Education in the Classics

I've been watching a lot of older movies lately. In fact, a glance over my queue at netflix would reveal that most of my waiting movies were made before 1990. I seem to feel a need right now to educate myself on some of the legendary works of the past. What's to blame for this urge for pop-culture education? Well, for starters, I partially blame Gilmore Girls. Odd, I know, but if you've seen the show you can probably guess where I am going with this. There are tons of pop-culture references in that show, and while I am pretty sharp on a good many of them, some just escape me completely. That's the first reason for my quest. The second can basically be attributed to Entertainment Weekly. I subscribed to this magazine for several years, and even though I recently cancelled my subscription (just another unnecessary expense at the moment), I visit the website almost every day. Not too long ago, they published a list of the best tearjerker films of all time. Dramas are basically my favorite movie genre, and yet I was struck by how many movies on that list I was not familiar with. And so began my quest...

Of the few movies I've watched so far, Casablanca is my definite favorite. I am not sure why I waited so long to sit down and watch this movie, since I always thought it sounded like one I would like. I was so right! I have seen it three times in the past few months, and it only gets better. Last night I happened to catch Out of Africa on HBO, and since I have a passion for all things related to Africa (I will go there one day!!), I settled in to watch. It is a long movie (nearly three hours), but I was not disappointed. Meryl Streep was fabulous, as she always is. It was also a little bittersweet watching one of Sydney Pollack's most well-known films just a few days after his death.

My film education is already paying off... While watching Gilmore Girls on DVD a few weeks ago, I came across a reference to The Way We Were, a movie I knew was waiting on my Netflix queue. For anyone familiar with the Gilmores, it was referenced in the episode where Lorelai and Luke break up; she is "wallowing" in her sadness, and calls Luke in a moment of weakness. She gets his answering machine, and in typical Gilmore fashion, proceeds to leave a very poignant and verbose message. She references the movie The Way We Were, saying that when Katie and Hubble broke up, she called him because she just wanted to talk to her best friend, even though he was the reason she was sad. Likewise, Lorelai called Luke, her best friend, in her sadness, even though he was the reason for the pain. I now know the exact scene Lorelai was talking about! I am always excited when I get to remove a movie from my netflix list, and I love the feeling of having a new one waiting in the mailbox. Recommendations are always welcome!
Next up: Brief Encounter, from 1946.



I generally do not get into reality shows on tv. I have never watched Survivor, not even in the beginning, I do not watch The Bachelor or any of its spinoffs, and I have never watched more than 2-3 episodes of American Idol. I know AI is one of the biggest pop-culture trends of recent years, but reality tv is just not something I have any desire to follow. (Side note: Last May, I had the opportunity to spend the day with Taylor Hicks when he came to Scottsboro to promote the Goosepond Island development. Two days after he was here, he performed on the AI season finale, which was the very first time I ever heard him sing! Thankfully, he didn't ask any questions related to AI or his performances while I was shuttling him around, so I didn't have to admit I had no idea what he sounded like.) I say all of this to give a general idea of how much I typically dislike reality shows. I realize that some of the better ones (The Biggest Loser, Extreme Home Makeover, etc.) actually serve a higher purpose than the sex and scandal that seem to compose many others, and those are not the ones I rant against. Still, I get frustrated that the genre consumes so much of the networks' time and budgets now.
However...(you knew that was coming somewhere, right?)...last summer I began making an exception for a little jewel I discovered called Design Star on HGTV. I got sucked in to an episode after House Hunters, and I couldn't help coming back for more. Does it even count as a reality show? I am not sure, but I love it even more for leaving out most of the personal dramas and focusing on the competition and the designers' talents. Basically, the show throws together a group of designers, who move into a house together and compete in a series of challenges to find the next star. The winner gets their own show on HGTV. I like that some of the contestants are professional designers, while others just do it as a hobby. In fact, last year's winner was a hair stylist who just happened to have a talent for design. Also, the judges are a talented group (including my favorite, Cynthia Rowley), who really know their field. They are never demeaning or brutalizing with their critiques; they just judge what they see and offer some tips to help the contestant in the future. I know it sounds a little boring from my description, but trust me, it's not! The new season begins June 8, so check it out if you've never seen it.


Memorial Day Weekend

I just love long weekends, but it is so hard to come back to work. This Memorial Day weekend was a good one. Laura and I set out for Atlanta Saturday morning. I knew we had landed some pretty good tickets in the field level section, but I did not realize quite how good our seats really were until I printed them out Saturday morning. We were on the 7th row, just past first base! Needless to say, we were a couple of very excited girls when we saw where we would be sitting. This is the view from our seats to home plate (during batting practice):

(Please excuse the poor quality of the pictures...naturally, I forgot the camera, so these are from my cell phone.)
We had a great time, and it was great to be so close to all the action! Unfortunately, Jeremy had to work and did not get to come. He is just not as thrilled as we are, since he had to miss out this time. We got a little sunburned (it's HOT sitting on the field level without any shade!), but ultimately, I think it was worth it.

