Read and Review

November 21, 2009

The Terminal: Not so bad

Filed under: Movie Review — bekabeka @ 1:15 pm
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So, The Terminal showed up at my house and I was not excited.  I’ve seen it.  It was called Castaway and I have a thing right now in my life where I don’t want to drag my emotions through a meat grinder for something fictional. Hence, Steven Spielberg movies with Tom Hanks in them are off limits.

But hey, why not.  I told my husband not to expect me to stay awake or even in the room.

So now I must admit that I was wrong.  I liked it.  It was longer than it had to be, but it was good.

From the first, they drew in enough humor to get me hooked.  Like with so many other great pieces of film, it was the side characters that made it worthwhile.  My favorite had to be the little Indian man who nonchalantly tells Tom Hanks that he stabbed a police officer and who gets his kicks out of watching people slip on his freshly mopped floors.

At the beginning, though, I was frustrated by the unreality of it.  I didn’t buy that they couldn’t find a translator, especially when later in the film they imply that he is simply speaking a Russian dialect.  NYC and no one speaks Russian?  But, once again, I was overruled.  You soon discover as the story unfolds, that it is more of a fairy tale where the Knight in Old World Charm wins over the hardened modern city dwellers.

I also had a hard time believing in the provincial nature of the Tom Hanks character.  Not everyone from Eastern Europe is as naive and cuddly-loveable as Balki from Perfect Strangers. BUT, this is not meant to be reality and he had to be a fish out of water.

Performances were pretty good.  Sanley Tucci played himself which he does well, Tom Hanks- great, loved the large looming security guy and the Indian floor mopper.

Catherine Zeta-Jones overdid it.  She seemed like a caricature of a flight attendant.  And the food truck driver’s accent was terrible.

All in all, enjoyable.


November 15, 2009

Worthy Writer

Filed under: Book Review: Rebekah — bekabeka @ 4:42 pm
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A long standing bridge game ensues in a Junior Leaguer’s Mississippi dining room.  A black maid enters to serve refreshments, invisible and performing her duties deftly and quickly.  Her thoughts are hidden behind a well-practiced mask of self-preservation.  Unbeknownst to her boss, one of the bridge four-a young white lady-now shares a secret with the maid.  A secret the author Kathryn Stockett presents as the catalyst for a collision between the worlds of the colored maids and the white debutants in the novel The Help.

“Taking care a white babies, that’s what I do along with all the cooking and the cleaning.  I done raised seventeen kids in my lifetime.  I know how to get them babies to sleep, stop crying, and go in the toilet bowl before they mama’s even get out a bed in the morning.” Seasoned maid Aibileen is entwined in a complicated relationship with her “white lady.”  Miss Leefolt will entrust Aibileen with intimate household duties along with the raising of her children, but will not acknowledge Aibileen’s relevance as a human being.

It is 1962 in Jackson, Mississippi and conflicts regarding race relations are at their pinnacle.  But real life still goes on for most, and the society women and their maids are simply trying to hold on to life the only way they know how.  We meet Aibileen, a seasoned maid raising her seventeenth white child with all the love she can muster under the gaze of the child’s unhappy and critical mother.  There is Minny, the outspoken and frequently fired maid known for her cooking who is trying to maintain life with an abusive husband.  And then there is Skeeter, twenty-something, unmarried, overeducated and frustrated with the prospects of an unfulfilling Junior League type existence. Skeeter’s boredom and increasing dissatisfaction with the prejudices of those around her prompt her to begin investigating the lives of the maids and launch all three women on a dangerous adventure to have their tales told.

There are some movies, songs, and novels that you just have to share.  They impact your life, or just make you laugh in a way that you want everyone to be in on the joke.  The Help by Kathryn Stockett qualifies as one of those experiences that must be communal.   Stockett brings together three wonderful voices to contribute to a story of discovery, friendship and ultimately freedom.  Though deep issues of ignorance and oppression are dealt with, the narrative unfolds in a natural and endearing manner.  It is essentially the story of women finding the immense worth found in each other and in themselves.

As one white lady says about her maid, “Even with all her own troubles she sits down and talks to me.  She helps me get through my days.”  And as Ms. Stockett states through her character Skeeter, “We are just two people.  Not that much separates us.  Not nearly as much as I’d thought.”  The Help is such a pleasant reminder of that fact.

October 28, 2008

Candy Corn

Filed under: Uncategorized — bekabeka @ 1:40 am
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So, I think everyone has things in their life that

A: They know are disgusting, gross, or distasteful.

B: They like them anyway.

C: They really want to share them with the world.

My number one would be candy corn.  In no way, shape or form is this real food, or even real “candy.”  It’s wierd, has a slightly unidentifiable flavor and leaves your mouth raw and dry.  And, it’s made from honey!  Says so on the package.  Well, I would have guessed corn syrup solids.

Candy corn means fall.  Fall leads to winter and a new beginning in spring.  Springs gives way to the lazy days of summer.  Summer is refreshed by the coolness of fall.  And fall means CANDY CORN!

My number two item that meats the ABC criteria is the movie Dodge Ball.  More on that later.  Or maybe not.

October 27, 2008

The importance of a father

Filed under: Uncategorized — bekabeka @ 2:51 pm

Well, a father is probably the only person who would fix a kid’s diaper with duck tape.  And that’s all I have to say about that.

October 25, 2008

I have arrived

Filed under: Uncategorized — bekabeka @ 1:41 am
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I have had the best day ever.  We stayed in our pajamas and played.  The boys then played together a while and I got some advance school planning done.  Then we made drums and Bucho and I watched Sleeping Beauty while Button and BuddyCake slept.

