Sundays with Gage – Fall has arrived

Fall, my favorite season, has arrived.  The cool, crisp air, the leaves starting to change colors, the football, and the personal holidays all make this a happy time of year for me.  Gage loves to be outside so we’re trying to soak up every last bit of sunshine before it’ll be too chilly for the playground.  An added bonus of these two pics is that you can see Gage’s post-nap hair on steroids from the wind 🙂

Any other fall lovers?


September’s 5 Word Movie Reviews – Money for Charity

Wow.  What a month for movie disappointment!

Every time you add 5 words of your own to one of my reviews then you donate $1 to charity.  What charity, you ask?  The charity is chosen by the person who has the most reviews once we reach 100. (Last charity herePLEASE leave a clear 5 word comment so I can give credit for it.

Please join the fun :)  We’re up to $72!!

You can add reviews to any of my past movie posts AND see who is in the contributing lead here.

Never Let Me Go, 2010 (Cast-Carey Mulligan, Keira Knightley, Andrew Garfield)  Grade B-

Thoughtful, Depressing Look at Cloning.

Disturbing, tragic tale of cloning. (Heather)

The Hangover 2, 2011 (Cast-Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zack Galifianakis, Justin Bartha)  Grade C+

Part 1 Redux – Bangkok style

Round two not laughing much :) (Teddyree)

They do it again, somehow.  (Tony)

Man of the Year, 2006 (Cast-Robin Williams, Laura Linney, Christopher Walken, Lewis Black)   Grade C-

Hot Topics But Misguided Story

Clockers film poster.jpgClockers, 1995 (Cast- Mekhi Phifer, Harvey Keitel, John Turturro, Delroy Lindo)  Grade D+

I Remember Loving The Book 😦

Man of the Year (2006)

Lots of people get their political news from comedians these days, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Bill Maher, Saturday Night Live.  I happen to be a Stewart fan myself.  What if a glitch in the voting system gave Jon Stewart the presidency?  Would chaos ensue or would it be much-needed kick in the pants?  That’s just one obvious question that never gets answered in this film, but there were plenty of others.

Robin Williams plays the comedian Tom Dobbs and does a good job with the humor.  When he decides to actually hit the campaign trail he drops the jokes, sticks to issues and the movie starts to become something like a drama.  Laura Linney is an employee of the computer company handling all the voting in the country and she finds a surprising glitch in the system.  She alerts the CEO who promptly ignores her.  Dobbs is elected Linney’s character is drugged and fired so she has no credibility and the film then turns into more of a conspiracy thriller than a comedy or a drama.

The movie was a bust for me.  Some parts were good but the stupidity of Linney’s character was hard to watch.  And once Williams wasn’t cracking jokes he became about as interesting as last week’s newspaper.

The movie did halfheartedly attempt to tackle some real issues.  The most compelling part of the movie for me was Jeff Goldblum’s speech about the people thinking their vote counted was more important than their vote really being counted.  It didn’t matter if the right guy got the job.

“Perception of legitimacy is more important than legitimacy itself. That’s the greater truth.”

No matter where you come down on this it still generates good discussion.  Once Williams gets the nomination he and Linney both have to make a choice on whether he should keep quiet and accept the honor of being the president of the United States.  I thought this was also an interesting dilemma and one Jason and I didn’t quite see the same way.

The humor and the thought-provoking situations had potential but the movie was too scattered to be good.

Any political movie recommendations for next week?

Ohio, Ohio, Ohio

I don’t know if any of you have heard but we have a presidential election coming up.  As a proud Buckeye I admit that I like the attention that comes our way every four years.  I like the fact that we do not always elect politicians from the same party year after year after year.  I actually take an interest in politics.  I’ve written a few posts over the years about how I think everyone should vote and if possible, work the polls (given the state of unemployment it pays well for a day or so of work), and try to make an informed decision.

Don’t worry I’m not going to endorse a candidate (but I do see that Roseanne Bar has made it onto the ballot in a state or two ;)) but I am going to take the next 6 Fridays and review 6 political movies.  There are 2 (Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, 1939 and State of the Union, 1948) that are on my Top 100 list and they will be re-runs for me.  Otherwise I’d like them to be new-to-me movies.

