Movie Review: Away We Go

Ahna and I took the opportunity to put Ezra in daycare (also to keep him reminded of what it is like so he doesn’t freak out when he has to start going again) and have the day to ourselves. We dropped him off after his morning nap, then went to a DTC establishment named The Pancake House – which was amazing – for a brunch before heading to the movie.

The film was nearly perfect…a great story that we haven’t seen before, great writing, and great directing. Oh, and a soundtrack so good that we went and found it after the movie was over – yes, in CD format. It’s a story of two people about to have their first child attempting to find themselves. They travel through friends-past in a search for a place to move to and settle in; and each of those friends represent some sort of societal stereotype of family – and they do it hilariously. It’s a sort-of whimsical tale of that journey to find a place to live, but also the whimsical tale of them finding out what type of parents they would like to become. The movie moves from funny to serious as it progresses, but it’s a fitting and appropriate slide. And it ends on a happy note…

Full disclosure: we did miss about 3-5 minutes of the movie (which could have held the entire crux of the film, but probably not) due to a fire alarm. We had to evacuate the theatre and wait outside for the fire department to come and reset the alarm. We did end up getting back inside without too much of a wait, and ended up with a free ticket to a future movie of our choice.


Movie Review: Milk

Now we understand why Sean Penn won the Oscar this year. What a fabulously heartbreaking story about a very real struggle that occurred in the 70’s, yet seems to be happening all over again. The second verse, same as the first. My biggest complaint about the movie was that it had a beginning and an end to the story….I know that it was a documentary, and the film ended with some inspiring words by Harvey Milk; but for those reasons, it felt like it was just that: a story that already happened. Where to the contrary, it’s a story that continues to be written. And as recent votes in Colorado, California, and across the country show…it’s still a battle that needs lots of work to overcome the bigotry that exists.

When Sean Penn won the Best Actor Oscar, he made a comment in his speech that need repeating: “I think that it is a good time for those who voted for the ban against gay marriage to sit and reflect and anticipate their great shame and the shame in their grandchildren’s eyes if they continue that way of support,” he said. “We’ve got to have equal rights for everyone.”



Movie Review: Slumdog Millionaire

Hmm. I suppose that I actually don’t need to do a review of the movie given recent award show events…so instead I will pass on some advice for those that haven’t seen it yet. 

Following the Oscar’s, I really had no desire to see this film…everyone that I know loved it, every movie review loved it, every award show loved it…seriously, there was no way that this movie could ever live up to the hype. I was sick of hearing how great it was, I was sick of seeing commercials for it, and I was sick of everyone else having seen it except for us. 

So, the other day when Ahna and I took a couple of hours for ourselves and headed to the movies, we went straight for Slumdog. Really, Ahna convinced me that it was worth giving a chance to. But in the between time before the movie, it turns out that I had been so anti-movie, that my expectations had been lowered for the film right back to square one. 

We loved it. The writing was good, the acting (especially the younger kids) was great, the direction and cinematography was excellent, and the story line was original and fantastic. It deserved all of the praise and all of the awards. So back to that advice for those that haven’t seen it yet: go see it. You’ll like it…no matter what anyone else tells you.


Movie Review: War, Inc.

This movie had all the makings of something really worthwhile: John Cusak as a for-hire hitman in a dark comedy (Gross Pointe Blank), political satire, and a tie to current events. But there was a cold reality to the movie: it stunk. I watched 30 minutes of it and turned it off. Don’t bother. The end. 


No Moons, Just Months

So finally we get to talk in terms of ‘months’ and not ‘moons’…at least for another three weeks. Ezra turns two months old today!!!! Wow, it so hard to believe that 8 weeks have passed already – we can’t seem to remember what life was like without him; or when we do, it seems like someone else’s life.

We were out to dinner last night with Mary, discussing a few events of one year ago…thinking that it was more like 7 years ago. There certainly have been moments that we wish would pass quicker than others, but neither of us really want time to keep at this pace. If anyone knows how to control it, please pass on your suggestions.

Mary came down to the house yesterday morning to spend the day/night with us. She recently returned from 5 weeks in Mexico, so it has been a while since we have had the opportunity to spend some quality time together. 

