Thursday, June 29, 2006

All I want is a movie or my experiences at Blockbuster

What is the deal with Blockbuster lately? I occasionally buy monthly movie passes. For $30 you can rent 2 movies at a time for 30 days. Theoretically, you can get as many movies as you want in that 30 day period. If you rent 2 movies in the morning and watch them, then you can go back later and switch them for 2 more movies.

We don’t do it every month because usually by the end of the month I’m scrounging the shelves looking for a decent movie. It’s been a couple of months and I figured enough new movies have come out to make it worthwhile.

Michael and I went and picked 2 movies. We got to the counter and I told the clerk I wanted the movie pass and he proceeds to tell me all about their online service. No thank you I want the movies now. But the monthly service is..blah.blah.blah. No thank you I’m not interested. But with the monthly service…blah,blah,blah. No, I wan t to watch the movies now. Today. Instant gratification. That’s why I got in my car and drove here. To get a movie not to sign up for an online service and wait until next week to get the 2 movies I am holding in my hand. But, ma’m, with our online service…Again NO! Then he got all huffy and said he was just trying to give me a better deal.

As we were leaving, Michael asked “What part of no didn’t he understand?”

And now for the punchline…I got home and opened the dvd case to watch my movie.

The freaking case was empty!!!! I swear the jerk did it on purpose.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Here's a couple of layouts I did for my Walt Disney World Annual Pass album. We had annual passes and went 6 times from October 2004 through September 2005. So I have tons of pics from myself and my two sons who also enjoy digital photography. The first layout was just a simple one I did to practice my Photoshop skills. For the next one I used a sketch from Ginger Thibodeau. She has a sketch challenge each week on her blog. The kit I used was from the design team at Scrapbook Bytes and is called Carnival.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Carol-0 Cannolis 1

The boys were both working Saturday so hubby and I went to Bonefish Grill for supper. We had Mussels Josephine as an appetizer and I had swordfish for my meal. Heavenly! I haven't had swordfish in ages. I had planned on getting dessert too but was way too stuffed to even contemplate it. Hubby and I went through two baskets of bread because we kept dipping it in the pesto and olive oil and also in the juice from the mussels.

After Bonfish I went into the nearby kitchen store, Mi Cucina, and bought some cannoli forms. The boys were heartbroken that I didn't make cannolis immediately upon entering the house. After that meal I didn't even want to think about more food.

But by Sunday, I was ready to tackle the cannolis. I had read about problems with runny filling so I made sure to dry my ricotta by wrapping it in a towel and letting it drain in the fridge. The filling came out perfect. It was the dough that gave me problems. It was very stiff and didn't want to roll out so I put it through my pasta press. Probably not a good idea...I have a feeling that this type of dough should not be handled too much or it won't be flaky enough. I finally got it thin enough and wrapped it around the forms. The recipe said to cook for 8 minutes...after about 4 or 5 minutes the first two had begun to brown beyond recognition. I took them out and put them on a rack to cool a bit before removing the forms to make more. (I only have 4 forms) Only the dough didn't want to let hung on for dear life. By the time I got it off the dough was in pieces. Next ones I made sure were LOOSELY wrapped around the form. They came off much easier some too easily...they popped open in the hot oil. Well... they were certainly easier to fill. LOL!!!

Told the boys that if anyone made a wisecrack about how the shells looked didn't get any. I had planned on photographing them and putting a pic here. LOL!! No way. Although the powdered sugar helped hide a lot, they were ugly but they tasted good...could have been better but it was my first try. I always tell the family that the first time is for experimenting. I think I'll try a different dough recipe and see if that helps.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Some layouts I did recently. This one is from our National Parks trip in 1993. For the layout I used Kathryn Balint's World Travels kit. This is the trip where almost all of our pictures came out really crappy because my camera wasn't working right. This picture taken at Monument Valley was bad too but I scanned it in and did some PhotoShop magic on it. I could probably do even more to it but I'm still learning the ins and outs of PS. I just used the automatic color & contrast adjusting.
This one I did for my dad. I used Mo Jackson kits for this one.

Friday, June 23, 2006

"Leave the gun. Take the cannolis."
I guess all Godfather fans will recognize that line. I don't remember if it's from G1 or G2. My husband loves them both and has watched them both numerous times.
Why am I quoting from that movie other than the fact that I love that line? I guess I'm homesick. Since moving to Tennessee in 1997, I have rarely missed Massachusetts. Especially in winter! I do admit that during the long summer months I sometimes watch The Weather Channel and covet "75 and raining".

Anyway, my point is that I do miss the food. I'm not just talking about quohaugs, steamers, and chowda. I'm talking Italian food. I mean real Italian food. Don't get me wrong, I like the Olive Garden but the atmosphere is all wrong. I bet if I went to Olive Garden in Chattanooga right now and asked everyone their name I wouldn't get one "Sonny-boy" or "Joe Dogs" or "Big Nose Sam".

I guess my next cooking project will be to learn how to make cannolis. I've had to do that with a lot of other foods.

