Monday, July 21, 2008

Desperate times...

So, apparently crime in the "happy village" of Fallbrook has risen 27% since this time last year. In my head that means that this year, about twelve bikes were stolen instead of nine. However, for others I know, it means their home was broken into and their safety compromised. Things have been pretty bad here since the fires, but I didn't know they had sunk so low. Apparently multiple homes in a gated community in town called Peppertree Park have been broken into, including the home of our friends the Holmans. So far, all the burglar has really stolen is cash but either way the stories of these break ins are unsettling. In one home, the thief crept in through the master bedroom's sliding screen door, snuck past the parents bed, over a child asleep on the floor and into the home. In the Holmans' case he crept in through a kitchen window and searched most of the bottom floor of the home, including the garage and cars, before their dog finally noticed and started barking. Just think about it. How scary is that? It was so easy for the man to creep into their homes, their personal, private space. Imagine if he were vicious, or unhinged! I really think this man simply needs money to feed his family. He hasn't taken electronics, credit cards, or any other valuables, just cash. The economy is terrible at the moment and it's placing a lot of people in some pretty tight spots. I can't imagine what it would be like to be an illegal alien who no longer has any day labor and has to feed six children a wife and probably some in laws. I know my family has been a pretty tight spot for sometime; what must their life be like?
All in all, I just want to take a moment to be grateful for the roof over my head, the food in my fridge and the secure job that I have. I have a family who loves me and honest parents who do an honest day's labor to provide for us. Luckily, our mounting money troubles are only bringing us closer together. Sure things get stressful and, some days, my aunt and uncle are on pins and needles, but we're all pulling together to get us by.
I hope whoever is breaking into these homes steers clear of our gated community and realizes there are better ways to meet their needs. I pray that something comes along for him before someone gets hurt.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

OHMYGOSHYOUHAVETOWATCHTHIS

Wow, I need to be better about this. I haven't even gotten on my computer really for the last week. There's so much going on right now that I'm just tired at the end of the day. But holy crap do I need to talk about the last two movies I went and saw.

First, Wall*e
Oh how masterful this little movie was! Let's just start with the fact that even though the first thirty minutes of the movie almost entirely lacks dialog, the viewer still becomes engrossed in the story and invested in the characters. Through pristine animation and noteworthy character development your care is centered around a remarkable little robot. The use of light and simple movement create personality for an object that is supposed to be inanimate. It is so well done that the viewer never questions the little guy's personality. Secondly, the artists who wrote and directed the film utilized the robot's reaction to nostalgic aspects of culture to coax Wall-E to life (remember the spork confusion?). My favorite part of this was the use of a musical as a representation of the expression of humanity's inner most desires. Musicals, as campy as they can be, are, after all, all about our basic and most universal wants and emotion: acceptance, love, unity, mourning, hope, fear, longing, excitement. This uniqueness of character, coupled with the visual appeal of the film through color usage, and animation style as a means of thematic contrast, make it a truly unique viewing experience. Even better, the movie touched on some pretty heavy themes without being preachy. I particularly enjoyed the animation during the credits; not only did it visually represent the theme of the movie, but the art was done in the styles of various world famous artists: Van Gogh, Renoir, etc.. This movie was so complex and communicative that I need to see it again. I adore it.

Now for The Dark Night
The best part about this movie was the fact that it was good in it's own right. It wasn't just another Batman movie. It was a true piece of cinematic art. It had everything, astounding cinematography, stellar performances from a strong "all-star" cast (Michael Caine anyone?), a moving score and a script that possessed depth not seen by any other "comic book" movie. This movie lived up to and surpassed all of it's hype. For example, let's take a look a Heath Ledger's character of the Joker. Everyone went on and on about how good it was and that he deserved the Oscar and blah blah blah. I wasn't buying any of it. I simply believed (with all do respect) that he did a relatively good job and everyone was blowing it out of proportion because he'd died. But, let me tell you, I really was impressed by his portrayal of Batman's arch nemesis. More than just character detail (like the Joker's tick), or the believability of his interpretation, I was struck by how he sucked you in. You watched the Joker move, or speak, and you were glued to him, you couldn't look away. His character was so egocentric and self-righteous that it literally stole your attention. I am definitely going to see this movie again. There is so much more I loved about it, but I want to see it a second time (NOT at one in the morning) before I go on.

