family fun

Weekend Diversions: Austenbook, Jeff Goldblum Drunk & Eco Kicks

Thought I’d make note of some of the more interesting, though not necessarily relevant-to-anything things I’ve seen on the Internet recently – consider them my contribution to what I’m sure will be your much needed weekend diversions. Your welcome.

These first two diversion are compliments of The Very Short List – if you don’t know what that means, click this link and get in the know stat.

Anyone who likes Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice will get a kick out of this – Austenbook is basically the Cliff’s Notes version of P&P as told through Facebook Feeds. It really is quite remarkable and had me giggling endlessly, even though I kind of wanted to be sleeping at the time I read it (stomach bugs suck monkey butts). Want a snippet?

Fitzwilliam Darcy is dreading this evening.
Charles Bingley and Jane Bennet are now friends.
Elizabeth Bennet is not handsome enough to tempt a certain gentleman. Ha!
Mrs. Bennet had a most delightful evening!
Mr. Bennet wishes that Mr. Bingley had sprained his ankle in the first dance.
Elizabeth Bennet promises never to dance with Mr. Darcy.
Fitzwilliam Darcy became a fan of Fine Eyes.
Caroline Bingley is all astonishment.

Yeah it’s basically awesome. And if that wasn’t awesome enough for you, then perhaps this will tickle your fancy. If you like cheesy old commercials, cheesy old iMacs and cheesy old drunk Jeff Goldblum videos then this my friend is for you! These videos were digitally edited to make Goldblum pause, slur, and come off as quite drunk. This link will take you to the Top 8 Drunk Jeff Goldblum videos by Videogum, including a possibly over-candid interview with Conan O’Brien? If you want to get all nerdy and compare the sober reality with the drunken hilarity, here is the drunk version:

and here is the actual sober clip it was derived from:

Fun, huh? No? You still aren’t satisfied? Well once you’ve watched all 8 drunken videos and the one sober and you’ve read Austenbook to your heart’s content, then we can move on and talk about….

Running Shoes – with environmentally friendly packaging! I know, so much better than drunken videos and shrunken novels, right? But seriously check out this article that Treehugger posted like a million years ago about Newton Running who designed some awesome running shoes, then awesomely decided to package them in the 100% recycled pulp that egg cartons are made of and molded it around the shape of the shoes, which for some reason I think looks incredibly sexy. Or just very well designed. Conceptually. ::snickers::

Oh and if that weren’t all fun and clever enough, Newton Running sticks a pair of socks in one and a reusable shoe bag in the other, rather than copping out and stuffing them with disposable tissues like, um, everyone else. Don’t be everyone else – think outside the box or egg carton, or whatever. I really wish that I needed a good pair of running shoes because I would totally be hitting these people up if I did – so instead I’m blogging about it, because that’s the next best thing to handing them my cash, am I right? Instant exposure, straight from Because I care.

I should totally make this a weekly feature. I know you were all just saying the same thing to yourselves… outloud, causing your family to give you strange looks. I understand. Again, you’re welcome.

books & reading memes & carnivals

BTT: A Couple Of My Favorite Couples

This week’s Booking Through Thursday question is:

Name a favorite literary couple and tell me why they are a favorite. If you cannot choose just one, that is okay too. Name as many as you like–sometimes narrowing down a list can be extremely difficult and painful. Or maybe that’s just me.

Well obviously I have a couple of couples in mind. The first which comes to mind is Scarlett & Rhett from Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With The Wind:

They are like my classic favorite. Their love is absurd and messy and real. They aren’t perfect, they don’t get it right, but it doesn’t make their love any less intense and brilliant and wonderful. The other favorite from classics would be Lizzy Bennet and the infamous Mr. Darcy from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice:

It takes these two a while to realize they are perfect for each other but the chemistry is obvious. Two people so similar but in varying ways, you can see how it took them so long to get their acts together but gah.