In the mid-afternoon we went to the doctor’s office for Ezra’s two month check-up. This visit was set to include Ezra’s first round of shots – which shots? That was still to-be-determined as we walked into the office. Since Mary was down visiting us, she joined us in the exam room and was able to experience the event along side of us (she is responsible for the photographs of the visit). As with all of the visits, the nurse started us out with the quick round of important information gathering (weight, height, etc…see the list below for the details). Needless to say, Ezra is growing nicely and Ahna is doing an amazing job of nourishing him. When Dr. Sheehan came into the room, she performed her well-baby check-up and then we had a question-and-answer session to provide us with some information that we needed. Basic stuff: does is flailing at night mean anything? (not especially) can we take him into the pool? (yes). 

Then the discussion ensued about the shots and which vaccines to give to Ezra on this trip. We have been in conversation with Dr. Sheehan from the first time that we saw her about being on an alternative schedule for vaccines, and she has been extremely supportive. I can’t even remember the litany of shots that the AAP recommends, but we have been reading Dr. Sears’ book aptly named ‘The Vaccine Book,’ and are looking to follow his alternative schedule. Thus far, we haven’t given Ezra any shots or vaccines, but in the book the two month visit includes the DTaP and Rotovirus vaccines, so we discussed this with Dr. Sheehan.

The conversation took a while, but she sat patiently and talked with us about several different things, including even delaying some of the shots further, or mixing up the book’s schedule a little. In the end, we decided that the best course of action would be to follow the book’s recommendations up to the 6 month point, and then we would talk more and probably change some stuff up a little (the book has Ezra getting shots every month for the first year, and we think that we can combine a month or two, give him a break, and elongate the schedule a little.) We are fortunate to live in a place that doesn’t provide too much risk for some of the diseases. There is no diphtheria, no tetanus, but there is pertussis. Unfortunately, the drug manufacturers have decided to not offer a pertussis-only vaccine. Argh.  

So, as any good pediatric doctor would do, she left and the nurse came in to do the dirty work with the patient. One nice thing about the Rotovirus vaccine is that it is an oral intake, so only the DTaP would be a shot. He did the Rotovirus first and took it with no problem. Then Ahna comforted him on the table while the nurse gave him the DTaP shot in the left thigh, and as we anxiously awaited the inevitable cry, Ezra gave us a little “what the heck just happened to my leg” look, then slipped back into contentment. No crying, no fussiness, no problems. Even through the night…no issues so far. He’s really cool. 

In the evening, we enjoyed a nice dinner at Carlos Miguel’s here in town, then sat down and watched a movie: Akeelah and the Bee. I won’t write a long review of the movie, so here is a short one: don’t waist your time unless you are watching it with your fourth-grader. Mary spent the night with us, but unfortunately I had to leave early for work before saying good-bye to her. 

In keeping with the tradition of the significant date stat lists, here we go:

Ezra’s Birth Weight: 9 pounds 1 ounce

Ezra’s 2 Month Weight: 12 pounds 10 ounces

Percentage Weight Gain In 8+ Weeks: ~44

What That Percentage Would Look Like For You (If you weighed 180 pounds): 79 pounds

Ezra’s 2 Month Length: 24 inches

Number Of Consecutive Days Over 90 Degrees: 23

Number Of Days Over 100 During That Streak: 5

Percentage Of Ezra’s Life That Occurred During The 90+ Streak: 38

Number Of Times Using A Dryer Sheet Will Ruin The Absorbency Of Fuzzi Bunz Diapers: 1

Number Of Days Until A New Order Of Liners Comes In: 3 (hopefully)

Number Of Ezra’s Bedroom Furniture That We Have, Out Of Two: 1 (still no dresser!)

Number Of Times Oren And Ahna Forgot The Car Seat Base, Out Of Two Possibilities: 2

Number Of Digital Pictures Kept Of Ezra: 415

Here are some of those pictures (all photos in this post taken by Mary).