If you have a fun political movie that you’d like to recommend, I’d love to hear about it, but there are a few requests-US politics only, no bashing of one political party (it’s okay of both parties are victims) and, honestly, the funnier the better.  In the past few years I’ve seen Swing Vote (2008) and The Ides of March (2011), both of which I liked but am not interested in seeing again.  Other than that I am open to recommendations.  I have The Candidate (1972) with Robert Redford and The Contender (2000) on my radar.  Any thoughts?

At the library yesterday I picked up Man of the Year (2006) with Robin Williams and am halfway through.  Check back tomorrow to see what I think.

I Love Fall Quiz – guessing closed

Fall has always been my favorite time of year.  I love the colors, the smells, the football and the fact that my birthday, wedding anniversary and Gage’s birthday all happen during October doesn’t hurt.  I think you’ll be able to fill in these titles with words I associate with the season.


You have until noon Sunday to submit your answers as a comment.  Comment will be hidden until I post the answers.  No Googling! The person with the most points this round will win a B&N gift card (total $ based on # of total participants, so please play) and a randomly selected participant will win a fun prize from me.

1. The Cider House Rules by John Irving

2. Eats, Shoots & Leavesby Lynne Truss

3. Apple Turnover Murder by Joanne Fluke

4. The Angel and the Rake by Barbara Cartland

5. The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende

6. Son of a Witch by Gregory Maguire

7. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

8. The Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe

9. The Homecoming of Samuel Lake by Jenny Wingfield

10. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman

Last week’s Highest Paid Author Quiz here.  Leaderboard here.

Sundays with Gage- a tough decision

Max is nine years old.  We rescued him from a shelter when he was somewhere around one.  He is a terrier mix with lots of energy.  He has been a great dog and we love him very much.  Unfortunately, when two high-strung characters live in the same house sometimes it’s just too much insanity.  In March I wrote about some of the problems Max was having with a running Gage and I tried my best to keep them relatively separated unless I was right there.  A few weeks ago I was right there when Gage decided to fall onto a resting Max.  Max jumped up and growled and bared his teeth in Gage’s face for what seemed like forever.  I yelled, Gage cried, and Max was confused.  It was later that I would cry as I saw the need to try a separation.

Max loves Gage, but he has his limits.  Gage will be two next month and doesn’t understand limits.  So, I asked my parents if they would be foster parents for Max until spring and they said yes.  Knowing that Max will be spoiled and loved is a big consolation, but the bigger one is knowing that I can change my mind anytime.  My parents visit often and now Max will be visiting with them and we’ll see how it goes.

This was last Sunday before Max left.  They can be friends and I want Max back home as soon as possible, but that being said, not having the constant stress this week has been nice.

The house feels empty without Max and I miss him, but it was the best decision for right now even if it was a hard one.

Stolen Prey by John Sandford

Stolen Prey: Lucas Davenport Series, Book 22Finished audio 9-14-12, rating 3.5/5, thriller, pub. 2012

Unabridged audio narrated by Richard Ferrone

Lucas Davenport series #22.  (book 17) (book 18) (book 19) (book 20) (book 21)

Lucas Davenport has seen many terrible murder scenes. This is one of the worst. In the small Minnesota town of Wayzata, an entire family has been killed—husband, wife, two daughters, dogs.

There’s something about the scene that pokes at Lucas’s cop instincts—it looks an awful lot like the kind of scorched-earth retribution he’s seen in drug killings sometimes. But this is a seriously upscale town, and the husband was an executive vice president at a big bank. It just doesn’t seem to fit.

Until it does. And where it leads Lucas will take him into the darkest nightmare of his life. (Goodreads)

I’ve read all 22 books of this police thriller series and, for me, this is one of the weakest.  It started off strong, with one of the more violent and bloody scenes I’ve read from Sandford and had potential with three assassins running around town killing people, but there was disconnect with the convoluted banking storyline.   I missed Weather but loved the story with his daughter, especially the end.

I still recommend the series and I will still continue to visit with Lucas every year.  He’s still a great wounded hero doing good even if sometimes he must be bad.

This is a great series for those who love police procedurals, but please start at the beginning since I think they are the strongest books.

I checked this audio out of the library.

