Thursday, January 5, 2012

Recently in the 'Burbs...

...Ray's parents came into town. They were here for a couple days and left on New Year's Day.

We managed to pack in a raclette dinner, hibachi, a tour of Eli's Cheesecake, three movies and saw the musical, The Sound of Music.

They arrived with three movies to pass the time... which were all good, by the way! Source Code, Morning Glory, and The Help. We aren't big movie watchers and had yet to see any of the titles they brought. We had to save The Help for last as I was about halfway through reading the entire book of 544 pages on my iPhone (which = 1661 mini pages). I rent-downloaded it from the library for free and it couldn't be downloaded on my Nook, so I had to read it via computer or iPhone. I wanted something to read on the airplane back from South Padre, so I chose the iPhone. The nook was a birthday gift from my parents and I do enjoy reading on it-- I just don't love the exorbitant cost of books when I can buy them paperback for the same price! Case in point-- The Hunger Games trilogy is cheaper when purchased separately. Silly if you ask me. But the Nook itself is quite nice to read on and I very much enjoy it.

Anyway... I had to finish the book before watching the movie. I was literally finishing the last page of the book as the clock struck midnight in this here state on New Year's. Hoorah. 2012 has arrived. I was getting quite anxious throughout the book despite knowing it's A. historical fiction, and B. somewhat resolved as an issue (segregation). Thankfully.

If you haven't read, it's a fantastic read. I wouldn't qualify it as the best book I've ever read by any means, but a pretty darn good read that you'll want to finish in a few days. There are three main characters, one of them being a housemaid, Aibileen. She speaks frequently in the book about missing her son, Treelore who was killed at the age of 24. Her words are powerful:

"I feel tears come up in my eyes, cause three years just ain't long enough. A hundred years ain't gone be long enough."

She's so right on. We're at 13 months now and while the pain stings less, it still stings and will always put a bitter taste of sadness in my mouth. A longing and hope that will never be achieved. Never reached. Never attained. The innocence and perfection born within my son will always be but a {bitter}sweet memory.

Our reviews on the movies:
Source Code: I'll admit that I didn't watch it-- apparently Sci-fi and decent. My father-in-law rated it best of 3. I don't do Sci-fi much, but it was taped in Chicago... so bonus points.
Morning Glory: Cute little film, but I had a hard time with the romance aspect. It was just thrown in there like it was completely unnecessary to the plot. I'd rate it a B+.
The Help: Good, but obviously not as good as the book. The richness of print just pops at you when every detail is realized. Because I was fresh from finishing it just hours before, I knew when Hilly's dress was green instead of red at the banquet and would've preferred the accuracy to align with the book. While that doesn't add or subtract to the plot any, I found the storyline relatively pinned. The message was not lost, but the details were at times. I'm sure glad they showed Mae Mobley taking a bathroom break on Hilly's front lawn as they did in the book. As usual, the public was not versed on how graphic and tragic the loss of a child is in-utero like it depicted much better (and hard to read for me) in print. I understand... but sometimes I just want the audience to understand the tragedy better as I've lived it. Glazing over the details of child loss suppresses the issue and makes it seem less important. Feigning ignorance is not always the answer.

Now onto some photos...

This factory tour is rated one of the top 5 or something in the country. Other than lots of free cheesecake and learning some cool facts via video/speaker, the tour was a bust. We spent about 7 minutes in the actual factory where the workers were busy and only saw some decorating of cookies and cheesecake. We wanted to see the mixing and baking-- nope.
 Before entering the factory...
 We purchased a turtle cheesecake for $6 along with 3 dipped cheesecakes and all the freebies they gave us.
 We went for hibachi one evening since Ray's dad loves it. It's one of our favorite local joints...
Here we are at The Sound of Music. It was an excellent production despite sitting in the equivalent of Southwest Airlines seats. Hah. Pregnancy makes me even more annoyed with close quarters and people around me...touching my arm. Ick.
 Raclette dinner on New Year's Eve. Just before finishing up that book. :)
 Closeup of raclette because the last two times I've blogged about it, my pictures were awful!
Photos courtesy of my mother-in-law who is excellent at documenting our time together.

An update of our renovations from last year's distraction projects to come. Right after I kickstart my first DSLR tutorial this weekend. Which probably means I should plan out some learning time, eh? Prepare to be amazed with my less-than-stellar-and-probably-won't-be-any-better-with-an-expensive-camera skills.


katie illingworth said... [Reply to comment]

Brandy, I am digging this raclette thing. Those pictures only make me more curious. I'm going to have to do a little more research and perhaps make a New Year's buy. I love new ways to cook, especially tableside. Looks like you all had fun! I watched the Help with my in-laws this past wkd too.

Shell said... [Reply to comment]

I read The Help with my Book Club and saw the movie in September. I thought the book was better than the movie but then I always thinks that. A funny note about the movie b/c I met a friend and remember my sense of smell and odor were much more heightened. Of course I now know I was about three weeks along so that was the reason. Haha! I love the Cheesecake and reading your post makes me want a small piece right now.

LauraJane said... [Reply to comment]

What I want to know, is whether you purchased those hairnets after your tour? ;)

I agree re: the book and pregnanc loss. I tout it was a decent portrayal. Have not yet seen the movie to compare, but I'm never as happy with the movie as I am the books... I'm surprised you and e aren't movie people- we are!

Also, cheesecake. 'nuf said. :)

Amelia said... [Reply to comment]

I TRIED to read that book. So many people told me how awesome it is. But how the women were treated hurts my heart, I just can't take it. I realize it's the truth of that time, but I can't read it. Then I came to the part where she lost the baby and I was done. I tried 2 times after that I think to read it again and then put it in the donate pile. We'll see on the movie.

Renel said... [Reply to comment]

I LOVED the Help and give it 5 stars. I went and saw the moive just 6 or so weeks after Camille died and the movie wasn't sad to me AT ALL. I guess real life tragedy doesn't touch the moive version.
It looks like you all had a great time with your in laws. That is a whole lota meat on that grill! :)

boo and stacy said... [Reply to comment]

You look so pretty in every picture!!!