A less classic literary “couple” I adore would be the couple-triangle of Stephanie Plum, Joe Morelli & Ranger in Janet Evanovich’s Plum series. Their love story never gets old, thank goodness. Fourteen books in and I’m still hooked on them, still unsure myself which “bad” boy Stephanie should end up with although I think we all know… It’s just the other one is so…

Who are your favorite literary couples?


Pride & Prejudice: Cinematic Duke Out

I’ve now watched or attempted to watch 3 versions of Pride and Prejudice in “movie” format – the contenders included:

  • Pride and Prejudice movie (1940)
  • Pride and Prejudice movie (2005)
  • Pride and Prejudice BBC Miniseries (1995)

The results of these three movies were varied indeed, so let’s break it down, shall we?

The 1940’s Pride and Prejudice starred Laurence Olivier (Mr. Darcy) and Greer Garson (Ms. Lizzy Bennet). It was awful. At least, the first 10 minutes or so were so terrible and painful to watch, that I never finished it. I have a life, you know, and precious little minutes to watch movies like this, so I moved on, gave it 1 star on Netflix and moved the Kiera Knightly version to the top of my queue post haste, then packaged up this DVD to send back immediately. No hard feelings. But seriously, the Bennet sisters looked like they were in their 40s, their mother was the biggest harpie crazy woman, which I know is accurate, but seriously, she was WORSE than all Mrs. Bennets I’ve seen thus far. Horrible.

The 2005 version was the first I’d ever seen, so I was rewatching this one. It already had bonus points for being interesting even before I’d read the book, but I remembered not having fully understood the whole movie and struggling to keep the different cast members straight. This was not a problem having read the book and I actually found this version someone rushed, but I LOVED the casting. This movie currently is my favorite for casting all around. Kiera Knightly plays Lizzie, Matthew Macfadyen plays Mr. Darcy. My only real beef with this movie was that the main males (Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingley are kind of ugly. But after seeing the BBC version, I take this back as only Colin Firth is more handsome than anyone in this version. I love the scenery and some of the added scenes that aren’t in the original are actually wonderful. I go into more details on this here.

And now the moment I know some of you have waited impatiently for. Did I love it? Wholeheartedly, yes. Better than the 2005 version? Ummm…. toss up? Colin Firth for sure = love, although looking back I kind of like him as MUCH as Matthew Macfadyen but in different ways if that makes any sense. Jennifer Ehle, ditto – I like her a LOT, she’s definitely one of the better actresses, but so was Kiera Knightly. They actually remind me a lot of each other if that makes any sense. Casting seems well done, except, forgive me, Jane was terrible. Temperatment and acting were fine, but I just didn’t LOVE her – they got it much better in 2005 with Rosamund Pike. But I love that being as LONG as it was, they had ample time to go into details and really have fun with it, really tell ALL. I loved losing myself in this movie, though I suspect my poor son didn’t love it as much as he was forced to watch almost an hour of it in bits and pieces as his nap time ended in moments I wasn’t ready to simply hit “pause” – which I’ve heard is a normal reaction to this miniseries!

So, in short – of all 3, the 1940s version is a clear loser, but I have to say 2005 and 1995 are a tie. If I could move this over here, and that over there, and combine a couple of things and have my Ehle and Knightly combined… I’d be a happy P & P fan indeed.

Which movie versions do you like best? Anyone out there a fan of the 1940s version that thinks I should give it another chance?

family fun

Dear Diary,

Just wanted to post something real and non-memey for a minute. I have a lot of things I’d like to get done and probably blogging isn’t helping that, but sometimes it’s good to get your thoughts on paper or internet, whatever. So I’ll fill you all in on what’s on my to do list and what’s slated for the next few days.

I am inches away from finishing Breaking Dawn and when that’s done I can start Jane Eyre for the 5 Minutes For Books’ Classic Book Club – I may not finish it on time but I will hopefully have at least started it. I picked it up at the library this afternoon. MM was VERY good today at the library. I let him carry a book of his own inside and he flipped through it in his stroller while I hunted down a copy of Jane Eyre.

