Bordering on brilliance…

There you have it!

The Case of Benjamin Button

We saw “The Case of Benjamin Button” yesterday.  The story was told sort of Titanic style with the elderly, dying main character telling the story in a past reflective way.  The story was well told and the special effects were very, very good.  The aging and de-aging were unbelievably good.  The movie is a bit lengthy, however it’s not overdone,  there’s never a lag in the story, and the ending did not disappoint either.   This movie is worth seeing in the theater.

Cliffnotes Version of Alyssa’s Birthday Wish

Check this out. So Alyssa’s birthday is next week. She wants to do cosmic bowling with her friends, come home, play DDR, order pizza, watch movies.  She wants to have a sleepover with Jazz, Lorraina, Faith, Cameron and Mark.  She says when we tell her it’s time that the girls will go to bed upstairs and the boys will stay downstairs.  Sh’yeah, like that would ever happen!

Of course she’s playing all doe-eyed…”why isn’t that ok?” and of course all of the parents except for Jazz’s would be ok with it.  Never mind that nobody’s even asked their parents.

Then she asked what I’d do if I’d had twins, one boy, one girl. I said I didn’t have twins, so I’m not going to worry about it.

An acquaintance has a son the same age who was trying that with the dad.  In a nutshell, he and his guy friend(s) were going to sleep over at this girl’s house. I think it was a party too.  The dad told him to take that idea to his youth pastors and report back.  The son didn’t of course, but came back with the plan that the guys would sleep in the girl’s front yard and said he’d cleared it with the girl’s dad.  Dad shot that one down too.

I have no title…

Keven was giving me grief earlier because I haven’t blogged in a while.  I write myself notes all the time about things and events that would be funny to blog about, then get home and don’t have the time it takes to get it posted.  For some reason I can’t exactly figure out, it takes longer than it seems it should.  Only one person ever comments, so I’m kind of convinced nobody reads it anyway.

Admittedly I’ve also been a bit distracted lately by other things like Facebook, where I have more interaction with others.   And juggling my jobs, parenting, working with partially motivated, fickle buyers, etc. 

What have you been up to?

Happy 4th of July USA!

In keeping with the 4th of July spirit in the Pacific Northwest, local weather is having a celebration of it’s own. It has been not raining, but monsooning with booming thunder that shakes the house.

Somebody had the nerve to ask me the other day if I thought the weather would be nice on the 4th!  The forecast for tomorrow is rain mixed with rain.  I can’t recall a 4th where the weather has been really nice.  Go figure.  By the way, the weather has been sunny & warm, if not damn hot, up until last night.

Happy 4th of July, Seattle style!

“Must” Reading List

I’ve been reading quite a bit lately and am blowing through books like you wouldn’t believe.  You can find my brief reviews on Amazon.com. For the chick reads, at least! 

Maeve Binchy is one of my favorite authors.  I’ve enjoyed all of her books with the exception of an older one.  I’ve just completed the following two and can’t praise them highly enough:

*Nights of Rain and Stars (takes place in Greece. Very good summer read) and Whitethorn Woods (Anytime good read).

I also highly recommend:

*Cocktails for Three (Madeleine Wickham)

*My Lurid Past (Lauren Henderson)

*The Perfect Elizabeth: A Tale of Two Sisters (Libby Schmais ): Not funny like the others, but enjoyable.

*Children of God Go Bowling by Shannon Olson is quite entertaining, but make sure you read it after the first book Welcome to My Planet : Where English Is Sometimes Spoken also by Shannon Olson.

*Man and Boy: A Novel by Tony Parsons

 If you’re looking for something rather spiritual, try:

*The Four Agreements (Don Miguel): Very quick, short & to the point

*A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose (Eckhart Tolle)

Or to make yourself more organized, try Anthony’s recommendation,

*Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-free Productivity (David Allen)

Other favorite summer reads include Summer Sisters by Judy Blume, The Beach House by Mary Alice Monroe and the sequel, Swimming Lessons  also by Mary Alice Monroe.  There are a few others I also try to read every summer, but will have to think a minute…. 