I did some more layouts. One for my dad using kits from Mo Jackson and another Grand Canyon trip one using a Kathryn Balint kit.

Blogger is being stupid and not letting me upload my pictures. Will try again later.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Carol 0 Charcoal Grill 3
My old gas grill needs to be replaced but I can't afford the one I really want so I decided to wait to replace it. In the mean time I miss grilling out. After all it is summer. So, I bought a small charcoal grill to use in the interim. A cute little grill for $20 except by the time I bought the charcoal, the lighter fluid, the non-stick spray for the cooking grate and, oh yeah, some steaks. Not to mention the ingredients for s'mores (Michael insisted!). The bill came to $75!!! I could have put that toward my new gas grill.

Anyway, I drag the stuff home and follow the directions for getting the charcoal going. It says they're ready in about 15-20 minutes. Ha!!! I got it lit. Came back in 10 minutes and the briquettes aren't even warm so I douse it with more lighter fluid and get a roaring fire going. Still about 30-35 minutes away from actually being able to cook on it. Meanwhile the family is sitting at the table waiting for supper. After supper we find out that because there's no flames like the gas grill, a charcoal fire is not very good for s'mores so Michael opts to make them in the microwave.

Next day, I decide to start the grill a good 35 - 45 minutes ahead of time. I get a good blaze going and come back in 10 minutes. The briquettes are cold to the touch. Evidently the windy conditions are putting the flames out before they can get the briquettes going. Get another blazing fire going with copious amounts of lighter fluid. Same deal. So I drag the stupid grill into the garage where the conditions are less windy. Finally, the briquettes catch fire and start to ash over. But they're still pitiful and the family is waiting for supper. So I bring the half cooked chicken in and stick it in the microwave.

Third day I am prepared. Start grill 45 minutes ahead of time and get amazing blaze going. Come back in 10 minutes and it's looking good. Come back in 10 more minutes and it's ready to use except it's still 25 minutes till supper and my london broil doesn't take that long. Throw a couple of briquettes on to slow it down a bit. Another 20 minutes and hubby calls to say he's going to be 20 minutes late. Charcoal is now practically reduced to ashes. Throw a few more cold briquettes on. Hubby gets home and grill is a nice mix of ashes and barely warm briquettes.

So, I guess if Budd can use his dishwasher as a dish drying rack, I can use my microwave as a grill.

I meant to post this much earlier but our internet was down almost all day.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Here's a layout I did as a sketch challenge at Scrapbook Bytes. It's from our Grand Canyon/Utah trip back when Alex was in kindergarten.

Not much to report. John went to Atlanta Saturday to see the Red Sox. The tickets for Saturday had been sold out but he kept checking and a few seats opened up. He was 3 rows up from the Red Sox dugout. He was thrilled. He had also recorded the game and when he got home and watched it, he saw himself. He also had a good father's day. His all time favorite movie is Grand Prix, a real oldie with James Garner. It's never been out on DVD. Finally a special edition 2 disc set is coming out in July so the boys pre-ordered from Amazon and are giving that to him. He was thrilled and surprised because he didn't know it was finally being released. The boys were glad to be able to surprise him.

Michael had wanted to see Nacho Libre with Jack Black but the reviews weren't very good so he decided to wait until DVD and rent it at Blockbuster. A lot can be forgiven when a movie is a rental as opposed to spending big bucks to see it in the theater. We usually get a Blockbuster monthly pass every few months so we have unlimited rentals at least for that month.

Well, gotta post this and go pick up Alex. He's working 42 hours this week. Welcome to the real world!! LOL! He had to be in at 7:30 this morning even though the mall doesn't open until 10. Penneys got new cash registers and everyone had to go for training.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Has anyone else noticed this phenomenom?
I stopped by my old place of employment today (Chattanooga State Technical Community College better known as Chatt State) for a retirement punch and cake reception. A small group and I get together for lunch sometimes but it's been a few years since I've seen some of these people. And I gotta tell ya, some of them had gotten older. It's so strange how everyone changes but you! Has that ever happened to anyone else? LOL!! I can imagine what they must be saying about me!

The boys and I went to see Cars over the weekend. The boys loved it and I liked it. There was nothing wrong with it but it didn't have the same heart that Finding Nemo had. I do have to say that CGI has come a long way. Cars was visiually gorgeous. Really amazing. I think that's one reason the boys liked it so much. They were discussing the technical side of it and why it was so amazing. Using terms that I didn't quite understand. LOL!!! Anyway, it was a good movie and I can recommend it but I won't be lining up waiting for the DVD to be released. (Like I was for Pride and Prejudice! LOL!) My neighbor took her 3 year old to see it and said she loved it. Her daughter wants to go see it again.

Speaking of Pride and Prejudice...I watched it again. And I re-read Budd's review. And I agree with some of it. I think Donald Sutherland was perfect as Mr. Bennett although not necessarily completely true to the book. I may be wrong but as I recall from the book Mr. B held his wife and daughters except for Jane & Lizzie in contempt. I don't recall much affection on his part. But Donald clearly felt a lot of affection for his whole family and seemed to have a better relationship with his wife than in the 1995 version.

