Ultimate Sister Weekend

Dearest Readers,

This weekend the Super Koala and I had the house to ourselves because our parentals are in Cancun. They are super butt faces because the high temperatures here are about 60, and they are laying out on a beach right now, but at least we had an entire weekend of doing exactly what we wanted with no nagging.

Our super sister weekend started on Friday with Super Koala arriving in town very early because neither of us had school that day. We had decided to take a spontaneous trip to The Melting Pot other than our usual Christmas time visit, but our reservations weren’t until 9, so we went to the movies first.

Normally when we go to the movies we get kiddy combos as our snack of choice. This time they had extra special Peanuts Movie buckets for only 50 cents more. Of course we had to get them, and it was a really great idea because it was double the popcorn for only 50 cents!

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Our movie of choice was Crimson Peak because Tom Hiddleston. He is so wonderful even if I hate scary/suspenseful movies. I did enjoy the movie, especially after the wonderful turn of events that was revealed in the last 30 seconds that made everything better.

When it was finally time for dinner, we gladly stuffed ourselves to the point of no return.

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Whenever we go to the Melting Pot, we get the four course meal and it is always so delicious. For the cheese, we got the spinach artichoke dip which came with apples, bread, chips, and assorted vegetables to dip with.

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This was the first time we had tried this cheese, and it was so good. Especially with the bread and chips. The next course was salad. We both got the caeser salad which contains the most delicious parmesan encrusted pine nuts ever, but we forgot to take a picture of this portion. For the main entree, I got the steak lovers platter, which contained three types of steak, and Super Koala got the vegetarian platter. Hers had so many types of vegetables, that she was not able to finish it all.

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Finally came the dessert fondu. They had a special 40th anniversary dessert that consisted of white chocolate fondu with a molten lava cake on top. It. Was. Amazing.

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After almost three hours and not being able to move much anymore, we headed home for bedtime because our Saturday adventures took place at my band competition.

This was a local competition at Seckman High School. Our band was one of the biggest there, which is uncommon, and we took first in our division in prelims, and then took first overall in finals.

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During the day it warmed up okay, even enough for Super Koala and I to share a sno-cone,

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but once the sun started to go down, the temperature plumeted and we were very cold for the rest of the night. We came home, but not before a trip to QT for hot chocolate and taquitos, and cuddled in bed while watching Scrubs on Netflix.

Today we made a trip to Barnes and Noble to pick out a new sister project to do. After looking around for about an hour, we decided on, Rip it! Write it! Draw it! It is a book very similar to Keri Smith’s Wreck This Journal, but it is something new with different activities in it.

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We will now get back into regular weekly posting with my posts on Fridays and Super Koala’s on Mondays. Every week we will be completing two pages of the book, and this time we are going to do them in order.

That is all we have for now, thanks for reading!

– The Sisters Ravens

1001 Movies: The Producers

From the Bed of Super Koala:

I had many thoughts about The Producers, and I’m not really sure how to process it.  The following is my attempt.

First of all, someone needed to talk to the costuming department.  I just cannot handle Max’s hair.  At all.  What is happening?  Why is it so gross?  This fundamentally improved throughout the movie, particularly with the addition of a hat and/or helmet.  Additionally, why did all the men in make up have to be so scary?  Why did they have to wear so much make up?  I know some men that look absolutely gorgeous with a little cosmetic magic, but all of the made up men in this movie just gave me the heebie jeebs.    Finally, in regards to the costume/make up issue, why did the old women have to look so terrible?  Seriously, all this movie taught me was that old women were so scary looking in the 1960s.  Was there no better lighting they could put on them?  Could no one be a little gentler in this regard?

I’m always astounded that Mel Brooks movies are rated PG, as are the students that watch them in my classes.  This movie was no exception.  The entire opening segment was mildly traumatizing, mildly hilarious.  I wish I had a picture of Sparhawk’s face as it was happening.  But I kind of feel this way about all of the humor in Brooks’ films.  I’m perpetually walking the line between absolutely horrified and absolutely amused.  I suppose that is masterful on his part.  That being said, the Kafka reference in this film is perfect, so A+ for that.

