Thursday, July 24, 2008

Countdown to....

This is it! In a day and a half, I will be heading outta town! I am so excited!!! (Oh, and if you didn't notice by now, I love the exclamation point!!) Anyhow, this is my first real vacation with my son. He has never flown before and I will be with him 24/7 for the whole week! Hello, Resort? Do you supply Rum by the gallon?? hee hee!

He also can't wait. I'm trying not to pump him up too much, hence the anxiety nausea...etc. No need to have a yacking kid all the way to FLORIDA! And then some! We have lots of fun plans that I hope will not be spoiled by any hurricane activity...snorkeling, fishing, and most importantly, swimming with the dolphins. No Disney this time around, but I said we'd do the dolphin thing in Miami. Looks like the sea aquarium there is similar to Sea World, as far as the shows are concerned (Don't know if they have rides, don't really care. We want to see SHARKS!)

I also plan on sitting by the pool and ocean, with nothing but a good book (Public Enemies, of course). I have come to the realization that this will not be like any of my other pre-child vacations; I can't just lay in the hot sun, fall asleep, and wake up when I'm crispy brown. I'm sure I'll be with the boy, playing in the pool and having fun. Heck, that's what it's all about anyhow!

I plan on bringing my laptop for uploading pics, but not sure if I'll have Internet access. That will be harder for me than anything...I've grown quite accustomed to reading blogs and surfing the net! My butt is big enough to prove that one! ha ha! Boy, rough time for me to be away with Packers Training Camp starting next week, too! And especially with all of the Brett stuff still up in the air...I expect someone to at least text me to keep me up to speed....

I hope everyone has an awesome last week of July, and I'll be back online after the 3rd, Packer Family Night! What a way to celebrate my birthday! Woo hoo...

If any of you have advice for traveling with kids on an airplane, feel free to share! I'm a newbie at that!


Saturday, July 19, 2008

Senior Citizens, The Dark Knight and Wii Bowling

The much awaited movie, The Dark Knight, has now bombarded theaters across the nation. Lines of anxious fans formed nearly a day before the opening at midnight. Who are your typical 'Dark Knight' fans? Senior citizens???
I'd think not! But much to my surprise, my 80 year old mother saw this epic on Thursday, in a sneak peek showing....

I just got off the phone with Mom and she shared some of her events this past week, as we usually catch up with one another every few days... here's what was going on in AARPland!

My aunt and uncle are serious moviegoers and were able to get four tickets for Thursday and invited my mom and their cousin to see the film. My mom does not see movies at the theater. Nor does her cousin. In fact, my mom has only gone recently to G rated movies with my son and I. She thought Kung Fu Panda was violent....

So imagine her review of the 'Knight'!

Since they got there a bit late, you know, not camping out all day, they were only able to capture seats near the front...very near the front! As the movie began, Mom begins to ask questions and comment on the explosions and semis tipping over, hospitals blowing up, etc... and she got "shushed" by my aunt...( only because 'uncle' doesn't like people fact he has to chow down his popcorn prior to the film since he can't concentrate on the movie and eat at the same time! Maybe the chomping sound is too loud in his head??? I don't know, but I think that's pretty bizarre!) So during the film, she couldn't voice her opinion...which had to be pretty hard!

Needless to say, my Mom was freaked out with this film, especially seeing the Joker up so close and Two Face's burn...She's a romantic comedy/drama type movie watcher, on TV...

After she tells me all of this, I still can't believe how cool my mom is! She saw TDK way before many of the Batman die-hard awesome is that? I think I'm going to buy her a Joker action figure! (BTW, she did think that Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne was 'very good looking'. When I told her that he was in Public Enemies with Johnny Depp, I said that she had another reason to go see it when it comes out! Heck maybe we could score some early tickets with my aunt? ha ha. But I couldn't sit with my uncle...I talk and eat popcorn during the film...SORRY!)

Later in our conversation, Mom told me that she spent the day her friend who recently had a stroke is in rehab. The nurse was talking about how some patients play Wii. Mom pipes in and says, "Barb, you can bowl! I bowled on the Wii with my grandsons and it's really fun. You just take the remote and throw it like a ball!" (Both she and Barb are teammates on several bowling leagues.)

How freaky is it that my mom can recommend Wii and review TDK all in the same phone conversation... I need to get out more!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Where are my shoes???

Last weekend, I stopped by my friend Smiley's house to let out her precious adorable dog. Having been dog-deficient for the past 4 years, it's great to play with someone else's dog, especially for my son. We stayed about an hour after he was de-peed and de-pooped, and just a little tuckered out...YOU have a 6 year old chasing you all the time...It's tiring!

