me. Hahaha!)

I wasn't disappointed. When I was a little girl, I read about Howard Carter and his discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun. I wanted to be an archaeologist when I grew up. When I went to college, I took an Archaeology course. I enjoyed it, but found out that it wasn't quite as glamorous as I'd thought as a youngster! But I've maintained a fascination with the subject, and it was a dream come true to see the Tutankhamun exhibit in Philadelphia back in 2005. And yes, it made me actually see some of the things that came out of his tomb, things I'd seen in pictures. Ohhhh, it was incredible.

TCM said that "Valley of the Kings" was the first Hollywood movie to actually film on location in Egypt. Breathtaking shots of the desert and the Pyramids...of all the places I'd love to go in the world, Egypt tops the list. Sadly, it's not a very safe place to travel these days, but I still have hope that one day I will see the Pyramids, the Sphinx, and the museum in Cairo. [sigh]

While I'm eating, I think I'll watch "The Mummy." (Not the original one with Boris Karloff, although I have that one, too.) I'm in a Egyptian kind of mood tonight!

Let's see how long I can drag my feet

Before I forget, the "vulgar term" alluded to, the one that Blagojevich called Obama? Mother****er. Blago, you ol' charmer, you!

Well, Ken should be in the air soon, on his way to Kansas City (and several of you got the song reference--most excellent job!). I'm hearing that the Chicago area is likely to get a nasty storm on Friday, when he comes back, but luckily he's flying through Cincinnati this time. I wouldn't be surprised if there are delays, but at least he won't be stuck at O'Hare. Not fun, believe me! With Ken on a business trip, you know what that means....

It's Eggplant Time! (can't touch this)

I was originally planning on a new recipe I got recently for Midweek Moussaka (As opposed to Weekend Moussaka? Holiday Moussaka?). It uses ground beef instead of lamb (I'm not a fan of lamb), and it sounds pretty tasty. However, last week I got some fresh mozzarella on sale, so I've got a nice snowball-sized hunk o' goodness sitting in the fridge, so I'll use that in my faithful standby, Eggplant Parmigiana. I'll manage to choke it down somehow. The Moussaka calls for 4 ounces of cream cheese, and I got that the other day, but I was sort of getting in the baking mood and might use my cream cheese for a sweet treat (to be determined). Anyone have any good ideas? I'm thinking cookies or bars, something like that. Ooo, maybe some kind of lemon bars that use cream cheese. I LOVE lemon bars. I'll have to do some looking online and in my cookbooks!

So guess what I'm doing? Yep, I'm procrastinating. The tree is up, the bins of wrapping paper are out of the basement closet, and it's time to wrap.


Really not my favorite thing to do, and it's not Ken's, either. I remember a couple of years ago...I was working the weekend, and Ken was planning on wrapping while I was at work. He heard me drive up, and when I walked in the door, he'd stuck the scissors into the neck of his sweatshirt (so it looked like they were in his neck) and was slumped over the table. I totally cracked up! That pretty much sums up how we feel about wrapping. Once I get going on it, it's never as bad as I think it will be, but MAN, it's hard getting started!

Considering my surliness about wrapping, here's a song for you. (Indy, it's a ramped up--a very ramped up--version of "Jingle Bell Rock.") My favorite Christmas CD is "Christmas with the Rat Pack," but this song fits my current mood a little better. I'm not in a bad one, it's know, the whole wrapping thing.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Vegas plans, and the danger of assumptions

I saw five bluebirds at our heated bird bath today! They and the other birds seem to love it in the wintertime, and I see the bluebirds more in the winter than I do in the summer. They're so pretty.

I got something done today that I really needed to get done. Now that we got the tree up and the bins of wrapping paper out, I got the presents wrapped and packaged to send to our friends Kimberley and Steve (we're meeting up with them in Vegas). The question is, will I be able to get out to the Post Office tomorrow? It's snowing fairly heavily at the moment, and Ken leaves for Kansas City (They got some crazy little women there, you know...anyone who gets that reference gets the gold star for today!) tomorrow afternoon. So if I get stuck in the driveway, I'm stuck until Ken gets back, or until I'm melted out, whichever comes first!

I also had fun today researching our Vegas trip. I'm not trying to be our group travel agent, and I'm very flexible about where we go, but I always like having a few ideas in mind before we go, and I've got the time to do the research. We love going to downtown Vegas, and I read that the seafood buffet at the Fremont got excellent reviews from travelers, and is half the price of places on the Strip. So that's a definite possibility. Ken and I loved the Golden Gate (also downtown, and the first hotel in Vegas!) and plan on playing some blackjack there, as well as picking up one (or three) of their shrimp cocktails--they're the ones who originated the cheap Vegas shrimp cocktail. They have a neat little restaurant there called the Bay City Diner, so that's another possibility. Our Cirque show is at the Mirage, and it turns out they have a Brazilian barbecue restaurant there, a carnivore's delight! So that's a maybe before the show. There's a place called the Peppermill Inn, a lounge across from where the Stardust used to be (RIP Stardust). The review said that the ambiance was 70's era Dean Martin...! I wanna go there!