My next question about this film is simple: why are people always yelling?  I think there are a lot of funny moments that end of leaving me irritated because I hate unnecessary yelling.  I know that a little hysterical yelling is kind of Gene Wilder’s thing, but did it have to be everyone’s thing?

Finally, I need to know one last crucial detail.  From watching this film, I picked up on the implication that Leo Bloom is actually the grown version of Linus from Peanuts.  Am I right, or am I right?

3 stars overall.

From the Bed of Captain Spazzmataz,

So, all of the other Mel Brooks movies we have watched so far did not go over very well with me, however I enjoyed this one. It was very unsettling at the beginning and I actually paused it to check the rating about three minutes in. Nonetheless, I found this film amusing whereas the others I just found dumb.

I think Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder worked wonderfully together, and even though they were attempting to pull off a large scale scam, I was rooting for them to succeed. I absolutely loved when Leo had his first major fit of hysteria. I laugh to myself every time I think of the line, “I’m in pain and I’m wet and I’m still hysterical!”

I agree with Super Koala that the costuming and make up was atrocious. But I also think that added to the humor of the characters.

4 stars

A Long Overdue Sister Bag Adventure

Dearest Sister,

My sincerest apologies for having the sister bag for basically a thousand years.  It is a rather tragic event, especially when considering that I’ve done a lot of fun things, I’ve just failed to take the sister bag with me.  Luckily, I remedied this two weekends ago when I took the bag to Cider Days for some quality puppy volunteer time.

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Now, as you may or may not know, Cider Days is a Springfield, MO fall festival.  It takes place on “Historic Walnut Street,” and I used to find it quite fancy and adorable.  However, Sparhawk and I have now attended fall festivals all over the Ozark area, and we have found many more impressive events.  Sorry, Cider Days.

Even if it is not nearly as fancy as the other festivals, Cider Days does have one significant benefit.  And that would be the Humane Society tent!  In past years, I have giddily ogled the puppies that come to these events.  This year, I got to hang out with them.

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These were three of the puppies that came with us.  The fourth, Stormy, spent most of her time on another volunteer’s lap, so I didn’t spend much time with her.  The first puppy, Bella, is the one that Amanda ended up adopting.  The middle one, Oddie, was my little buddy most of the day.  And the last one posing with her paw on the sister bag, Brittany, is the one that almost came home with us.  No shame.

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We had a fun day saying hello to people and going for miniature puppy walks.  After many hours outside, we were all sleepy.  Particularly little Oddie, who was also chilly.  We made them all beds.  It was incredibly precious.  Fortunately I had the bag with me to save my chair and house my snacks.

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After we loaded the pups back in the van to go home, Sparhawk and I wandered around the street a little more to look at all the vendors.

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I had spent most of my time in the tent with the puppies.  We found a lot of fantastic things, including the customary honey sticks, the most delicious apple cider candle of my life, and your present!  We also found this lady who does absolutely fantastic work.  Some of her paintings featured pets, so of course I asked her about them, and I discovered she does custom pet portraits!  So look out for that in my house soon.

All together, it was a very fun day.  I ran into lots of people I knew on the street, and several friends came by to visit and pet puppies.  As you can imagine, when I returned home, Annabelle and Nyxen were very jealous and had many opinions on how I spent my time.

– Super Koala, Out!

1001 Movies: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

From the Bed of Super Koala:

Among many movies on this list that have made me feel otherwise, I think this film truly counts as one I should see before I die.  I feel like it gives great exposure to horror films, silent films, and foreign films.  While it occasionally made me sleepy, and I don’t need as long as it gave me to read the dialogue items, I actually really enjoyed the production of this movie.