Movie Review: The Squid And The Whale

Wow. A very intense movie. A very odd movie. It’s short and a little directionless at times, but somehow it works. Our impression of the film (which is produced by Wes Anderson – a favorite of ours) was that it was simply somebody’s take on being a child in the middle of a moderately nasty divorce. I think that they chose to have the two parents in the academia field to assist in interesting character depth and dialogue, but also to highlight what happens when only the parents look out for themselves. At times, it’s a tough movie to watch partially because of the portrayed realism, and partially because of the vulgarity (where they spared little expense). The film ends as abruptly as it begins, yet it does follow the journey of the children as they figure out their place in the new world of divorced parents. I found the conclusion to be satisfying, Ahna found it to be strange. Just like the rest of the movie.

Movie Review: Helvetica

Congratulations, you guessed it! It is a movie about the typeface named Helvetica. By movie, I mean a documentary that goes over the history, use, importance, and transcendence of the typeface (don’t call it a font – the old school gets mad). It was 1 hour and 20 minutes of a relatively slow-paced story, and I would only recommend it to the graphic designers, journalists, and die-hard knowledge junkies out there. By the way, the name Helvetica comes from the latin word for Switzerland, which is where the typeface was invented. I suppose the most interesting part of the movie is how it shows all of the places that use Helvetica including: Microsoft, Sears, Target, American Airlines, Staples, Lufthansa, most of the street signs (stop, caution, etc), and the NYC subway system. It’s funny that due to the forced popularity of Times New Roman, we don’t often think of how used Helvetica is…but it’s everywhere. And I mean everywhere. Look at the title of the blog, and at the title’s of the posts. Yup: Helvetica.

Survey Says…

Last evening Abby, Teva, and Micah came down and brought us a delicious soup and pie for dinner. We also watched a movie – The Savages – which was really good, but too depressing to write a review about today. This morning Tori came down and planted some vegetables with Ahna in our front yard – something new to keep you posted on. We got some cucumbers, tomatoes, and a few herbs. 

I learned a new term the other day and was reminded of it today: volunteer plants. I guess that it means any plant that grows new without being planted intentionally. Does that make the forrest completely volunteer? Anyway being a union guy, I am not sure how I feel about having volunteers play such prevalent roles in our front yard. I am a little concerned about how the paid-for plant and the volunteers will get along, so let’s just hope for some unity. The last thing that I need is to end up on the front page of the newspaper explaining why all of the volunteers didn’t make it. Back to the term, why do they call it ‘volunteer’? Shouldn’t it just be called ‘normal growth’?

Now to the survey. We need your help in determining if Ezra’s belly button is an innie or an outie. I gave it a couple of weeks to see if it would settle itself one way or the other, but alas it has not. I can’t decide, so write in the comments and let’s take a vote. Winner takes all (of what, I don’t know). Here’s some pictures to help in the decision process. 

Movie Review: The Business Of Being Born

It is a little tricky to try to write a review of this movie…it’s such a sensitive subject for so many people…so I am going to do a little cop-out. Let me start by saying that it is something that everyone needs to watch, especially those close to either thinking about having a baby (first, second, third…doesn’t matter), or those on their way already.  It talks a lot about the difference between hospital birth and midwife assisted birth; and whether or not you agree with either side, it is worth your time for the educational aspect. Birthing isn’t something that we should go into without knowing our rights and without being educated….and let’s just say that the western medical system isn’t always up front with you. It did inspire some conversation in our house, especially with Ezra’s birth so fresh in our minds. Hopefully it will inspire some conversation for you as well, which is all that the movie aims to accomplish.

Hacking Democracy

Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my God. This is one of the most disturbing films that I have ever seen.

The movie is a documentary that follows a grandmother out of the Seattle area as she tries to find out more about the electronic voting process. It reveals extremely disturbing facts and scenarios; as well as cover-ups and voter fraud all over the nation. The movie does not address who does any of the hacking, but there are several examples of who is the beneficiary….let’s just say that there is a hot place waiting for DoubleU. Don’t worry, there is an example of an election that benefitted the Democrats as well. Extremely scary movie that should send all of us to our local election officials demanding a change in ballot tabulation.

Watch this movie ASAP. 

Oh yea, nothing to report with the baby.

Click here for a You Tube link to the movie in 9 parts if you don’t want to rent it

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