So anyhow, Ty and I left the pup and went on with our business. Smiley calls me a couple days later and asks if I was missing a pair of shoes. (When I go into her house, I always pop off my shoes in the foyer...a gesture of respect for beautiful homes. Well heck, I pop off my shoes whenever I can in the summer!) My favorite black Skecher sandals with the shiny S on them were gone! I left them at her house.

When I picked them up from her tonight, we discussed this strange occurrence. Mind you, I could understand it if a little tyke like my boy forgot his shoes, it would be understandable. But a grown woman? So this means I hopped into my car, drove home 1o miles and walked into my own home, never missing the soft cushiony pleasure of my Skechers. WHAT??? Did I really do that? I often keep extra shoes (and a plethora of other junk) in my car for emergencies...Did I slip them on? I don't remember!

If ya know me well enough, you'll know I say that "Heck, I was born barefoot!" when others comment on my lack of footwear at times. I guess that's how comfortable I am, especially during the summer. (Ok, that doesn't mean I leave my house in the winter without proper attire! I may leave without socks, but not shoes!)

I guess I realized that at 42, brain cells die. You know, the ones to tell you when you are not properly attired! So promise me this, if by chance you meet me on the street somewhere, and I am barefoot, (or missing any other article of clothing for that matter), please ask me "WHERE ARE YOUR SHOES?"

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Depp on Vacation...

I went to grab a magazine in the check out lane of Pick -N-Save the other day on the way to the pool. I wanted some sort of mindless reading and something quick. I can't really get into a novel while trembling as my boy jumps off the high dive...gotta concentrate! I looked over the rags, Star, National Enquirer...nah, not today...then I reached for July 21st People since Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman were on the cover and I like them both.

Much to my pleasure, I found this awesome pic of Johnny Depp, sailing and drinking his Corona just days after finishing filming Public Enemies in Lockport, Illinois. I thought, I shook his hand just a few days ago, and now he's sailing the Caribbean and relaxing. The feeling of contentment swept over me. How weird does that sound? I meet the man a few times, ( ok, proud to say, Four!) and now I'm concerned about his well-being?

Yes, I am. Having experienced the filming of Public Enemies in both Wisconsin and Illinois, I now have a greater appreciation for the hard work that goes into creating a blockbuster hit. I'm sure there are many of you out there who have never experienced what I have. Heck, I'm 42 and this is the first time I was only feet away from a Hollywood movie set...(ok, actually 2nd. In the 80's, Major League with Charlie Sheen, Corbin Bernson, and Tom Berenger was filmed at County Stadium in Milwaukee. My friends and I tailgated while it was being filmed, so it doesn't really count. But I know three of the guys who played Yankees. They went to my high school...'nother story, 'nother time!)

So, what have I learned from this whole experience? Here's a few things to begin a list...

1. I won't complain about high movie prices, whether it's at the theater or for purchase of DVDs. Michael Mann's actors and crew worked like a well-oiled machine, and there were millions of pieces that had to function together! I never realized how each day had to be planned with from when "Extra A person" had his makeup done down to when and where people were shuttled to lunch, not to mention all of the trucks and gas that were used. And these days, we know that gas is liquid gold!

2. I won't really question why a star is paid $20 million for one film. I know that seems extreme, (especially to a teacher who makes FAR BELOW THAT!) but I think actors like JD deserve that. Johnny met his fans on his own time, in the wee hours of the morning (Like Columbus and Milwaukee when we heard birdies chirping to welcome the morn, right Stargazer?) or late late at night when he already put in a 14 hour day. I'm not even getting into the privacy issue.

3. It's ok to experience something new. When Stargazer first talked of taking a week of vacation to watch the filming in Oshkosh in March, I thought she was C-R-A-Z-Y Loco! Then, the Saturday before the filming, (actually they did film the airport scene Friday night), I went up to see what it was all about. From that point in time, I was hooked. My principal let me take a Conference day on Tuesday to investigate and then another day day in May at Madison to bring my students to watch the filming. I don't think I would have even been interested without opening up my closed mind and listen to my sis! Heck, I wouldn't even be blogging if it weren't for all of this!