Easily, my favorite part of this movie was what they did with the set.

I read that the sets were made out of paper.  Given this, I love what the achieved with concepts depth and lighting.  It’s absolutely beautiful, while still being very macabre.  All the attention to details and nuances made this really enjoyable on a purely visual level.  I think they did an equally impressive job creating similar effects with the character’s make up.

After viewing the ending twist, I can’t help but wonder how influential this movie was on films and literature to follow.  The “it’s all a delusion” is still used films today.  (Here’s looking at you, Shutter Island.)  I definitely want to learn more about this topic, and when this particular plot device rose to popularity.  It will be interesting to see where The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari comes into play.

Overall, four stars.

From the Bed of Captain Spazzmataz,

First off, I really like that this movie was broken up into acts. Due to the fact that it was a silent film, and that I was watching it pretty late at night, I appreciated that I could measure how much time was left by the acts and therefore it was easier to stay awake. Not that the film was boring at all, as a matter of fact it was very entertaining, but silent films demand a different kind of wakefulness that is very difficult to maintain when you are sleepy to begin with.

I give super props to this movie given the fact that I had no idea what was going on or what was going to happen until about the last thirty seconds of the movie. Most movies today are very predictable, and I am glad that I was kept guessing until the end. I had no idea that it was all a hallucination of sorts, so the entire time I was just really perplexed by all of the events that took place.

Now that I know the nature of the movie, the sets totally make sense. While watching it, I was very confused by the slanty buildings and strange shadows, but at the end it all came together.

It is one of those movies that makes you think about everything you just saw after it is over, and I really appreciate that. Also, I think it would be so cool to see how amazing those actors would be if they could act in a movie today. They had such amazing body language and facial expressions that were crucial because of the lack of words. I think all actors should have to go through a silent film class or something to learn how to portray emotion and expression like that.

Great movie. 4 stars.

1001 Movies: Days of Heaven

From the Couch of Super Koala:

I don’t think this is a movie I needed to see before I died.

I’m sorry pretty, young Richard Gere, but I just don’t.  It was a good movie; I enjoyed it as a whole, but I think I could also have lived quite happily without having seen it.

That being said, while looking up pictures for this movie, I found it described as a “screen poem.”  This, I absolutely adored.  The simplicity of the dialogue but the complexity of the events presented in the film lend so well to this description.  One of the attributes I consistently enjoyed about this movie was that it expected a level of intelligence from the viewer.  It is subtle.

In terms of acting, I particularly enjoyed the young girl.  I love her odd, rough voice as that of the narrator.  I found it very appropriate that the movie began and ended with her perspective, as opposed to one of the characters in central focus.

What I did not need was a close up montage of locusts feasting.  That I could have done without, Days of Heaven.

In all, a solid, well-made film.  It’s just not one I would chose to return to.  Three stars.

From the Bed of Captain Spazzmataz,

I really did enjoy this movie. I thought the lack of dialog was really refreshing. I loved how you could tell what was going to happen next from the music instead of what the characters were saying. However, because of that, some really drastic jumps were made in the plot. I understand that it is something the audience can get and follow along with, but some of the sudden plot advances were just a little too extreme to seem real.

For example, the farm owner all of a sudden loves the girl when they haven’t spoken or been near each other for more than five minutes total. It just doesn’t make much sense. Also, my personal rating of this movie dropped quite a bit when they wouldn’t stop showing all of the bugs. It was just too much. I get it. Please, I don’t need to see them so much.

I was a little confused by the ending as well. It just seemed to stop. Everyone went off on their separate ways and I didn’t really see how it all tied together.

Overall, it was a pretty good film, and I too like that it is called a screen poem.

