Tuesday, January 31, 2006

And the nominees are...

It's official! The Oscar nominees have been announced. You can find a complete list of nominees at Oscar.com, but I will highlight the big categories for you.

*Best Actor
Philip Seymour Hoffman (Capote)
Terrence Howard (Hustle & Flow)
Heath Ledger (Brokeback Mountain)
Joaquin Phoenix (Walk the Line)
David Strathairn (Good Night, and Good Luck)

*Best Supporting Actor
George Clooney (Syriana)
Matt Dillon (Crash)
Paul Giamatti (Cinderella Man)
Jake Gyllenhaal (Brokeback Mountain)
William Hurt (A History of Violence)

*Best Actress
Judi Dench (Mrs. Henderson Presents)
Felicity Huffman (Transamerica)
Keira Knightley (Pride & Prejudice)
Charlize Theron (North Country)
Reese Witherspoon (Walk the Line)

*Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams (Junebug)
Catherine Keener (Capote)
Frances McDormand (North Country)
Rachel Weisz (The Constant Gardener)
Michelle Williams (Brokeback Mountain)

*Best Picture
Brokeback Mountain
Good Night, and Good Luck

I'm not going to give official predictions yet because I want to see more movies, but here's a start:
I'd love to see Joaquin Phoenix win best actor. I think his biggest competition in that category will be Philip Seymour Hoffman. Same with best actress--I'd love to see Reese Witherspoon take it, but Judi Dench seems to be the favorite. Best Picture is anyone's guess at this point. I have a feeling Brokeback Mountain will take it, simply due to its controversial nature. I liked the movie just fine. It was very well done, but I don't think it's best picture material. I'd love to see Crash get it, but I'm thinking more along the lines of Capote.
There you have it. There are so many other categories that you can check out online. There aren't a ton of surprises in my opinion, other than Walk the Line not getting a Best Picture nod.

My list of "must see" movies just grew a mile!

Monday, January 30, 2006

My most sincere apologies

Back in December, I awarded "bloggies" to many of you. Just some fun awards for various blog accomplishments over the course of 2005.

Little did I know that there are ACTUAL blog awards called the Bloggies! I came across this fact while reading a very funny blog, waiter rant. The author of this particular blog is nominated for "Best American Weblog." And for the record, I hope he wins. He makes me laugh out loud. I think I gained more of an appreciation for his stories after Dan's experiences with PF Chang's.

But on to the purpose of this post. If anyone from The Sixth Annual Weblog Awards--The 2006 Bloggies comes across my use of "bloggies" to refer to blog awards, please know that I did not intend to steal the term from you. I thought I was being clever. Apparently I was wrong. Furthermore, if you would like me to refer to my awards by a different name, just say the word. Granted, it will take me a while to think of a new name, but I'll do it.

Also, the lights are still on.

Friday, January 27, 2006

An update

Don't get excited...the lights are still on. But I hope to God they are turned off sooner than most of you have guessed!

Not only are they still on, their presence seems to have inspired the neighbor next door to us to turn her Christmas lights on for the first time since December 25th. It's as if she saw them and said, "Oh, am I still supposed to be displaying these?" This is the same neighbor who never took her lights down last year and decided to randomly turn them on in July. It was festive.

So, keep your guesses coming. I'm sure someone will be close. Hopefully someone who has guessed a date before MARCH! :)

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

A game

This came to me as I crawled back into bed after my third trip to the bathroom around 3:00 this morning. You see, the neighbors across the driveway from us are still displaying their Christmas lights. I have no problem with leaving them UP until the snow is gone and the air is warmer. But turning them ON? At the end of January? That's another story. The really obnoxious part is that they have been up and on since around Halloween. It's a shame the lights aren't prettier. There are rainbow-colored icicle lights over the garage, a string of solid green lights around the front door, and two flashing light figures in their windows. Let me tell you, these people are festive!