But the best bit of news came late this afternoon, when I got an email from my contact at the Neon Museum. They have restored a handful of classic Vegas signs (including the original Aladdin's Lamp at the Aladdin) and those can be seen downtown. However, they also have what is called the Boneyard, a few acres outside where they keep all the signs that haven't been restored yet. They are open for tours by appointment only, and they were unsure of their hours after Christmas. Erin emailed me that they had a couple of tours both Tuesday and Wednesday, and which tour would I like? Happy happy joy joy! I'd resigned myself to not getting to see it this time, but I was pleasantly surprised! I've written about my love of signage...this place has some of the Vegas icons, like the light-bulbed slipper from the Silver Slipper. I'm as happy as a little girl!

Another topic. I've mentioned before that if someone tells me that I have to do something, I'm more than likely to not do it...just because I'm ornery that way. Mark says he's kind of the same way, and calls himself a "contrarian." I like that. I think I'm a contrarian, too. But if there's anything I like less than being told what to do, it's being told that I would feel or think a certain way in certain circumstances.

Fair warning: don't make assumptions about me. I have many different opinions and many different viewpoints, and some might surprise you. If, after reading my blog for a short time, or even at length, you think you know everything about feelings, my thoughts, my opinions, and my are mistaken. If we read each other for a while, I believe we get a pretty good idea of how we feel about certain things, but to assume that I think a certain way about a particular topic is not only presumptuous, it is patronizing.

A person's thought processes and psyche cannot be summed up by a blog. There is always more than meets the eye. If you really want to hear my opinion on something, email me at No promises that I'll share my opinion, although I have plenty, but that would be the place to start. Assuming that you know what I would feel or how I would react is foolish, and telling me, not asking me, what my thoughts would be is condescending. I may be as happy as a little girl, but I'm not one, and don't need to be told that I would or should behave or think in a particular way.

Life is much more complex than that, as are people.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Time to make this story sleep with the fishes

Obviously, the dominant story at the moment is the corruption case against Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich. (One thing I've learned from this story is both how to spell and pronounce Blagojevich.) I've been reading about how some people think that President-Elect Obama is lying about any contact with the governor; that Team Obama is dragging their feet after the P-E promised a thorough study of who talked to whom, and not releasing the report; and even a call for Rahm Emanuel's resignation as Chief of Staff...although he's not yet the official Chief of Staff, since Obama hasn't even been inaugurated.

Stop picking on Rahm, you big meanies!

In all seriousness, this is just getting stupid. This is a non-story. Let's review, shall we?

Blagojevich was taped by the Feds wanting money and/or lucrative jobs for both himself and his wife in return for the appointment to Obama's vacant Senate seat. No doubt about it, the guy is a slimeball and a crook.

In his press conference last week, P-E Obama stated that he had no direct contact with the governor concerning the Senate seat, and that his aides had "no inappropriate discussions" with the governor about it.

Emanuel spoke with the governor about a short list of people that Team Obama would like to see in the Senate seat. There is nothing untoward or inappropriate in such discussions, and it seems obvious to me that Obama--he's a Democrat, remember?--would want a Democrat in the seat, and preferably someone who he has worked with in the past and knows would be supportive of his policies. Illinois does not have a special election for vacant Senate seats: they are appointed by the governor.

U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald has said that prosecutors are making no allegations that Obama was aware of any nefarious plots, and Emanuel has been told that he is not a target of the investigation.

The governor himself--on tape--said that Obama wouldn't help him and called him a vulgar term (I'll let you know if I find out what it is). The governor went on to say that even if he did appoint someone on Team Obama's list, "they're not willing to give me anything except appreciation." There is a vast difference between speaking about who you'd like to see in the Senate seat and providing funds or appointments in return.

The report issued by Obama's team was ready today, but federal prosecutors asked them not to release it until at least the week of December 22, due to the ongoing investigation, and possible further interviews that they need to conduct.

There is nothing here that smacks of any wrongdoing by P-E Obama, Rahm Emanuel, or Obama's transition team. The attempt of the media to make a mountain out of this particular molehill is perplexing at best, and inflammatory at worst. I remember getting so frustrated at work, because the focus often ended up on some trivial issue, like where to put a new centrifuge, and I wanted to say, "There are bigger issues here--like how we don't have enough people to do the work!" The same concept applies here, and I'd like to see everyone focus on the dire economic straits our world is in rather than trying to make some nonexistent and nebulous connection between Obama and a corrupt governor.

