Tag Archives: entertainment

My Children, the Troll Fighting, Bloody-Kneed Individualists

I want my children to grow up in a world that provides them with a choice. I want them to weigh options and learn from their mistakes. I want them to grow up and discover what is best for them as individuals. I want them to learn that they alone know what is best for their needs. I want them to choose, without the philosophical meddling of their parents.

I want them to get dirty and break bones. I want them to use their imagination, build forts, fight trolls in the backyard.

But I suppose I’m simply meddling. Yearning for something that is mostly out of my control. As is just and moral. I want my children to be individuals first. Family members second, if they so choose.

Mostly, I want for them to want that too. And so I sit here wanting and wishing, in realization that I am already meddling; in realization that I am romanticizing the entire notion. I admit it. I have a weak spot for troll fighting, bloody-kneed individualists.

*Note: we do not have children. Not yet anyhow. And I am fairly certain Jessica hopes that they wait to brandish swords. You know, at least until the breach the surface.

Wonder King Wiki - Courtesy of Wiki Commons

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Crusty Ovals of Cough Syrup-y Goodness

I have a fondness for jelly beans. But not the Jelly Belly brand jelly beans. I like the ones that are about three times the size of those. The ones with the mildly crusty shell that may or may not be the result of old age, having sat on the store shelf for Easters past. The ones with the purples that taste of cough syrup and the white ones that taste of a mix between the “mystery” AirHead flavor and coconut.

You see, I have what one could claim as an old-fashioned sense of taste in sweets. I adore black licorice. Hard candies. Peppermints. Horehound. And I often joke that I pay young neighborhood kids in lemon drops for mowing the lawn and pulling weeds in the yard.

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Weeping Like a Wussy Pants: Films That Made Me Cry

I had a conversation with a friend recently about the films that make us cry (or “tear up,” which I suspect is the less weak, more “manly” version of full-fledged crying). His criteria included big, rousing scenes of applause, especially in terms of some sporting achievement. Think of Hoosiers. But he also mentioned Mr. Holland’s Opus, which I’ve never seen, but I equated, rather haphazardly, to Angels in the Outfield. My criteria is a bit different. And after I started to go through the list, I realized that many of the films that have made me cry involve an animal being hurt, or, heaven forbid(!), killed. Some didn’t though.

But alas, here is my list (and Weep Rating, on a scale from 1 to 10 Tears) of Films That Made Me Cry (or Weep Like a Wussy Pants):

  • Old Yeller – A timeless tale of a young boy and his dog. If you are a pet person, this will undoubtedly make you cry. It affected me similar to the way Where The Red Fern Grows did. Weep Rating: 7 Tears
  • The Lion King – Oh my goodness. When Mufasa died, I was wrecked. I remember thinking, gosh, lions with scars on their faces are a-holes. Weep Rating: 8 Tears
  • Up – The first 10 minutes is comprised of some of the most tender and heartfelt moments I’ve seen in film to date. Weep Rating: 9 Tears
  • My Girl – I remember wanting to be little Tom Sennett (Culkin). With the quirks and Dan Akroyd as father, and the friendship with the adorable (then) Anna Chlumsky. But in the end, with the bees? Holy crap. Weep Rating: 7 Tears
  • The Fox and the Hound – Adorable fox meets adorable hound. And then they grow up! And are forced, as nature would claim, to be enemies! This is one of my all-time favorites. But it gets me every time. Weep Rating: 8 Tears
  • Bridge to Terabithia – This is a recent addition, having picked up the Blu-Ray a year or two ago. It’s based on a book of the same name, and stars Josh Hutcherson, and in a small role, Zooey Deschanel. I love the adventures the two characters have together, and the imaginations they use to break away. The sad part, well that sneaks up on you. Oy. Weep Rating: 8 Tears
  • Grave of the Fireflies – My favorite war film of all-time. And surely the saddest. Weep Rating: 9 Tears
  • Radio Flyer – This I remember watching as an adolescent and finding a certain bittersweet solace in its characters. Recognizable and wanting to protect them. Ultimately, this story is a devastating one, and it kills me every time. Weep Rating: 10 Tears

What about you? Which films would make your list?

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Describing the Dogs

Each of the five dogs we live with (one of which is our very own) have a unique personality. They are all adorable, of course. As Labradors, how could they not be, right? But there are certain differences, and I aim to describe some of them here.

From oldest to youngest:

  • Watson: with that little grayish white spot near her eye, we like to think of her as part of a gang, and that she killed another dog to earn her teardrop. As the oldest, she’s the least active, choosing to rest in the garage while the others are running around in the sun. Additionally, her tail makes this circular rotation that is less wag, more helicopter. Thus, we call her Helicopter Tail.

Watson, the Killer

  • Schein (pronounced like “Shine”): daughter to Watson, Schein is of a similar disposition, but with a penchant for sticking her head betwixt one’s legs. It’s as though the in-between place was some sort of comforting land of tender loving care – which it is. Other than that, Schein is a bit frisky at times, and appreciates the back and forth of a casual play date (nothing like the flying paws from Scooby).

Schein, the Leg Dweller

  • Lily: the only yellow of the group, and mother to Scooby. She, like her son, is playful but knows enough to recognize her physical limits. She is stocky, and akin to a tank. When she pounces on a thrown ball, she nearly scrapes her belly on top of the grass. When she wags, her entire body also wags, like a big, powerful, fluffy earthworm.

Lily, the Tank

  • Gamble: the sportiest of the troupe, and the lone chocolate. She’s fast and loves to run, and will play fetch with the tennis ball – only the dirty, crud-riddled tennis ball; the newer, green ones she has no patience for – for hours and hours. She’s probably the sweetest and most mild-mannered, and is fond of getting her chin scratched.

Gamble, the Stoic Sportstar

  • Scooby: our black lab. He’s a playful, excitable 4 1/2 year-old that loves to pester the old gals, Watson and Schein, as well as his mom, Lily. Like Gamble, he likes to play fetch, but doesn’t like to let the ball go. Sometimes he buries it and stands on it so that no one else can get to it. In fact, he likes to hold the ball in his mouth whilst peeing, barking or pawing at your face. He loves water, but is afraid of the foam that is a result of the back and forth lapping at the lakeside. Jessica and I consider him, as we do with the horses, as our child.

Scooby, the Majestic Pee-er (notice the stick in his mouth)

Scooby Fears the Foam

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