Now, I have to go to bed. I have heart-burn and it's about time I sleep it off. I can't imagine what life is going to be like physically when I'm old. I mean I can already feel my body aging, and it's already making me crotchety. I just know I'm gonna be that cranky old lady refers to children as hoodlums and hits people with her cane. But this post is about movies...so, all in all this has been one heck of a "movie summer" and I cannot wait for what's next.

Oh yeah, and Susan comes home today. Hooray!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

The Real 4th of July Post

So the 4th of July? Yeah? How about them fireworks? I know right, awesome! And the BBQ? The best of the year? Totally! Haha!
Obviously, Friday was Independence Day. For me, the day was filled with sleeping in, BBQs and fireworks (all of the American holiday musts). I spent the first half the day with Holli and her family. We had some good ol', down home, real, American fun. How? Fighting! Haha! To be more specific, we had a water fight...sort of. The intention was to fill up hundreds of balloons and go at it. Amy, Holli's sister, even came up with idea of a super soaker-esque gun made of PVC pipe. However a few things got in our way, namely the hands of babes. Their mouths might hold the truth but their little paws sure are sneaky. We'd get about 50 filled with water and then they'd come in and start throwing them at each other. It was quite frustrating to watch them repeatedly miss and throw them in the dirt. We tried to stop them, but Holli just gave right in. She's a push over when it comes to Carly and Evey. It was fun to watch them, but it would have been more fun to bean Holli with a nice water filled balloon. But yeah, as least when I was there, there were only a few skirmishes to be had and no all out fight like planned, but hey, it was still loads of fun. Oddly enough, despite the lack of war, I still managed to be soaked. Let's just saying filling balloons is wet work. In addition to our environmentally hazardous games, we also chilled out on their porch and had some yummy food. It was quite the smörgåsbord (you like that? it's got the accents and everything. I know, I'm good...) of classic favorites: hot dogs and burgers, potatoes and macaroni salad, a yummy, mayo-free pasta salad, corn on the cob, chips, guac n' salsa, and so much more.
After that rousing, American Dream filled afternoon, I headed over the the Peterson's for fireworks. Every year, their family to Brengle Terrace Park, in Vista, to spend the afternoon and enjoy fireworks in the evening. This is only like my 4th 4th (teehee) with them, but their family has been going for 20-some-odd years. Sadly though, almost everyone bailed this year. Normally theres like 20 people there by the time the fireworks begin, but this year there was just six of us for the evening with Jan's parents showing up just in time for fireworks. Boo people trying to change tradition! That's all I have to say. Well, with or without out without them, it was still a good time. Christene and I played with our cameras (she has an Elph like me only I have the 1100 and she has the 850), I kicked some trash at Phase 10, we all listened to some good music (excluding the last band) and were privy to a kick-a fireworks display. Everyone was disappointed that Dr. Feel Good and the Interns of Love were not back this year, but they had extra patriotic fireworks to make up for it. All in all, I'd say it was a pretty awesome fourth.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Spontinaity At Its Best

I tend to do a lot of things without thinking them through (don't worry; I do realize I'm stating the obvious), the product of was which was last Saturday. So, on the 29th, at approximately 9:25 pm, Camille Anderson, a bestie of mine, phones me and tells me to come to Las Vegas with her parents. They are driving out that night to hang out Sunday and I have cordially been invited. I, of course, immediately say yes. I had no reason not to. I have no calling (I would be ditching church). I wouldn't be driving and I wouldn't have to pay to stay anywhere (Camille and Brit's older sister lives in Vegas). Why-the-heck not go to Las Vegas? Needless to say, I went, and, let me tell you, that was one of the best split second decisions I've ever made! It was a long drive there. We didn't get in until about 2:30 am, but there was nothing better than walking in the door and seeing Brit and Camille there, just as excited to see me as I was to see them. It's been a long summer and not having my besties there has made it just that much longer, so oh man was it good to see them!
I only had one day there which resulted in us not doing too much, but that was okay by me. In the morning, we took their niece, Madilyn, swimming in their community's pool. She was the funniest baby! She has a personality bigger than mine packed into that little body of hers (good luck with that when she's older...)! She just loves the water, so the pool was very fun. We then enjoyed some good old In N' Out (I truly pity all of you who haven't enjoyed an animal style double double) and got ready for our "night on the town." For us, that pretty much equated to an after noon wandering around the Mandalay Bay resort and dinner at a very yummy BBQ restaurant that Alton Brown (of food network fame) rated the best in the nation (I'm a HUGE fan of his--he's just so clever). We were back on the rode by 7 pm and I was home by 11. It was a beautiful ride home; we were traveling at sunset, after all. I love those last, dusky hours of the day when all the world around you bathed in a fine, rosy light. It's like the landscape is glowing. It was so nice to just gaze out the window and watch the already auburn Nevada landscape slowly slip into the night. Sometimes I wish I could hide away, the only person around for miles, and just watch the world go by. How magnificent would it be to so intently witness the perfect world our Heavenly Father created grow and change? Oh, if only!
I must say, it was a short trip, but it was SO good to see Brit and Camille. I got so much out of our snipit of time together. They really need to kick it into high gear and get their little tushies out here to CA (the motherland). There is just so much I still have to do this summer, and I have no one to share it with. Boo no one being here!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Happiest Post on Earth

