Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Hugo Movie Review


Grade:  B+

We recently had a chance to get back to the movies.  This has been the longest break in movie-going for us.  We just haven't wanted to see anything since....The Help.

Our venture back into film-land was to see Hugo, Martin Scorsese's first family friendly movie.  I am not normally drawn to Scorsese films as his brutal reality doesn't appeal to my Pollyanna sensibilities.  Although I've seen a couple of his films (Casino...ahhhgh), I was really happy for an opportunity to venture into a less grizzly world with him.

Hugo, is the story of a young orphan in post war Paris who lives in and behind the walls of the Parisian train station. Young Hugo is driven to finish a project he started with his father in the hopes that he can find answers to his struggles and loneliness.  Along the way he meets Isabelle and her Papa Georges and this is when the real mystery begins.

The movie is visually stunning.  We chose not to go to the 3D version as the timing just didn't work.  Plus, we are usually underwhelmed with 3D.  If you are a 3D fan though, I suspect that seeing a Scorsese 3D might be well worth the effort.  Maybe we missed something...we may never know, but I still loved the movie.

My favorite part of the movie has to do with the "historical" back story that runs through the film.  I won't ruin it for you but if you enjoy early film history, then you will really love this film.

I would not recommend this for younger children.  Not that there is anything particularly bad in it, just that the story is somewhat complex and they may get lost and bored.  I'd suggest 10 and older might be the right age.  (Or maybe a very mature 8 year old.  What do I know.)

Go see Hugo this holiday season.  I think you will really enjoy yourself.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Musings on Thanksgiving

What a whirlwind week-end that was.  It was wonderful to be surrounded by my family and friends for two days in a row.

There was, of course...plenty of turkey.  BW did a great job carving it up.

And lots of family

I actually got Stinky to smile and look at the camera.  Normally he runs when I try and take a photo.  Please note that the funky growth around his chin is temporary.  It's part of his annual "no shave November" which he's done for the past couple years.  Last year he just had "chops" but this year it has blossomed all the way to his chin.  He did have to put up with lots of Amish jokes all week-end. (Deservedly so!)

And the boys were here as well.

No idea what Aus is doing, but I've got a whole bunch of these "faces".

RJ is plugged in as usual.  This photo was taken while I was saying his name over and over, trying to get him to look as me.  No luck.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Prep

The stuffing is made

The table is set

About to get the Turkey in the oven.  All is well in the world.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Pre-Happy Thanksgiving

I figure with all the hub-bub tomorrow, I won't have time to jump on and wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving.  So...Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

This is my favorite holiday.  Mostly because it's all about family, friends and food.  How can you not love that.

Today is prep day.  So far the Pumpkin Cake is in the oven and I'm just about to start making by two Breakfast Stratas.  Both of these items are not for Thanksgiving Day.  They are for the next day, which is Game Day.  If you've been following along for a while now, then you know about Game Day.  It is basically, just an excuse to have more food and fun.  I'll explain more about Game Day on Friday.

So far my week has gone as follows:

Monday - Grocery Shopping
Tuesday - Cleaning
Wednesday - Cooking

Also on the prep list today is to peeling the potatoes and carrots, making the stuffing and setting the table. I'll post pictures as I go along.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Halloween...A Little Late

I have to say, that the hardest day to photograph my grandsons', has to be Halloween.  They are all climbing the walls with excitement and that means they never stop moving.  You really have to get their attention to get them to stop, even for a second.  Hence...blurry photos.

Here's Ryan.  He was Wow Luigi?!  (I sure hoped I finally spelled that correctly.)  It's a character from the Mario video games and he wouldn't wear his Wow Luigi hat, so he just looks basically normal.  Although, I can't get over how much he's growing and looking like...a kid.

Austin was Wolverine and he wouldn't wear his hat/mask or gloves, but he's sure wearing that six-pack.

And Baby Luke was Mickey Mouse and oh, how I wish this photo wasn't so blurry.  But I think you can see just how adorable he was.

Most hilarious costume of the night went to my SIL,  Rick who dressed up as Mikey (my son).  It just cracked me up and when I sent a photo to Mikey saying "guess who Rick dressed up as?"  he immediately knew it was him.

Later, Rick put on a hoodie sweatshirt and said "OK, now I'm Mike going out".  Classic.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sunday Dinner

I have this thing about Sunday Dinner.  It's probably my nostalgia for times past, but I can't think of anything better than spending the day making a delicious dinner...and it doesn't hurt to have football on in the background.

Dinner tonight is a French-Style Pot-Roasted Pork Roast, Mashed Potatoes, Acorn Squash, Roasted Asparagus and Homemade Applesauce.

I am stuffed to the gills, but it looks so good, I want to eat it all over again.

The recipe for the Pork Roast is from the September-October 2011 Edition of Cook's Illustrated.  (If you like to cook and don't have a subscription...get one!)

I followed most of the directions, except I didn't use the unflavored gelatin (cause I didn't have any) and I cooked the roast past the 140 degrees recommended in the recipe.  It didn't seem done enough at 140, so I waited until is was 150ish.  It was the moistest pork roast I've ever tasted.

Earlier this week, I read on another blog...that she had made homemade applesauce in her crockpot. It sounded so easy-peasy, that I wanted to make it too.  Applesauce is a great side dish for pork.

This is one very happy camper.  What I great Sunday.

(I've got a very good chance of winning in Fantasy Football too!)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Leelanau Peninsula Wineries

Back to our Up North trip.  We ended up visiting a lot of the same wineries as we did last year, but we did get to visit one new one.

Black Star Farms was our new stop.  The tasting room was packed and it took a long time to get a spot to do some sipping.  I did buy a couple bottles of their 2008 Sparkling Wine.  It's always good to have some of this on never know when you might need to celebrate something special.

But, what I really enjoyed was some of the extra scenery they have.

And they have a beautiful inn as well.

Here are some of my favorite photos from our other winery visits.

And this is for you BW, so you know I was thinking about you.  (He loves farm equipment...don't ask.)

Next up...sunset, friends, Lake Michigan and the fall colors.  Then I'll be done (I think).

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

My Last Day

I normally never talk about my work on my blog.  I just like to keep my personal life and my work life, very separate.  But today I feel compelled to write just a little something.

Yesterday was my last official day working at at the office I've been going to for the last 12 years.  It was a sad day.

My team and I have been providing on-site support to an automotive customer for all these years and we recently did not win the award to continue to provide these services.  Although we still have a few projects to finish up through the end of the year...I won't be going into the office on a daily basis.  It's kind of a weird feeling and I will miss seeing those who have become my friends over the years.

On the upside, I do still have a job.  I will be taking on other Accounts and working out of my home.  So I know I am very lucky.

Despite this, I still feel sad.