Monday, December 29, 2003

Just Another Manic Monday

Welcome to Monday everyone...the beginning of another fun week of work for some, another holiday week off for others. Unfortunately, I belong to the former, not the Bangles.

Now, while I'm less than thrilled to be back at work, I have to say how much I enjoyed the last nine days at home with my family. I'm really starting to wish that I'd taken this week off as well, but I really needed to carry those vacation days over.

However, with my boss out of the office and this being my last week in this position, it sounds like the perfect time for an extended entry!

So...sit right back and you'll hear the tale...
When last we left our hero...ok, in-laws had headed home and I was just enjoying some peace and quiet.

Saturday marked the day of my largest ever one-day contribution to the profits of the AMC movie theater chain. The day started with the whole family going to see The Cat in the Hat and was topped off with a nightcap of the wife and I going to see Paycheck.

Here's a breakdown on the costs:

Cat in the Hat (matinee):
Tickets: $26
Concessions: $40

Tickets: $16
Concessions: $10
Babysitter: $30

Now, if you're like me, there is one number in that breakdown that jumps out at you...$40 for concessions. In other words, for the same amount that it costs to take the family to Red Lobster for dinner, I was able to get the kids a hot dog, small drink and popcorn to share. Originally, my wife and I thought it would be "cute" for the kids to have lunch at the movies. Guess what...cute doesn't cut it anymore. From now on, we're driving through McD's on the way to the theater.

As for the movies themselves, Cat in the Hat was enjoyable and really flew by. There were a few "adult" jokes in there that really didn't need to be. Mike Meyers is clever enough that they could have pulled off some more sophisticated stuff, but just didn't want to put in the effort. The kids laughed though and that's all that really matters. Plus, my youngest daughter, L, was dancing around to the music at the end and that's always fun to watch.

When we left Paycheck (the movie, not Johnny), I was pretty pleased with the film. It wasn't until I started thinking about it a little bit more that I became less impressed.

Now, let me start by saying, that I'm not a Ben Affleck-basher. I tend to like most of his films (but I haven't seen Gigli yet). I thought he did alright in this movie, but I'm not sure I'll ever really buy him as an action star...and that's what this movie was.

Uma Thurman, on the other hand, is a woman whose appeal I just don't get. I guess she's an ok actress, but those people who think she's so hot...I don't see it.

There were a few plot points that really bugged me, but I don't want to "spoil" it for anyone who plans on going to see it.

The bottom line...if you like John Woo movies, then you'll probably like Paycheck. If you're looking for a better Affleck movie, check out Kevin Smith's Dogma.

So that was Saturday...then yesterday was our second and third Christmas as we went to a church in the small town where my grandma lives and got together with the extended family to eat and exchange gifts. As always, we had a good time there, before heading to my parents' house for even more presents.

The cool part of the day was driving to the even smaller town where my dad grew up and my grandma lived until a few years ago to see her house raised up off of the foundation. One of my cousins bought the house and is physically moving it to some land he has about 3 miles away on the highway. It was very surreal.

And it's moments like these when I wished I had a) a blog where I can post pictures and b) a digital camera to take said pictures.

Anyway...we got more presents...most of them very cool...including some great black and white pictures my sister took of my kids over Thanksgiving.

Some other highlights of the past week...

My son asking more than 50 times (literally) when we were going to grandma and grandpa's house while at the extended family gathering. (This wasn't really a highlight...just an incredible phenomenon.)

My daughter, L, who is recenlty potty-trained, walked into the bathroom at my mom and dad's house, looked around and says, "Nice bathroom...very nice bathroom." I think she's been watching too much Trading Spaces with my wife.

My daughter, K, laughing hysterically at Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern getting hurt in Home Alone. Now, granted, it's funny stuff...but these laughs were a little over the top. I think she may have inherited my wife's sadistic sense of humor. (Sorry dear!)

Watching the SportsNight DVD set I got for Christmas.

Winning a few more poker tournaments.

Spending a lot of time with my family.

I think that pretty much sums it all up!

Have a good week everybody!

Until Next Time...