Here's where the game comes in. All you have to do is guess the date that my neighbors will stop turning their Christmas lights on. It's that simple. And when the lights are officially off for the year, I will report back to you and let you know who wins! And I'll have a special blog treat for the winner.

Make sure to read the dates guessed by others before you and guess a date that hasn't been guessed yet. There will be no sharing of the blog treat.

In light of the approaching Olympics, let the game begin!

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Crash, Clothing sizes, and Nursery

1) Crash. Fantastic movie. Definitely in Oscar line-up, in my opinion. It was nominated for a couple Golden Globes. I feel like I need to watch it again. My brother even said it was better the second time through. If you haven't seen it and are in the mood for an extremely well-done, albeit pretty heavy, movie, then head to Blockbuster and pick it up.

2) I spent much of my day sorting, washing, drying, folding, and putting away a bunch of baby clothes we have received as hand-me-downs. As I was filling up dressers and shelves with onesies and sleepers, a funny thought crossed my mind. Baby clothes are sized according to age. For instance, they are generally 0-3 months, 3-6 months, 6-9 months, and so on. Wouldn't it be weird if adult clothes were the same way? "Hi, I'm Erin, and I wear a size 25 years." And just like some babies are wearing 12-month clothes at 8 months, many adults would be wearing clothes outside their age range. "Yeah, I'm in 37-year clothes right now, but my goal is to be in a 32-year by summer."

3) The arrival of a changing table on Wednesday and a dresser this morning means that Jackson's room is officially complete! And adorable, I might add. So he can come any day now. Except that he'd only be about 4 pounds right now. That wouldn't be good. His lungs need some more cooking time. The cats are still pretty sure this is all for them. In fact, the bassinet in our bedroom has clearly become Ruby's favorite bedtime spot. We've got a cat hair-filled lint remover to prove it. And they are still absurdly fascinated with the mobile in the crib. Oh, cats, you have no idea how your world will change in a mere 7 weeks.

Then again, neither do I!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Beware the Ides of March!

Once in a while, when people ask when I am due and I say, "March 15th," they follow up with, "Ooh, the Ides of March!"

Huh? I have heard of the Ides of March, but before this morning, my knowledge stopped there. I decided to do some research.

And now for today's history lesson. :)

On the ancient Roman calendar, there were 45 public festivals (talk about days off galore!), as well as the "ides" of each month. In March, May, July, and October, the ides fell on the 15th. In all other months, the ides were on the 13th. In addition to ides, there were "kalends" and "nones." The kalends were the 1st of every month. The nones fell on the 7th day in March, May, July, and October, and the 5th in all other months. Until 44 BC, "The ides of March" was just a standard way of saying "March 15th."

Then came the fateful day--March 15, 44 BC. Julius Caesar was murdered in the senate. This event made the ides of March a dark day and superstitious to some. Shakespeare even refers to the day as "unlucky" in his play, "Julius Caesar." Caesar asks a soothsayer about the future, and gets the response, "Beware the ides of March."

There you have it. The ides of March. I'm going to begin celebrating days on the ancient Roman calendar. What do you say we plan a potluck for the nones of February? It just happens to be Super Bowl Sunday!

And for the record, I'm aiming for a St. Patrick's Day baby.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

My favorite season

No, not winter. Not even spring. Although, I do love spring.

I'm talking Oscar season. As in the Academy Awards. For me, Oscar season officially begins with the Golden Globes, which are on tomorrow night. I think this gives us all a good idea of what movies will be big on Oscar night. The season gets even more exciting on January 31st, when the nominees are announced. And the big night itself is March 5th.

If you know me well, you know that I love the Oscars enough to throw a gigantic party. There is always lots of food, open ridicule at the appalling dresses, and prizes for those who guess the most correct winners.

If you know me really well, you also know that I am pregnant and my due date is March 15th. Yeah, that's 10 days after the Oscars. Now, you're probably thinking, "Oh, poor Erin. She's going to have to cancel her favorite party of the year because she'll be huge with child." Are you kidding me? I'm not cancelling anything. Bring it on!