The rest of the weekend was fairly quiet. We had dinner with family on Sunday, then went to a campground in Guntersville with Jeremy's family yesterday. It was a relaxing start to the summer, and I am already looking forward to next Monday's holiday!
I will end with one more picture from the game, with a couple of my favorite players:


Happy Birthday, Jeremy!

In my haste to get my "100%" day going yesterday, I forgot to mention it was my sweet husband's birthday. Unfortunately, he had to spend the day and most of the night working. We celebrated this past weekend, when I gave him his present (a new gas grill) and we used it to cook dinner Tuesday night while my sister was over. I think what he's looking forward to most of all is the ice cream cake waiting in our freezer for when he has a moment to sit down and enjoy it. (I have a feeling that will happen today!) Anyway, happy birthday, Jeremy! You are officially on the downhill side of your 20s...but don't worry, I will join you there in a matter of days!

In other news, my sister and I are headed to Atlanta tomorrow for a Braves game. It's the first I've been to this year, and we are looking forward to kicking the summer off right. I wish I could see Tom Glavine pitch, but it doesn't look like that will happen tomorrow. Anyway, a Braves game, combined with a long holiday weekend (two in a row coming up, actually)...I think I can enjoy it!


A 100% Kind of Day

While I was driving into work this morning, one of the hosts on my favorite morning program said, "Make it a 100% kind of day." I really like that statement, and it's something I needed to hear this morning. So here I am, making it a 100% kind of day, ready to be productive. I've had my yogurt, got my radio on, and a big pile of paperwork calling my name. Wish me luck!


Wonderful Thursdays

Tonight is the season finale of The Office, which I have been looking forward to all week! I guess it's a little bittersweet, the season beginning and ending again so soon, but at least we get an hour-long episode to enjoy. The season finale of Ugly Betty is tonight also, and I am interested to see where it goes. I have been finished with school for over a week now, so I get to go straight home and prepare for my favorite night of television. Unfortunately, my husband will not be joining me since his off days have changed, but at least we have Sunday to look forward to.

Lest you think I do nothing more than numb my brain with (fantastic) television, I have been doing quite a bit more reading lately also. I finished Lucky, which is author Alice Sebold's account of her own real-life rape and the aftermath. It was a difficult read at times, but a good start to easing me back into my old reading habits. I have moved on to a couple of paperback mystery-types to fill the time until I decide what to go after next.

This weekend will be a busy one: graduates' reception, preparations for said reception on Saturday, and I also hope to get Jeremy's birthday present Saturday while I am in town. My sister should be coming home either late Sunday or Monday, and I am hoping to take off a day next week to spend some time with her. For now, I am off for home to prepare for a wonderful relaxing evening.



A random collection of thoughts from the past couple of days:

1. Jeremy's off days have officially changed starting this week. He will now be off on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, which is great because he can come to church again (which has been difficult since it's now about 40 minutes away) and we get to spend the entire day together on Sundays. It's been awhile since we've had that and I am really looking forward to it.

2. I am having dinner with wonderful college roommates next week. We don't live far apart now, but still don't see each other as often as we should. I am looking forward to catching up with them.

3. I am also looking forward to my sister coming home for a few days before she begins her summer beach mission. I am unbelievably proud of her. : ) I was hoping we could get to a Braves game while she's home, but it's a little uncertain at the moment. I'm trying to think of something else fun for us to do without having to go far to do it, in case the game doesn't work out.

4. Jeremy's birthday is coming up in just over a week, and I have no idea what to get him! He mentioned golf clubs, but I have no idea about golf clubs, and I would really like for his present to be a surprise. I have something in mind, so we'll see...

5. I am hooked on salads lately, which is very strange for me. Sounds like a good habit to take up, though, right? I am thinking a Zaxby's "zalad" may be in order for lunch today.

6. There was a great article on my most favorite professor (and former employer!) in the Huntsville Times yesterday. Dr. Hawk is such an inspiring lady, and is quite possible the most intelligent person I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. She's an amazing teacher, researcher, mother, wife, and soldier, and I am thankful and relieved for her safe return to UAH.

That's about all I have for now. I have been drained of virtually all energy for the past week or so, and I spent the weekend trying to catch up. I am looking forward to a lighter load this week, and to spending a little more time with my husband!


Mission Accomplished!

We are now one step closer to being ready to start a family. As of Friday afternoon at 5:00, we are the proud owners of an official family car! After nearly giving in and deciding to keep the gas-saving Civic for awhile, I unexpectedly got an offer I could not refuse on Friday morning. By lunchtime, I had the cash in my hand, and by 5:00 (okay, 5:01 according to the lady at the bank) I became the owner of a 2008 Honda Accord. I absolutely love the car, and Jeremy and I are both very happy with the deal we got on it.

This does not in any way mean that we are going to rush home and start praying for a baby, but having a decent-size car (read: 4-door) again is something I promised myself would be in order before we start getting ready for children. Thankfully, God was on my side with that one. I know I will never have everything in order before we have a baby-the list of things I want to have done could be endless. At least now, though, I won't panic about trying to fit a carseat in my 2-door car. :)