TSS – Why Did I Go Into Labor Day?!

Today is one of those days all parents go through:  What the hell was I thinking when I said I wanted kids?  Yesterday was a humdinger with them, as well.  I figured it was because I was twenty pages from the end of Confessions of a Contractor that they wouldn’t let me have a moment of peace.  But today tells me they’re really just switched on in extreme fight mode right now.  Anything and everything to get each other to squeal. 

Gwen’s whining and crying because Maggie’s not happy with anything she does.  She tries to make “that little brat” (her words) happy, but she doesn’t like anything.  In Gwen’s defense, Maggie does have a problem with graciousness.  Try as I might to get her to understand tact and good manners, she prefers brutal honesty and refuses to even show gratitude for the other person’s effort.

HOWEVER… Gwen has a problem poking, teasing, irritating, and in general being an ass to as many people she can at the same time.  Don’t get me wrong, she’s a very loving and sweet child, but she has an obnoxious streak she likes to tap into, as well.  And, sadly… she comes by it honestly.  My mom loved singing a little nursery rhyme to me:

There was a little girl,
Who had a little curl,
Right in the middle of her forehead.
When she was good,
She was very good indeed,
But when she was bad she was horrid.

— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

So why am I complaining that I’m getting paybacks?  We all know what paybacks are…  My mom reminds me of that, too.

Sammi, my oldest… She’s being descent… I guess.  She’s finally cleaning her room –I’ve only been telling her for a week now– and ran over something with the vacuum cleaner –the NEW vacuum cleaner– and now it’s smoking.  Thank God I chose the 3 year warranty.  She doesn’t want to take her meds (she’s possibly schizophrenic and too young to diagnose) , so that’s one battle.  She’s fifteen –I’m convince “teenager” is a mental illness– and very good at it.  If teenage-hood was an Olympic sport, she’d take the Gold for her signature Eye roll, tongue click, sigh, thigh slap, shocked face look with a whining “Oh My GOSH!”

Multiply the girl in the following video by three, then make them all actively irritating the hell out of each other, and you’ll have what my house has been like for the last couple days:

ANYWAY… that’s my venting rant…

I’m horrible at getting back into a habit… I know this and yet I let myself slip out of the habit of reading. I finally managed to finish Confessions of a Contractor, which I had started a couple weeks ago before my grandma died. My mom’s visit was a week without books… and gladly so. I didn’t want to miss a minute with her, and the books will be on the shelves and desk after she went home. But then the next week I drug my feet getting back into it. Contractor was a great book, and perfect for what was going on, it was just me being lazy. I need a personal assistant and planner… and maybe a task master to crack the whip when I get off task.

It doesn’t help that I signed up on Second Life. It’s an absolutely, stupidly, waste of time. And yet I go back. It’s addictive. The out-of-body sensation of exploring in other rooms and other floors is wicked! AND the avatar flies around in a 3-D world… admittedly, I can see how people get caught up in it. BUT I can quit whenever I want 😀

Last night I took the heathens to the movies. I finished and reviewed Contractor, and wanted to get away from the house. The choices are slim here in Loganland: Babylon AD and Step Brothers. I have a 9, 14, and 15 year old, so Step Brother wasn’t even a consideration… after watching Dewey Cox, I don’t think anything John C Reilly does is appropriate for my daughters. So… we trekked off to Babylon.

Here’s a trailer of the movie:

If you haven’t seen the movie, let me give you a quick summary. Toorop (Vin Diesel) is living in a post-nuclear Russia, unable to return to the US because he’s on a terrorist list. He’s hired by a Russian mob-type character named Gorsky (Gérard Depardieu) to pick up Aurora (Mélanie Thierry), who is not-quite-right in the head, and deliver her to Gorsky’s contact in New York City. Michelle Yeoh plays Sister Rebecca of the Noelites, who is Aurora’s guardian, joins them in the trip. Along the way, they are shot at, blown up, and Toorop dies… but it doesn’t end there.