The Annual Highest Paid Author Quiz – guessing closed

Every year I do a quiz on the highest paid authors for the pat year (May 2011-June 2012 according to Forbes magazine).  I’m guessing that a lot of you saw the list and now we’ll see how much you remember.  Only one guy, the one at the top, is in the same spot.  In the past I’ve had you rank them in the correct order, but I’m always surprised at how hard that it, so I’m making it a little easier this time around.  I’m giving you the correct order and the initials (see how generous I can be?) and you just have to figure out who the author is.  Easy right?


You have until noon Sunday to submit your answers as a comment.  Comment will be hidden until I post the answers.  No Googling! The person with the most points this round will win a B&N gift card (total $ based on # of total participants, so please play) and a randomly selected participant will win a fun prize from me.

1. JP – James Patterson $94 m

2. SK – Stephen King $39m

3. JE – Janet Evanovich $33m

4. JG – John Grisham $26m

5. JK – Jeff Kinney $25m

6. BO – Bill O’Reilly $24m

7. NR – Nora Roberts $23m

7. DS – Danielle Steel $23m

8. SC – Suzanne Collins $20m

9. DK – Dean Koontz $19m

10. JKR – JK Rowling $17m

11. GRRM – George RR Martin $15m

12. SM – Stephenie Meyer $14

12. KF – Ken Follett $14m

13. RR – Rick Riordan $13m

Answers to last week’s Dyslexia quiz here.  Leaderboard & rules here.

I’m creeping along the IT-along

So, I signed up for the IT-along because Jill tempted me with all of her fun clown posts and I happened to have a copy waiting on my shelves.  I do not have time to read such a long book (1090 pages in my paperback edition) but I was feeling the clown love, what can I say?

I did not make it halfway.  The goal was to be done reading 608 pages and I have read 408.  The main reason is that every time I start reading I feel like taking a nap.   I’m not sure what this means yet.  Either I need more sleep (probably) OR King needs an editor (maybe).

A few thoughts/questions-

Did parents really give their kids so much freedom in the 50’s?  I’m guessing that they did and it makes me a little sad that all of our kids now come equipped with gps in the way of cell phones.  Our neighbor’s ten-year old son was the last kid in his class to get a cell phone.  Makes me feel old!  The kids in this book have aware parents (especially love Mike’s dad) but the kids run free.

I have never known anyone named Richie or Eddie and after 400 pages I’m pretty sure I’m still confusing the two and somehow melding them into one chauffeur loving DJ.  There just may be one or two (or 20) extra characters.

I don’t dislike birds, but yesterday soon after I read about Mike’s encounter with that bird-beast, I brought Gage back from a walk and there was a bird flying around our garage, trying to get out.  I don’t know who was more upset, me or the confused bird.

My favorite character is Ben.

I’m liking IT so far and am pretty sure I’ll be able to catch up and finish by next month.  I’m still working on an IT quiz but it’s proving to be quite a challenge.

So, have you read IT?

Night-Night with Gage

Gage loves his books.  He has an extensive library (his dad has sadly accepted that our house will always be overrun with books) and spends a lot of his day looking through his favorites.  Our one ritual is a night-night book.  It’s the last thing we do before going to bed and the book must end in the chance for Gage to say night-night.  Here are the three usual suspects…

The Bed Book by Harriet Ziefert was sent to us in a box of books from the most awesome Jill of Rhapsody in Books.  The illustrations are completely dated and I wasn’t too impressed with it.  At least at first.  Gage loves this one.  He can recognize and name most of what he finds in the pictures.  I actually think this will be a great one to teach him to read since there are simple words often repeated.

Gage’s absolute favorite was sent to him from the lovely Kathy of BermudaOnion’s Weblog when he was born.  Baby Baby Baby by Marilyn Janovitz has repetition that asks for action, “Bitsy bouncy baby On a bumpity lap Mommy’s little baby likes to CLAP CLAP CLAP!” It’s long and there’s lots to do.  When it’s time to Dance, Dance, Dance, he’s loves to laugh at mama dancing her silly head off.  Our copy is very well-worn from use.






And the last book is The Big Sleep Book by Guido Van Genechten that I picked up at a library sale.  This one has great illustrations and lots of animals.  Gage likes to tell the rhino laying on his back to get “UP!”  He gets a little bored in the middle but he still loves it.

So, is there a good night-night book that you’d recommend?  (we had Goodnight Moon, but haven’t seen it in months?!)  And aren’t generous bloggers awesome?