I also have a STACK of magazines to get through. Everytime I finish one it seems 3 more show up in the mail. Luckily most of the subscriptions were gifts from friends and family or I’d definitely have to cut back. I do like reading all of them, but when you have a stack of 10 waiting and more always coming… you get the idea.

Um, clean? I need to vaccuum still. That sounds so unimportant with all the reading I’d rather do. Not to mention the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice waiting to be finished watching – I’m about 45 minutes into it so far and will probably go watch more of it when I finish typing this. Then when MM gets up from his nap I might try out my new workout DVD with him – it’s a 10 minutes solution dance mix thing and I think he might get a kick out of it. Or get in the way. We’ll see. Either way, bring popcorn, it’s bound to be interesting.

What else? Halloween is coming. I know we have plenty of time but we’re making MM’s costume this year (more on that later) so we need to start gathering pieces soon as some things are not necessarily normal and easy to find. It involves a LOT of yellow. 🙂

And then any minute after that will be Thanksgiving and then Christmas. I’ve been planning a list of gifts to buy but I need to start making some real decisions soon and figuring out a budget. Also hostess gifts might be a good thing to start thinking about – and what events will we be attending this year? My inquiring mind wants to know.

Speaking of things I want to know, supposedly my friends and I are starting our book club back up but I still have no idea WHERE, WHEN or WHAT BOOK. That’s a little nerve wracking, but I’m really looking forward to getting it back going, so I am excited if nervous. I know I’ll be at least seeing some of the ladies from the bookclub this weekend because IT’S GAME NIGHT.

Once a month we have our friends over for pizza and games and general awesomeness and that once a month time slot is this Saturday. I’m planning to use some of the apples we picked this weekend and make a pie. That’s right, I’m going to bake. Shocking I know. I love to bake, but I hate baking in my kitchen so I really have to work myself up to it, etc. cause I very easily back down and buy a cake / pie whatever instead if things get too complicated or I’m le tired. You understand, right?

Speaking of apple picking, expect pictures tomorrow for Wordless Wednesday. I also want to show some pictures soon of my son’s new pajamas. For some reason that baffles me, he wears an 18 month for pants, a 2T for shirts and a 3T for footie pajamas. My son, he’s strange. Baffles the imagination, right? I know, I don’t get it. To be fair, he’s almost getting big for the 18 month pants but it isn’t very helpful since 2T is still humongous on him and falling off, etc. Where is the 21 month option, I ask you?

Okay I guess this was enough dear diary-ing for one post. Aren’t you glad I normally stick to the memes? 😛


I May Suck At Play Dates, But People GOOGLE Me!

This morning, I packed up MM, loaded the address for our morning’s play date into our GPS, grabbed a healthy snack (yummy pretzel sticks from Trader Joes – the honey whole wheat kind), even GOT DRESSED in normal clothes like normal people, and headed out. I kind of knew where I was going but was counting on the GPS to get me down the back roads to her house. When I turned it on it said it was looking for a valid GPS signal. Whatever, sometimes it does that – especially if we haven’t used it in awhile, which is largely the reason I used it today. Anyway, gosh am I ever boring.

Point is, we were like halfway down the largest road in the directions and I was sure I’d passed my turn before the GPS finally got a signal – What IS that? I was so annoyed, but it did recalculate and I eventually got there. 30 minutes late, thanks to MM being slow and the GPS being slower. But when I get there, only one truck is parked at her house. Not much of a turnout, I think, as I get out of the car. Her husband walks out of the house to greet me and I’m thinking, Wow, she’s throwing a play date WHILE her husband is home. That’s kind of cool, I guess.

“Play date?” I say laughing nervously, because he looks confused.

“[R] isn’t home…”

Ummm what?

The play date? It was yesterday. I was a full day and a half hour late.

Can I blame that on the GPS?

I went home and checked me email and sure enough, I’m just a moron.

So I’m feeling all kinds of lame and annoyed that I got dressed for nothing, and worried R is going to think I stood her up (I sent her an email apologizing, but really, what kind of moron am I?) Today, tomorrow, same difference right?