To be honest, I wanted to see the movie for one and a half reasons: Vin Diesel is hot, and I like Michelle Yeoh’s acting and martial arts moves. Yes, the action was a BIG incentive, but the movie reminded me of this weeks Booking Through Thursday question: The story is the most important part of any tale, book or movie. Babylon A.D. was sooo weak on story. The first fifty minutes or so was really cool, and I was visually blown away by the action, the future-world concepts, the “What’ll happen next,” and the mystery of what’s up with Aurora. BUT… then it fell to crap. The story was weak and seriously lacking. All of us, except Sammi, walked away from the theater shaking our heads and trying to figure out WTF?! happened in the story.

POSSIBLE SPOILERS:
Wait, she was grown in an artificial uterus with a computer as the momma? and where the hell did the twins come from? and WHY oh WHY? is one white and one black? HUH? If I’d have gotten up in the middle of the movie, I would have been convinced all my questions had been answered during those minutes.

Has anyone read the book, Babylon A. D. ? Can you answer these missing chunks of story? Even Vin Diesel wasn’t worth sitting through this movie. :-p

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Confessions of a Contractor by Richard Murphy

Title: Confessions of a Contractor
Author: Richard Murphy
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Putnam Adult
Publish Date: August 14, 2008
ISBN-13: 9780399155079

The first thing a woman needs to know about renovating a house or apartment is simple: do not, under any circumstance, sleep with your contractor, no matter what your husband or boyfriend is doing to you, or not doing to you. Some people in the building trade will consider this statement a direct violation of the Man Code, and you won’t find additional information on this subject at Home Depot -even though it should be there, in its own department, right between electrical and plumbing, managed by a woman who has made this very mistake.

The first line of this book competes with Tan Lines in shock value, though the use of the word “clitoris” clearly gives Tan Lines the win. However, where Tan Lines was dirty and gritty, totally lacking in emotional value and real character, Confessions of a Contractor is Tan Lines opposite.

To steal borrow from Traci over at Traci’s Book Bag, if I were to give a one word review of Confessions of a Contractor, that one word would be: Pleasure. This book is fun and sexy, but without all the filth found in Tan Lines. Henry is a likable narrator, and Murphy writes him with a self-deprecating humor that most of us can appreciate. Confessions is more than the sexual romp it appears to be in the first few paragraphs (which was all Tan Lines ever was), it is much deeper –but still fun! It’s no Oprah book. It’s a story of a man trying to do right by his standards, bumbling it often, but still getting up and trying again, and it is a story of friendships. It’s about the sometimes misguided things do to help their friends, like threaten your friend’s fiance’ with a salad fork and promise to be his worst nightmare if he hurts your friend, or like taking a cordless drill and saw and going after the self-important ass who causes your friends and their families a great deal of grief and trouble.

As Henry is remodeling the homes of two women who used to be best friends, both withholding why they are no longer friends, he finds himself falling for them both. One of whom, Rebecca, is married to a turd with whom Henry had dealt with years before when he worked on a house owned by the husbands mistress. The second woman is a bit on the wild side, with whom he gets involved after she holds a “dark” dinner where everyone’s blindfolded. At this dinner, he finds himself in a human sandwich with the hostess and an unknown second woman. The search for the identity of the second woman leads him to take jobs for the other women who are at the party… more work he has no time for.

Also plaguing Henry’s life is Gia, his ex-girlfriend who’s engaged to the man she had an affair with and shows up on Henry’s front door step to demand ask him to go to couples therapy, even though they’re not a couple anymore, so that she can move on with her life and marry Mr. Terrific with a capital T.

Throw into the mix Bill, Henry’s friend who goes to dinner parties to eat everything and stuff what he can’t into his pant pockets, including deviled eggs. Bill is the opposite of a germ-a-phobe: he pursues germs in order to build up his immune system for the coming man-made Apocalypse. Bill is the guy who knows a guy who knows a guy who knows a guy who’s the right man for whatever less-than-legal thing you need to have or have done.

My only complaint about this book is that it ends. Thirty pages from the last page, I’m tearing up… not from the story, but from sorrow that my time with Henry and Bill, et al will soon end.

I give Confessions a 5 out of 5 stars, and recommend it to anyone wishing for a fun, breezy book that still has depth without the teary Oprah moments. 😀