3 stars

The Joy Luck Club: Labor Day Reading

Captain Spazzmataz Thoughts:

  • P. 67 – Man, these mothers are so depressing. It is horrible that she doesn’t think she is noticed by anyone. It’s so sad that they have gone though such troubles in their life and now they are so far removed from modern life that they can’t connect with anyone.
  • P. 70 – Wow. Really? “A girl can never ask, only listen.” That is just horrible. How could anyone live like that!?
  • P. 71 – Do her sisters really not have names, or does she just not care to say them?
  • P. 72 – How do they expect a four year old to stand perfectly still and not play?
  • P. 73 – What! They get to take afternoon naps! So jealous.
  • P. 75 – I think that is kind of cruel making a bird get your fish for you.
  • P. 78 – Has nobody on her boat noticed that she is missing!?
  • P. 83 – I don’t really understand what happened in these last few pages. It was really strange, but I am glad that her family did care that she was missing and that they found her again.

Super Koala Thoughts:

  • p. 67 – It’s such a sad beginning, the obvious disconnect between the mothers and daughters.
  • p. 71 – Her sisters don’t get real names?  They’re like the things from the Dr. Seuss book.
  • p. 72 – I’m so curious as to what a mooncake tastes like.  The combination of bean paste and egg yolk doesn’t strike me as something sweet, but they’re always used as a treat in this book.
  • p. 74 – The old ladies hitting each other with fans is a hilarious image.
  • p. 75 – The shrimpies!
  • p. 76 – Using the bird is such a sad yet ingenious way of fishing.
  • p. 78 – What a horrifying event for a little girl! Or anyone.
  • p. 81 – And to think, I thought the yin and yang concept was cool when I was younger.
  • p. 82 – Say whaaaat.

I feel like my comments on this book are fairly boring because I like it so much.  I don’t have any complaints, I just want to keep reading it.

1001 Movies: Titanic

From the Bed of Captain Spazzmataz:

Titanic. Where do I begin.

I am going to start by saying that I now officially feel more cultured because, believe it or not, this is the first time I have seen the movie. Ever. In 17 years, I have only seen it once. I think it is pretty amazing that I hadn’t seen it until now.

Don’t get me wrong, the movie was really great, but I don’t think any movie should be much longer than two hours. After that, I just lose interest, and it seems like a hassle to watch it because they take up so much time. After watching Titanic, I felt like my entire afternoon had been wasted. If Rose would have not gone back down so many times, it would have shaved off a lot of time.

That is the other issue I had. Rose could have been on a lifeboat with her mother very early. And then she was safely on one later, but decided it would be a good idea to jump off! Jack seemed like a very resourceful guy, so I am pretty sure he would have found his way onto a boat if he didn’t have to worry about getting her on to one so much. If Rose would have just done what she was told to, they probably both would have lived.

Other than that and the time, I really did enjoy the movie. I loved how detailed everything was as well as how the movie shifted in and out of present and past time. The casting was really wonderful too. DiCaprio and Winslet’s chemistry on screen was just fantastic, and you could tell they were having fun with it. Also, the music was just phenomenal. The soundtrack was so fitting that the mood and setting and everything melded so well and really pulled everything together. It won three Oscars and two Golden Globes just for the sound and music, and they were definitely rightly awarded.

I can say with confidence that this movie belongs on this list.

4 Stars

From the Couch of Super Koala, Who is Skyping the Spazz:

Just as the Spazzmataz before me, I too enjoy Titanic.  Titanic came out when I was much younger (second grade? I dunno), and it was all the rage with its pretty boy DiCaprio and nudie Kate Winslet parts.  It was quite the topic of gossip, whose parents would let them watch Titanic and whose would not.

My only frustration regarding Titanic is everyone’s frustration regarding Titanic.  Why is Rose so dumb?  Like the Spazz pointed out, Rose has so many chances to live that could have also resulted in Jack living.  There’s a certain point where it’s not “romantic” anymore and just becomes shenanigans level selfish.  To demonstrate with the door alone:

That being said, the movie is beautiful.  I love the sets so much.  And Bernard Hill as the Captain anyone?  So underrated.

I also give it four stars.