But that’s okay because a couple of days ago (the 16th I think, like that matters) 2 people googled “pride and prejudice mommablogsalot” to get to my blog! That’s right, someone googled ME specifically. Unless there is some other mommablogsalot who recently read and reviewed Pride and Prejudice. What would be the odds of that, I ask you? But, no, I’m pretty sure they were looking for me, because even though I suck at play dates, I must be pretty important, pretty googleable. I know you’re jealous.


Pride and Prejudice: The Squealing Continues…

Did I mention I loved it? So much that since, having already read it and being unable to fall in love that way all over again, I decided to see as many of the movies based off of it as possible. I started with the one made in 1940… Did you know it’s just absolutely awful? Maybe I misjudged, to be fair, I only watched about 3 minutes of it but it was SO boring and just… zzzzzzzzz…

I really couldn’t stand watching it, so I turned it off and sent it back. Then I had to decide whether to watch the one with Kiera Knightly, made in 2005, which I’d seen before reading the book and had this weird mix of liking it in spite of myself and not understanding it at all. Or to see The movie – the one everyone tells me I must see – the 6 hour BBC version starring Colin Firth. Really I hear so many rave reviews about this one I really thought I’d chosen to see it first, but apparently not. Because the one with Kiera Knightly showed up in our mailbox shortly after returning from vacation. No matter, I had enjoyed it – and I was very interested to see if I’d like it better now that I understood the plot, or if it really was that confusing.

I have to say – I liked it a lot. I have my complaints, of course. Having read the book it’s obvious the movie dashes around all over the place, leaves things out and adds things in at leisure. I’m sure they all do a bit of that though. And some of the things added in, like Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingley pacing outside muttering about how to get Bingley and Jane together again. That was pretty funny. Things I didn’t like – did both Bingley and Darcy have to be so very not at all handsome. I suppose they both grew on me over the course of the movie, especially when the obvious chemistry between Darcy and Lizzy began to show, but really – they must be splendid actors is all I’m saying.

I’m not being very fair – I really did like Mr. Darcy a lot in this movie and I think Kiera played an amazing Lizzy but I might be biased since to date she’s the only actress I’ve actually seen portray her – the girl in the 1940’s version spoke for about a second before I turned it off, but honestly, what was she, 40? Anyway.

I remember the first time I saw it having a very hard time remembering who people were and WHERE they were but having read the novel, and recently, I didn’t have that problem at all. I was able to just sit and ENJOY it and watch it play out, knowing how it would progress, being able to be just a little bit shocked when things were different and feel all nervous for the characters with them, even though I knew how it would eventually play out.

I’ve found I love to get lost in this story. And after I attend to a few other movies on my queue I’m planning to watch the BBC version with Colin Firth – I’m very excited about that, although I think it will take me quite a bit of time to get through all 6 hours. So in short – if you didn’t read my previous review of the book, despite a good deal of resistance throughout the first half of the book, I eventually fell in love. I think I might have to put it in my little list of Favorite Books of All Time for the story is amazing and very well done. The 2005 movie was also really well done IF you’d read the books. If you hadn’t, you are likely to have been very confused, but for me at least, I still enjoyed a good amount of it, at least what I could understand of it. And I’m very much looking forward to the BBC version.

That, my dear readers, is the end of my first post for the Lit Flicks Challenge and a continuation of my review for the Classics Book Club @ 5 Minutes for Books; and of course, a very satisfying moment in my own literary ambitions. Now I’m going to try to stop thinking in Austenian language, de-verbose myself and try to get back into Breaking Dawn because OMG was I ever enjoying it last night… More on that LATER.


Pride and Prejudice: A Review

A few days ago I finished reading Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen – this month’s pick for the Classics Bookclub @ 5 Minutes for Books. It was my first time reading it, and one of the first classic novels I’ve attempted to read in a long time (I think Gone With the Wind was probably the last one, and that was a few years ago at least).