I wasn't even going to see the 2005 version because I thought it couldn't possibly be as good as the 1995 version. And how dare anyone but Colin Firth play Mr Darcy? LOL!! But I heard good stuff and went to see it not once, not twice but three times!!! In my defense I have to say that my son was still working at the theater back then and I saw it for free each time. And I love both Colin Firth and Matthew McFadyen.
And one last thing. I think Keira did a better job of demonstrating Lizzie's growth and maturity during the movie than Jennifer Ehle.

One more last thing! LOL!! I adore the scene where they're dancing and everyone else fades away. So cool.

Friday, June 09, 2006

This was a graduation page I did as a scrapping challenge using Mo Jackson papers and doo dads. So except for the picture, the diploma and NHS patch it's all Mo Jackson kits.
I'm sure everyone is getting sick of Alex's graduation by now, but this is a layout I did for a RAKScraps monthly challenge. It was a song lyric challenge using these lyrics from Simon & Garfunkel's Bridge Over Troubled Water and I immediately thought of this picture with Alex and his dad standing behind him. I promise this is the last one!!! For this layout I used a kit called "Lena" by Monica Larson. Unofortunately, the TOU doesn't tell where to get her designs nor nor her e-mail so I can't list a link and I can't remember where I downloaded it. But I love this kit so if anyone knows her please feel free to post more info.

Is anyone a fan of Cold Case? I finally got caught up on watching them. TiVo had close to half a season--11 episodes!! Anyway, I don't know if there was a particular season finale. The last one I had, Lilly got involved with a victim, Joe and it looked like she might loose her job because of it. Was that it? Because the issue wasn't resolved in that episode. And Scotty beat up a suspected pedophile and that issue wasn't really resolved either. It was my own fault for getting so far behind. Anyway, if anyone can shed some light, I'd appreciate it.

We were hoping to go see Cars but Alex has to work today and the rest of the weekend so I guess it will be next week unless we went to a late show tonight. Anyone see it yet? Is it worth it? Can't wait till next month for Pirates of the Carribbean. More Jack Sparrow!!! Yes!

Well, I need to drag out my pressure washer and clean all the things I said I was going to when I bought it. LOL!!! The deck, the sidewalk, driveway, the time I get done the first things will need cleaning again!

Hope everyone has a fun Friday night!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

I love TiVo! I didn't even know we are now receiving a new cable channel--The Sleuth Channel--but TiVo did and it even recorded some Simon & Simon episodes for me! I used to love that show! LOL!! I'll have to see how it is now-some 22 years later! The new channel also has Miami Vice and The Equalizer.
Here's another picture taken inside the Opryland Hotel. This is a shot of one of the restaurants in the atrium.

Not much going on today. Watching House reruns with the kids. I've turned both of them into House addicts.

Well, off to bed before I fall asleep at the computer.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Like my new friend? LOL!!! I took this picture on the Kilimanjaro Safari Ride at Animal Kingdom. And yes, he's real. We were lucky because the giraffes were coming really close to the safari vehicles that morning.
Segways are awesome!!
Yes, that's me on a Segway. We all got a chance to ride one at Epcot. Of course the "ride" didn't last long enough. The kids and I want to take the Epcot Segway tour next time we go. We're saving our $$!! John said he liked it but not sure if he wants to pay money to go on one. He said he wasn't as "enchanted" by them as we were. So of course the whole rest of the vacation every time we did or saw something, we asked if he was enchanted yet! LOL!!

Didn't mean to disappear so quickly--I planned on posting before we left but ran out of time. We spent all day Monday (Memorial Day) in Nashville after stopping in Murfreesboro to look around MTSU (Middle TN State Univ). Alex is getting excited about going off to college. I'm happy for him but know I'll be crying when he goes. After looking around MTSU, we went to OpryMills Outlet Mall and to The OpryLand Hotel. Here's a shot from inside the hotel.We got back from Nashville Monday night then left Tuesday night for Florida. We went to DisneyWorld and also spent a day at the Kennedy Space Center. We had a blast! John and the boys got to ride the new Expedition Everest ride at Animal Kingdom (I don't do roller coasters) and loved it. Just looking around at the stuff they had was interesting. Michael and I had watched some tv shows about the making of the ride and how Joe Rhode had gone to Nepal and bought authentic things for the exhibits. Joe Rhode is the Disney Imagineer in charge of Animal Kingdom and Michael's hero. He told the people working in the gift shop at Everest that they should sell Joe Rhode t-shirts!! LOL!!!

Any 24 fans out there? I don't have a picture of it, but Alex ordered a "Jack pack". He was so happy that it came before our trip. He was lucky, they delivered it about 20 minutes before we left and he quickly packed all his stuff into it. I'll have to take a picture of it to post. It's that green pack that Jack Bauer has carried with him all season. Only Alex's doesn't have guns or grenades in his...just books and his PSP. LOL!!

Better sign off before I totally bore everyone!