I don't generally read comments on political blogs (But I cherish each and every one of yours, never fear! Well, except maybe for the lovely and charming Anonymous Troll.), but in reading some lately, it seems that there are quite a few people that will never accept Obama as their President. Hey, time to face reality, folks. He IS your President-to-be, like it or not. When I talked to my Mom last week, she told me that even my Dad is coming around. He's not happy about it, and like I've said, we had a couple of heated discussions about it, but Mom said he told her that Obama is going to be his Commander-in-Chief, he knows that's the way it is, and he will support him. When it comes right down to where the rubber meets the road, don't we all want our country (and our world) to see better days? Why on earth would you want someone to fail if it also means the failure and collapse of your country? That's insanity.

Okay, on to other things, and unless there's something really juicy that pops up, I won't write much more about The Little Story That Wasn't.

I hope you're all staying warm. It is freakin' freezin' out there! The winds were really strong today, and I had to wear my parka out and about. It gets too hot in the store, but it works for me when walking from the store to my car! I think I have everything taken care of for Christmas, and finished up with Ken's stocking stuffers. I got myself a couple of 10-pound hand weights because I'm ready to move on up from my wimpy little 5-pounders. Woohoo!

I've also started looking into which buffet to go to when we're in Vegas. Hard to believe that's coming up in just about 3 weeks! I'm reading that pretty much the best buffet on the Strip is at the Mirage, which is where we'll be going for the Cirque du Soleil "Love" show. However, it would be great to find a buffet that offers plenty of seafood, because we loves us our oysters on the half shell! Any ideas from you all? Miss Ginger? Katie? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

When we were there last, we went to the Sunday Champagne brunch at the Golden Nugget. We won't be getting into Vegas until Sunday night, so we'll miss the champagne brunches. Drat! I'm sure we'll muddle through somehow, though. I'm not usually a buffet kind of gal, because I feel like I can't really eat enough to pay for it. But high-end stuff like oysters and crab legs and lobster? Just stand back and watch me work. I'll get my money's worth, believe me!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

In space, no one can hear you caroling

Our breakfast for dinner last night was yummy! Ken was in charge of the eggs, because we like them over easy and I always manage to make them over hard. Ha ha! Bacon, hash browns cooked in bacon grease (as were the eggs), and 8 slices of buttered toast made for a low fat and heart healthy meal...NOT! We don't do that very often, so might as well really enjoy it. Oh, and we had champagne with it. Not mimosas...Ken said, "Why dilute perfectly good champagne with orange juice?" Good point, although on the rare occasion we go out for breakfast (usually when we're on vacation), it is fun to have mimosas! Tonight will be beef vegetable soup.

We got the tree up and decorated. It's good to have that done, because this week I can wrap Ken's presents and get them under the tree. It's always fun to put the ornaments on, because we've gotten each other some fun ones over the years. I'm heavy on the penguins and I Love Lucy ornaments, and Ken has a lot of golf ones. Other fun ones, too, like this one I got for Ken last year.

It's only logical that you should have a happy holiday, Captain. Ken hung this one low on the tree, and he said it looks like Spock is floating in space! Ha! Can anyone else say that they have a Mr. Spock ornament? Yeah, we're cool that way. That's just the way we roll. (That one was for you, Jamie!)

Here's one of my Lucy ones.

When you press a button, it plays a conversation between Lucy and Ricky, in which she tells him that she told her ladies' group that he'd put on a show for their upcoming benefit. You can hear Ricky on the phone, yelling in Spanish, and Lucy says quickly, "Well okay goodbye dear!" Makes me laugh every year!

Last night, we started watching "The Dark Knight," but Ken started snoozing, so we'll watch the rest later. (Give the guy a break--he got up early for a meeting!) I think Christian Bale is an excellent Bruce Wayne/Batman, and "Batman Begins" is my favorite Batman movie. I was very impressed with Heath Ledger's Joker, and I'd say that the posthumous Oscar buzz is warranted. Jack Nicholson played the Joker role mostly for laughs, but Ledger's take on it is much darker and creepier. I liked the darker tone of "Batman Begins," and they continue that in this movie (although we haven't seen the whole thing yet). Batman is one of our most tortured heroes, after all. And my personal favorite, by the way.

I didn't mention that Friday night we watched the remake of "The Hills Have Eyes." Oddly enough, that's a 70's horror movie that I've never seen, so I can't say if the remake compares to the original, but seeing the remake made me want to get it. I suspect that the original was much more shocking at the time (and it was directed by Wes Craven), much like "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre," and the remake struck me as a fairly typical and pedestrian desert mutant movie. (There are so many, you know!) Nothing really unusual about the movie, although the mutants were fairly gross. They became mutants due to nuclear bomb testing in the desert, and I found the test homes and mannequins set up by the government fairly eerie and creepy. Don't worry about seeing it if you aren't a horror movie fan. If you are, it's nothing extraordinary. Watch it with the lights off to optimize what little scare factor there is.