Monday, December 10, 2007


Most of the time I've watched this movie after discovering it by surfing through the channels, it's already in progress, and it's on a channel that chops it up and positively ruins it with ads and/or commentary by some self-proclaimed expert who should know better than talk in the middle of a movie. This weekend, however, I watched the entire movie, every minute, from the opening to the credits at the end with every single word, smoldering look, and plot development in order and uncut - as it should be. I felt all the tension the director worked so hard to create; tension caused by the invasion of Casablanca by the Nazis, people trying to get to America to get away from the Nazis, and the relationships between Rick and Ilsa, and Ilsa and Victor.

Humphrey Bogart was not a very handsome man. He had a small jaw, crooked teeth, and he wasn't very buff but he stands among giants when it comes to rugged and tough individuals. Ingrid Bergman, on the other hand, was one of the most beautiful actresses to grace the screen, even in black and white. One thing that stands out in this movie is how her eyes sparkle when there are tears in them. This small thing is either totally lost or greatly diminished in color movies. Claude Rains and Peter Lorre are perfect in their supporting roles as policeman and rogue respectively.

If you have never seen this movie, you must! Run, don't walk, to Blockbuster or Netflix and rent it. You will be amazed at the number of lines you already know from this movie. You will feel like you have seen this movie already, so much of it will be familiar. "This could be the start of a beautiful friendship." "Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine." And one of the most misquoted exchanges: "Rick: You know what I want to hear. Sam: [lying] No, I don't. Rick: You played it for her, you can play it for me! Sam: [lying] Well, I don't think I can remember... Rick: If she can stand it, I can! Play it!" You may have heard the line, "Play it again, Sam," but Rick never says that.
This movie won the Oscar for best film for 1943, the American Film Institute voted it as the #3 Greatest Movie of All Times and it also won for the #1 Most Memorable Line -
"Here's looking at you, kid."

Thursday, December 6, 2007


"This is how it happens, I thought, that people become homeless. One thing goes wrong, then another, and then everything unravels, like pulling a thread and having the cloth come apart in your hands." One minute Adam is sitting in the car with his parents going home cross-country and the next he is on the side of the road, alone, after a fatal car accident. Suffering from shock, unable to speak, he has only one goal - to get home.

Aftershock, by Kelly Easton, is about Adam's journey home, the people he meets, the search for money and food to sustain him, and the memories of his life with his parents and friends. I couldn't help but wonder at the resilience of the mind having to deal with a situation like this. Others might just sit down and begin the grieving process right there but Adam's reaction was an overwhelming need to get home. Had someone found him there by the car, there would have been a very different story since he would have received medical attention and not left to wander from Idaho to Texas to Virginia, and finally to Rhode Island. Along the way he met good people, and not-so-good people to absolutely horrible people.
I would recommend this if you like books about hardship and survival.
My rating for this book: +++

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Pop up cards

I have had so much fun making pop up cards using instructions from the Wikihow website. The reindeer, the angel, the Christmas tree and the poinsetta are so colorful and (dare I use that word) CUTE!
Since I have done them several times, I have added my own twists to a couple of them. For instance, on the poinsetta, I cut-and-pasted both templates and printed them on one piece of red printing paper. I then did a cut-and-paste and printed the second template on one piece of green card stock. I cut out the double-pointed-end shape on the red template, folded it in half and glued it to the green template over the same shape. I then proceeded to tape the other pieces as per the instructions.
The reindeer card is probable my favorite. I printed the templates out on dark brown construction paper. After I cut out the pieces and before I glued them in, I pasted a small piece of red on the reindeer's nose and inked in some eyes.
The Christmas tree ( and angel ( beg for glitter. I make the tree on green card stock and the angel on white card stock. The angel would definitely be easiest by cutting first, then glittering before gluing. I used my three hole punch and scrap pieces of white, yellow, red, and blue to punch out "ornaments" and then glued them to the tree after the card was glued together.
I hope you have as much fun making these cards as I did.

Monday, December 3, 2007

New Moon

Well, if having a boyfriend who is a vampire isn't enough, Bella's best friend turned out to be a werewolf, sworn enemy of vampires. Could she pick them or what?

At the end of Twilight, Edward and his "family" left the town of Forks, Washington, leaving behind a totally distraught Bella. She reconnected with Jacob, her Spokane Indian friend in order to satisfy her father's wish to socialize again. She discovered that if she involved herself with dangerous activities she heard Edward's voice, so she put herself in peril just to hear his voice again. When she decided to dive off a cliff for a thrill Alice, one of the vampires who has a not completely reliable talent to foresee events, reported to Edward that she made the dive, but not that she almost drowned and was rescued by Jacob. Edward, in true Romeo and Juliet fashion, decided that he could not exist without Bella in the world and went to Florence, Italy, where the only beings that could bring about his demise lived. And the chase was on!

When I read these books, I couldn't help but think of people with HIV/Aids who have a relationship with a non-infected person. On one hand, you want to have a physical relationship, but on the other hand you are totally aware that losing control could mean accidentally infecting your partner. Edward loved Bella so much he held back so that he wouldn't lose control and risk biting her and damning her to immortality even though she loved him so much that the idea of eternally being a teenager in love appealled to her. What a dilemma!
Now I have to wait for the last book, Eclipse, to be returned so I can read it. Definitely something I look forward to.

I would not recommend reading this book unless you have read Twilight first. Bella's emotional turmoil in the first 200 pages would be quite hard to plow through if you don't have the background to help make it relevant.
My rating for this book: +++++