Now, this is the beginning of my Oscar movie recommendations. I see more movies in the two months leading up to the Oscars than I do the entire rest of the year. That's no exaggeration. When I see a good movie, I will pass the recommendation on to you. Even though the nominations aren't officially out, I do have a few movies that I have enjoyed in the last couple weeks.

1) March of the Penguins. There is no doubt in my mind that this movie will win an Oscar for best documentary. I'm not big on documentaries, but this movie is absolutely fabulous. Family-friendly, narrated by Morgan Freeman, and only 80 minutes long. What more could you want? And it's already out on DVD!

2) Pride and Prejudice. Such a delightful film! Keira Knightly is a beautiful and charming Elizabeth Bennett, and Donald Sutherland is witty and darling as her father. It's just a feel-good movie. Unfortunately, it is not out on DVD until February 28th. But it is playing at the Maple Grove Mann, which has recently become a "cheap" theater!

2) Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I have to admit, Johnny Depp looked kind of creepy to me in the previews. But if it was good enough for Ashley to see twice in the theater, it was worth the rental fee. And I was pleasantly surprised by a lovely movie. The kids are great. And the actor who plays Charlie is the adorable boy who played Peter opposite Johnny Depp in Finding Neverland just last year.

More recommendations coming soon! Dan and I are seeing Narnia tomorrow since I don't have to work. Happy Birthday, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. :)

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Mr. Hollywood

I'm with Lisa. I'm a fan of Kare11 news. I'm also with her in the fact that I was bummed to find out that Ken Barlow was leaving. But Frank? I couldn't care less. It was a messy situation, but I was not a Frank fan. So, I was anxious to meet the new evening news man, Mike Pomeranz. Now that he has lasted a whole work week, I am ready to give him my grade.


I don't hate him, but I see room for improvement. My mom called him "Mr. Hollywood" and "too pretty" and said that she didn't like his hair. I concur with all of the above. Now, he is far from failing. In fact, there are seventh graders in my class who would pay good money for a C+. But he just doesn't do it for me yet. I just think he needs to find his groove. And frankly, I'll keep watching just because Julie Nelson is delightful.

Now, I don't want to make you jealous, but my dad called from Palm Springs, CA tonight (business trip) to report that he was relaxing in front of the television, watching Paul Majors cover the day's stories. Paul was a solid A.

Ah, the good old days.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006


Babies are on my mind lately. Obviously that is mostly because I am having one. But also because I know 16 other women who are pregnant. It's insane! In a great way. :) Anyway, the presence of a new life inside of me has me thinking about so many things lately.

Last week Dan and I went to Barnes and Noble with giftcards in hand. (Gotta love Christmas!) I happened to find a CD that I had wanted for Christmas but hadn't received, so I bought it. What CD? Hold onto your chairs--the soundtrack for The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Since I teach middle school, I have read all three books and happened to see the movie as well. It was cute. But the music was really fun, so I wanted the CD.

One song on the CD coincided with my thoughts on babies and new life. It is called "Unwritten," and is performed by Natasha Bedingfield. Very fun song, especially if you remember the part of the movie it came from. Very fitting. However, as I really sat and listened to some of the lyrics, I realized how different it is for those of us with a faith in God.

"I am unwritten, can't read my mind, I'm undefined.
I'm just beginning, the pen's in my hand, ending unplanned."

The pen is not in my hand (for which I am eternally grateful), it's in God's. And the ending is most certainly planned. It has been since before we were born!

Now, besides a catchy tune and kickin' rhythm, this song does have some redeeming lyrics. The song takes a turn after the verse and becomes a very "get your butt out there and make something of your life" declaration.

"Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you,
Only you can let it in.
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten."

Again, the rest isn't actually unwritten, but the awesome part is that we don't know the ending!

And we can't even cheat and look at the last page. :)