One of the reasons I’d avoided reading this book for so long, was because I’d already seen the movie with Kiera Knightly, which was enjoyable but confusing in my opinion. I’ve seen several movies based on Austen’s books and have previously had a very hard time reading a book when I’d already seen the movie. You could say I’d developed a prejudice towards the situation.

And of course, Austen’s books all seem a bit dry in many ways, with their antiquated language and tendency to blather on about what sometimes seems like nothing. Despite often enjoying them, I have not been good about reading all the classics and I think I may have been a bit scared that I wouldn’t understand it, after so many years away from a classroom – that I’d find it boring simply because I lacked the propensity to enjoy it. Oh yes, I was prejudiced.

I think, if you’ll bear with me for a moment, that you could easily compare my experience reading this book to Elizabeth Bennet’s experience with Mr. Darcy. The first half of the book bordered on dreadfully boring in my not very humble opinion, the language seemed stale and unnecessarily verbose. I thought for quite some time I’d have to force myself to finish it. But then somewhere in the middle I fell in love – I realized the language wasn’t terribly stale at all, the story was easy to understand, and the level of “wordiness” was actually just right. Her writing style began to become marvelous to me and now even as I type this, I think I’ve perhaps been reading classic literature quite long enough because it is surely affecting my writing style.

By the time I realized I was loving the book, I was no longer certain why I hadn’t liked it originally. I’m not sure if my initial dislike of the book was the author’s fault or my own. Had I become lazy after so many years of reading only modern literature or did Austen’s writing style change over the course of the book – perhaps even on purpose? Was it her intention that I feel prejudiced towards the book intially, marking it off as unworthy of my time, only to wow me in the middle, win me over the by the end, and have me quite in love when all was said and done?

In short, at first the book seemed unnecessarily dry and proud and boring – but by the end it was surely the warmest, most involved book I’ve read in awhile. I’m quite fancying myself in love with it. I might marry it. My family will be quite shocked, I’m sure. Can you see the parallel yet or should I say the same thing in a different way again? No? You’re good? Alright then – here are some questions that the ladies at 5 Minutes for Books (you know the masterminds behind this whole Classics Bookclub) whipped up for our response:

For first time P&P readers:

Did you like the novel? Were there any surprises? Was it what you expected? I should think I’ve answered this sufficiently and won’t bore you again. If you skipped over the above paragraphs though, I’d advise you read them now, as they are the answer to this question.

For all readers:

Do you have any favorite lines of the novel? Oh there were quite a few lines that literally made me laugh out loud – let me see if I can’t find a good one… Okay, I think these are two of my favorites, spoken by two of my favorite characters:

“Oh! If that is all, I have a very poor opinion of young men who live in Derbyshire; and their intimate friends who live in Hertfordshire are not much better. I am sick of them all. Thank Heaven! I am going to-morrow where I shall find a man who has not one agreeable quality, who has neither manner nor sense to recommend him. Stupid men are the only ones worth knowing, after all.” – Elizabeth Bennet, Chapter 27, page 113


“I shall offer to pay him tomorrow: he will rant and storm about his love for you, and there will be an end of the matter.” He then recollected her embarrassment a few days before, on his reading Mr. Collins’s letter; and after laughing at her some time, allowing her to at last go, saying, as she quitted the room, “If any young men come for Mary or Kitty, send them in, for I am quite at leisure.” – Mr. Bennet, after seeing 3 of his daughters engaged or married in short succession. Chapter 59, Page 273

Why do you think the novel remains so popular 200 years after first publication? What makes it timeless? Well I think like most great works of literature, the timelessness is in the topic – feelings of pride and prejudice between the classes, between the sexes, and even between members of a family are something that have always been. The situations, locations, and manner of description may change, but the feelings don’t. And I think in general, people like to read something they can relate to – this is a book which will be forever relateable.