I absolutely hated and couldn’t get into Amy Tan’s newish book “Saving Fish From Drowning”.  I read the entire thing and didn’t enjoy it at any point.  It was hard to keep the characters straight and the storyline was lacking.  Normally I like her writing style, find the cultural storylines quite interesting and insightful, but this one just didn’t do it for me.

I just finished The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants  by Ann Brashares.  A movie was made based on this novel which was quite good.  Although Hollywood has a tendency to stray unrecognizably far from original stories, they didn’t do too badly on this one.  I’m now debating whether or not to read the remaining 3 books of the series of 4. 

Let me know if you want to borrow any or if you have any reading suggestions…esp good summer and/or funny chick reads!

 

 

Managing Extreme Boredom

I’ve been doing 4 day a week open houses at this new construction site.  There are 4 homes left out of the 24 in the development.  Anyway, the builder refuses to advertise in any way except road signs.  Thursdays and Fridays are so freakin’ dead.  Although most days I manage to keep busy with a variety of projects, there are days like today where I’m bored out of my mind.

I often joke about seeing how long my eyelids can remain inside out, but haven’t actually tested or timed it yet.  YET being the operative word.  I admit to having developed an addiction to online Scrabble.  I was shocked initially when the resident mouse made an appearance, but would you believe he doesn’t even come on Thursdays or Fridays either?

Today was so bad I was having a hard time staying awake, so I made a really really hot cup of tea and dropped a Lifesaver gummy candy into it to see how long it would take to dissolve or if it even would.

Rebate or Loan? Proceed With Caution!

This was sent to me.  How interesting that this wasn’t mentioned in the media.  And they wonder why the public doesn’t trust politicians.  The details, of course, are very hush-hush.  Did you honestly think you were getting a freebie out of the government?

 

 

America, don’t blow this rebate


I found an interesting article online regarding those tax rebate checks the government is sending out in May.  I thought it was just going to be extra money the government was giving to stimulate the economy. I had NO IDEA, it is simply a loan from my 2009 tax refund!! Why don’t they ever mention this in the media.  I wonder how many other people know that it is just a loan, and that you will have to pay it back in 2009, by having them either take it out of your refund next year, or owe them the money if you don’t get a refund.  Just a warning, you may want to hold on to it if that is the case.  Read the article I found on MSN:

http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Taxes/Advice/TheDetailsOnTaxRebates.aspx
America, don’t blow this rebate
 

 


Congress wraps up the details: $300 for retirees, $600 for most individuals and $1,200 for most couples. But wait, there’s more: It’s not really free money.


By
Liz Pulliam Weston


Some Americans are getting awfully excited about the prospect of spending their own money.

The $168 billion economic stimulus package just passed by Congress will ship checks of up to $600 for individuals and $1,200 for couples starting in May. Most households will get these checks, although individuals with adjusted gross incomes of more than $75,000 and couples making more than $150,000 will see less or nothing at all.

Additionally, families will get $300 per child.

 
 

 

The biggest change since the original proposal: Those who paid no income taxes will get $300 as long as they earned at least $3,000, including veterans disability or Social Security benefits.
An estimated 130 million taxpayers will share the rebate money
.
Here’s what you need to keep in mind while you’re waiting:

 
 

 

This isn’t free money — for most people


To produce this cash, Congress created a one-time tax credit to reduce taxable income for most taxpayers this year.
Normally, you wouldn’t see that cash until the spring of 2009, when you filed your 2008 return. But Congress wants to speed that money to you now, so checks will start going out in May.

Remember, this is your money you’re getting back, and the rebate checks are basically an advance on your 2009 refund. When similar rebates were sent out in 2001, said tax expert Mark Luscombe, “a lot of people were upset to see their (next) refund reduced.”


The only people for whom this really is free money are low-income folks (those who earn at least the minimum $3,000 required to trigger the checks or who receive at least $3,000 in Social Security or veterans benefits) who won’t end up owing any taxes for 2008. If that’s your situation, or you somehow wind up with a check when you technically shouldn’t have — you earned income in 2007 but won’t in 2008, for example — you won’t have to pay back the money, said Luscombe, a principal analyst for tax research firm CCH.