I learned much more about Wisconsin history. I'm just a few chapters into Public Enemies by Bryan Burrough, (when I'm not picking up trashy mags for pleasure) .It's a great read and it brings me back to days of my father. I remember hearing his stories of how Dillinger and his gang shot up the Northwoods, specifically Little Bo in Manitowish Waters. How I wish I would have listened closer to those tales...Dad was born in 1919 and died at age 80 eight years ago. As I watched the filming of PE, and saw those old cars lining the streets, watched the gents in suits and ladies in smart dresses stroll together, I could only imagine what it was like to live in that time period. What an awesome era, albeit a scary one, but I think we're missing so much of what life was like back then. I wish my dad were here today to share this experience with my sister and me.

Lastly, I made some awesome new friends and met great people who I may never see again. What a great world we live in! The camaraderie and general good made me realize that there really are some wonderful people out there, and especially in WISCONSIN!

So that's five things I've learned so far from all of this...Why don't you add yours to the list?

Friday, July 11, 2008

Public Enemies: White vans, Black SUVs and Johnny Depp

Ok, so it's been a month, but the Depp Effect continues. I recently have been in touch with the woman whose daughter had her hair twirled in the video I posted on YouTube. She sent me more pics and this one is the best! When I got it in my email, I just sat and stared...then I was critical! Look at my hands! How can someone give a decent hug with TWO cameras in her hands??? If you know me in real life, you will know that I am never without a camera, or two, or three...I teach digital photography and movie making...what do you expect??? But still, my hands were full...I would've never been able to hug appropriately...or use my hands in a better manner...

Anyhow, when I saw this pic, I hadn't realized that he had rested his hand on my shoulder...Why does the Depp Effect take that away from us? I don't remember this...I was obviously too busy talking!

As I said earlier, not only has the Depp Effect continued, but so has the Public Enemies effect.
Two days ago I was driving my son to summer school and there was a van in front of us, a WHITE VAN!
Now mind you, there were windows in the back which would NOT be an ideal Extras van, but my mind wandered and I replayed some fun base camp experiences in my head (while getting out my cell phone to take this pic...) Then ironically, around the next bend, lo and behold, what did I see?

Needless to say, I had a pretty solid chuckle, and the kid asks "What's so funny?" What do I say? I saw two white vans? HILARIOUS, I know... I made up some little white lie and went back to my imaginings...

So the question here today has to do with the withdrawals of Public Enemies...are you going through some of the same hallucinations? When you see a black SUV, do you look for the half rolled down window with the hand extended? Do you see yellow police tape, and in no way relate it to a horrendous crime, but a neatly blocked off area with barricades?

My advice...(whether it is asked for or not!) Keep up the hallucinations, the chuckles at white vans, the tape and barricades, because you never know when that hand extended out the window is Johnny Depp's!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 4th of July, Everyone!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

His, not Johnny's, sorry!

Now that the filming of Public Enemies is wrapped up, I realize why I was able to put so much energy towards 'following Hollywood' around Wisconsin and Illinois...I was filling a void that was left by the retirement of Brett Favre!

March 4th , 2008 and the days to follow were very difficult. Ask some of my lunch time on the 5th, many of them, mostly boys, were shedding tears with me as the legendary Brett Favre called it quits. During the days to follow, as with any end of the Packer season for the past five years, there were tons of speculative questions... "Is this for real?" "Would he change his mind once training camp starts?" etc... And that brings us to today's announcement that "Brett Favre has the 'itch' to return..."

"Ladies and Gentlemen. Children of all ages...welcome to the MEDIA CIRCUS which is about to begin!"

When I just heard this on the 5 o'clock news, I was ecstatic, but cautious. Right away the speculation began with the newscasters..."What if the Packers choose not to bring him back? There are many other teams that would gladly pick him up." WHAT?! #4 not a Packer? Seriously folks. Could you see BF running out on the field in some ungodly dome wearing purple? I think not! I know he's got the itch, but does it need to be scratched in that manner?

I'm trying to remain calm. I'm trying to remain hopeful. When he 'retired' in March, I felt like the trap door opened and we devoted Packer fans fell through the floor unexpectedly. I begged...Give us one more year, Brett. Give these adoring fans who have grown up with you, supported you and loved you, one more year to say goodbye the right way. Heck, Reggie White retired 'a few times' and we gladly opened our green and gold arms to welcome him back. However, when I heard that the first game was designated by the Packers to retire Favre's number, I thought it was official.

And now the circus begins...Is it for real? Is he coming back a Bear, a Buc, a Vike? Or are the Packers willing to give him another chance? All I know is that I bought my tickets for Packer Family night last week, and I'm a loyal Packer fan. I'll be there with or without him...but I prefer to see #4 running out that tunnel onto a green and gold field...