The novel’s original title was First Impressions. Did you have any first impressions of the novel that were refuted? Any that were supported? Are all the first impressions in the novel correct? Another question I answered quite a bit in my beginning paragraphs. I certainly had first impressions of this book – from the dingy  appearance of my library’s copy, to the aforementioned intially dry language, and my prior experience with reading a book whose movie I’d already seen – I certainly had every reason not to look this book if I’d wanted to, but luckily, like Elizabeth, I managed to turn myself around and admit when I was loving it.

Why do you think the novel is named Pride and Prejudice? How are each manifested in the story? I think the answer to this is pretty obvious – between characters who were overridden with pride or prejudice in any one regard, and the joining of a proud person and one of prejudice in the end – I can see First Impressions fitting well also, but perhaps that was too obvious and not quite catchy enough. And it wasn’t just about first impressions after all – it was about overcoming your own faults and accepting others – learning to love each other even when they drive you crazy or you don’t understand them – at attempting to know the people around you truly and not just making assumptions.

Did you read Pride and Prejudice for the Classics Bookclub? Be sure to put up your posts today if you haven’t already, then go and link up here! Next up for the book club is Jane Eyre, a novel I’ve been very much looking forward to reading, since I read The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde a couple months ago. I’m rather liking this whole classics bookclub thing. It gives me an added excuse to catch up on my classics, something I clearly will benefit from greatly.

One last thing before I go:

I am Elizabeth Bennet!

Take the Quiz here!

family fun

Teaser Tuesday: Pride and Prejudice

Teaser Tuesdays asks you to:

  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us 2 sentences from that page.
  • You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
  • Please avoid spoilers!

Today’s Teaser:

Astonishment, apprehension, and even horror, oppressed her. She wished to discred it entirely, repeatedly exclaiming, “This must be false! This cannot be! This must be the grossest falsehood!” – and when she had gone through the whole letter, though scarcely knowing anything of the last page or two, put it hastily away, protesting that she would not regard it, that she would never look in it again.

from page 149 of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen


What's on Your Nightstand: How Many Obsessions Can One Momma Obsess Over?

Right now I’m reading Alanna: The First Adventure in the Songs of the Lioness series by Tamora Pierce. I first read Trickster’s Choice by Tamora Pierce a few months back, being intrigued by the snazzy cover, but after reading Trickster’s Choice and then Trickster’s Queen and realizing they were definitely not the first books in Pierce’s series, I decided I’d better go back and read at least some of the others. This book is much smaller, but the writing is equally good and so far I’m enjoying it a great deal, despite being oh so tired at night every time I sit down to read – so I’m not making much progress in spite of myself.

The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce; Deja Dead by Kathy Reichs; Family Tree by Barbara Delinsky
Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce; Deja Dead by Kathy Reichs; Family Tree by Barbara Delinsky

Next up on my list is Deja Dead by Kathy Reichs, whose books were the inspiration behind the tv series Bones on Fox, which you may or may not know I’m obsessed with – almost as obsessed as I am with Grey’s Anatomy. Almost. Okay, let’s face it, I just live to be obsessed with things – from the days of Buffy, Dawsons Creek and Gilmore Girls (and the Backstreet Boys) to today with Grey’s, Bones and John Mayer.

After that I’ll either get on to Family Tree by Barbara Delinsky which looks wonderful or else get onto reading Pride and Prejudice for the Classics Bookclub on 5 Minutes for Books – which I’ll need to read by September 2 or else risk disappointing myself utterly and entirely.

Classics Bookclub

Rumors by Anna Godberson
Rumors by Anna Godberson

I also REALLY want to read Rumors by Anna Godberson, the follow up book to The Luxe which was just as luxurious to read as it was enticing, thrilling, and fabulous. That book just had me dying to wear some fabulous evening gown and dance the night away with a forbidden lover, who would turn out to be my husband because, well, at the end of the day, he’s the only one I want to dance the night away with, but in a fabulous evening gown, wouldn’t it still be dreamy and wonderful?

Don’t you want to curl up with a good book now? What’s on YOUR nightstand? You can tell me in comments, post about it on your own blog and of course, link up to 5 Minutes for Books and check out what other people are reading, too!