Why is this so revolutionary?  I don’t sit still well, and even my leisure usually has a purpose.  Life to me is a list of things to do and generally other people get in the way.  I am learning though.  When you discover that one of the major “to dos” in your life is to raise three happy, healthy, Godly, responsible, etc. . . adults, it tends to change your entire world.  At least it is changing mine.  And I think for the good.

October 24, 2008

Rubbermaid or delicate crystal?

Filed under: Uncategorized — bekabeka @ 4:18 am
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We have a joke/saying in our family that goes like this:  a fragile baby who cries a lot is like crystal- they “break” easily.  A Rubbermaid baby “bounces back.”  Non of this is literal you understand.

I definately prefer the rubbermaid variety.  They are pretty content, they are developing normally, they relate easily with others, and-most importantly- mom can leave them with a trusted friend or relative and get some time away.

I grew up with a definate daily routine and schedule and I knew what to expect.  That gave me a great sense of security.  I have done the same for my children.  I don’t think that their security comes from being attatched to me all the time.  It comes from expected norms and regularity like regular meals and naps and such.  Granted, this is all I have known and it comes easily to me.

Not sure where this is going, but I guess it was prompted by my list of favorite things.  One of them was the Babywise book.  I know this book has sparked a lot of controversy but don’t discount it if you haven’t even read it.  I know of at least 10 children (people who are very close to me) who have slept through the night by 3 months and who are happy, health, secure kids.

Just a thought.

October 8, 2008

New Term

I am getting  excited about our new term of school coming up.  I have divided things out in three twelve week terms to go along with AmblesideOnline and I have started working on planning term two.  During this first term, we have gotten used to the material, our schedule, and each other.  Now we can add a few things and maybe make it more fun and enriching.

The materials I use do not tell you exactly what to do.  I am working my way through the six volume series of books by Charlotte Mason and she really gets into  the “whys” but leaves most of the “hows” up to the parent.

AmblesideOnline provides book lists for each year so that you can get started without having to have read all of Mason’s books.  This first term, all we have done is the basics- reading, writing, rithmatic.

For term two, I want to add in some activities and just more fun.

Maybe to kick it off, we will have Roman Week.  We will have the entire week off before Thanksgiving and Bucho has been interested in the Romans because they keep showing up in our stories.

October 1, 2008


Filed under: Book Review: Rebekah,Uncategorized — bekabeka @ 8:09 pm
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I happen to have a degree in English, but I have determined that that means very little.  I sat in some classes while three dry old men told me what they thought about literature from the far past centuries.  I admit that I loved every minute of it, but it really offered me no true life skills.  Thankfully, I am a bundle of common sense and have gotten along fine despite my education.

But then there’s Jane . . . my favorite all time ever book.  Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.  A totally improbable novel about a downtrodden and at times abused young woman who embarks on a journey to find something somewhere away from what she has always known.  She finds herself, God and a family after enduring some of the strangest circumstances put down on paper.

Read it please.  Don’t read the notes.  Don’t see the movies.  They are all very badly done.  Just experience for yourself the mystery and the romance.


I taught the novel to a group of sophomores one year and had a great time torturing them.  They used sticky notes to mark things in their books and after the test they pasted them all to one of my classroom walls.  The notes covered the whole wall top to bottom – side to side.  One of my finer moments.


“Charlotte Brontë (pronounced /ˈbrɒnti/) (21 April 1816 – 31 March 1855) was a British novelist, the eldest of the three famous Brontë sisters whose novels have become standards of English literature. Charlotte Brontë, who used the pen name Currer Bell, is best known for Jane Eyre, one of the most famous of English novels.” -Wikipedie

Chitty, Chicka, Bang, Boom . . . Say that three times fast

Filed under: Uncategorized — bekabeka @ 7:47 pm
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So the boys have been watching Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Chicka Chicka Boom Boom regularly for the last couple of weeks.  This makes for some interesting combinations of the two phrases including a few choice swear words.  Sometimes being a parent is just fun.

September 29, 2008

Babywearing . . . is that like a new purse?

Filed under: Uncategorized — bekabeka @ 11:09 pm
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So I love my baby sling (tube shape fabric thing that you carry your baby in leaving your hands free).  It enables me to carry Button without a car seat carrier and still heard the boys when needed.  I can write a check, check out a library book, hold BuddyCake’s hand and not worry about baby.

BUT, I have great reservations about “babywearing” as a habit and lifestyle.  This intro to babywearing is all about how to keep your baby “happy.”  Not sure that that is my main goal in parenting.  Are you sure that all you want for your child is for them to be happy?  Go ahead and do drugs if it makes you happy.  Be a bum and father fourteen children by fourteen mothers if it makes you happy.  Eat what you want and weigh 300 lb and die at thirty from a heart attack if it makes you happy.

Babies do cry.  They can’t talk so what else are they supposed to do?  This article discusses why babies cry better than I can.  In my humble opinion, holding a baby 24/7 so they won’t cry is a bit extreme.

If you have a stable household and you are loving and caring for the child’s needs, they will generally be secure and healthy adults.  They tend to be more insecure if they are never away from mom until they are 3 or 4 years old.  Not to mention what kind of shape mom will be in by that time.

Something I have heard said is that leaving a baby/toddler in a safe place and coming back for them tends to increase their trust and security and broadens their world.  Wish I could remember where I heard it.  Sounds good though.

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