"To all who come to this happy place - welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams, and the hard facts that have created America... with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world."-- Walt Disney, July 17, 1955

"Here you leave today and enter a world of yesterday, tomorrow and fantasy."

Opened in 1955, the park was conceived out of the desire Walt Disney had to spend quality time with his two daughters when they were young. On Saturdays (Dad's day with the girls), he would often take them to Griffith Park (an old stomping ground of my family when I was young), and sit on benches while they rode ponies and took train rides. Walt wanted more than just a park bench and a pony rink; he wanted a place he could experience with his family. As his resources and ability grew so did his imagination, and, as the early 1950's rolled around, Walt remembered those days with his children in the park. With that memory, just as seen in his films, Walt wanted to create an experience, a piece of art that allows you to step into another world, and Disneyland is just that. Every detail of the park from the trash cans to the architecture reflects a grander picture, a living movie almost. When I'm at Disneyland I'm reminded that I, like Walt, can accomplish anything I set my heart on. He came from even humbler beginnings than myself and yet, look at what he's given the world. If he could open his mind and let determination create what it conceived that I can accomplish all the things I have my heart set on. I can make my dreams come true too. Disneyland is so dear to me. The park truly is a representation of the the ambition, imagination and desire in all of us and I love every inch of the place.

Now, to step off my soap box: Thursday June 19 I returned to Disneyland. I haven't been since late August of '07 so this trip was well over due. It's like the park recharges my emotional batteries. Though, let me tell you, the heat, coupled with the stress of ridiculous drivers (some stupid Hoser from Canada, and a particularly dense man from Arizona), drained me of all my physical energy. It was 100% worth it though. Greta and I went down early (we left the happy village of Fallbrook at 6:30 am) and enjoyed the park before the heat and crowds set in, including a fabulous performance by the Dapper Dans. They did make sweet music.... My favorite part of their performance was "Lida Rose." Right as they began singing my sister, whom I had been playing phone tag with all morning, called. The song brought back a flood of memories; it made me miss my dear little "sister Susie" so much. Timing like that only happens with Walt's Help. There the Dapper Dans are with Greta. Look how glamorous she is!!

Particularly special about this trip, was my chance to share it with Alicia. Look how happy we are (it's all that Disney magic)! How absolutely wonderful it was to share the day with someone who loves Walt and his empire of magical dreaminess as much as I do.
After meeting up with Marie and Christene, the five of us enjoyed Dole whips in the Tiki Room (we were a little Hawaii sick), were spooked in the Haunted Mansion, rocked out on Space Mountain, tripped out on our psychedelic ride to Pooh's Corner, and even managed to discuss some high class literature; we did all that and much, much more.
My favorite part of my short (but sweet) time there, though, had to be the fireworks. The nostalgia of the music, the magic of the lights, the sounds and sights that trigger 1000 childhood memories, the fireworks always tug (more like yank violently) on my heartstrings, and, of course, I shed some tears of sheer joy (that just goes without saying). Luckily I talked (more like forced) everyone into watching them from my favorite spot in the whole park: the "Partners" statue (pictured at the top). It's silly, but I feel like, there, I'm experiencing the magic with Walt and Mickey as well as with my friends... That feeling is, to me, part of what makes Disneyland so special. Walt walked there. He worked there, played there and even, on occasion, slept there. It was his dream and his touch is still seen, heard, and felt all over the park to this day. I'm sure Disney World and the various other parks found throughout the globe are fun, but they don't have that element of Walt that only Disneyland possesses. Oh, Walt! I cannot wait to meet you in heaven.
...Needless to say, I had the absolute best time at the Happiest Place on Earth.