Thursday, July 21, 2005
The depths of summer have come, we're swimming lots in the community pool, popsicles and fruits are primary snacks, the temperature has soared at last, summer school is over. D and I caught a movie on the weekend thanks to D's sister Mx and her husband Uncle Bb, both assisted by their little dog, Molly, who's been leash-sensitized by my daughter M (leash in hand, she likes to chase Molly because there's nothing quite like experimenting with a dog on a leash...how much they're like little toys!). On this lovely night out away from the children, we ate at a fine BBQ restaurant and then saw "The Wedding Crashers". Very funny movie...very adult, Vince Vaughn made for a hilarious fall guy and Owen Wilson was smooth with his serious presentation of lies.
Yesterday we caught Charlie and Chocolate Factory and were quite entertained. The film was a wee bit too slow or quiet at moments for 4-yr old M (she said on numerous occasions that she wanted to go home), but J and I loved it and A and D enjoyed it quite a bit. Johnny Depp did an excellent job at at showing the contempt Willy Wonka had for the concept of family. I was glad to see Charlie never make a mistake and at the end, won over Willy Wonka to the importance of family, to love's sweetness. I much preferred the ending here to the one in Gene Wilder's movie...I say that ducking and covering to avoid the wrath of original-movie supporters. Don't get me wrong, I've always loved Wilder's Willy Wonka...still do. Wilder's Wonka believed his whimsical, isolationist philosophy of life was the correct philosophy and through the end, that philosophy was never challenged. He was arrogant and was rewarded by Charlie in one step. Depp's on the other hand was told by Charlie that his philosophy was wrong. Depp's Wonka had to change to win Charlie over. Visually, you cannot compare the two because time has allowed the creators of the remake to spoof up the Chocolate Factory. Computers have allowed the Oompa Loompas to look even more alike, thereby building up their absurdity.
In the end, I walked out of the theater satisfied (and full of candy because while we're trying to be candy-free all summer, I thought it unjustly cruel to take the children to a movie theater to watch a movie about candy and not allow them to actually eat any).
An update on our summer trip...we've abandoned our long road trip. Sadly, regrettably. D and I decided that while spending the money is not a problem, in truth, due to A's emotional difficulties, 10 days on the road might be too much for him to endure. So we'll be doing short trips. In a couple of weeks, we'll be experimenting with a motor home - "camping". My brother and sister and their respective families will be there, too, all of us camping out at Newport Dunes. We've never done it before, so it should be interesting. If we like it, we'll plan something bigger next year...something further away such as Sequoia National Park or the Grand Canyon.
My kids does so much better when they're with their cousins. I can't explain it, but the stress level decreases for us tenfold. We're also considering a weekend in Catalina Island with the kids...just us. That should go well, lots to do, only a short stint.
I'm sorry I haven't been commenting much at other places. My office has been taken over by my son, J. Between drumming and his new-found love of the internet (he and his friends discovered MySpace and he has a blog), I hardly get much of a go at this old computer of mine!
All right, that's all for now...off to have lunch with a friend of mine who's a professor at the community college where I teach. Oy...school for me starts August 15. My summer is fast coming to a close and I cannot tell you how sad that makes me.