Sunday, November 30, 2008

Twilight - The Review


I was in the movie theater opening night (seeing a different movie). Saw the line-up of teenagers snaking down the hall and nearly out the door for a movie that didn't start for another 20-30 minutes. Wondered how long the group at the front of the line had been there.

The previews didn't grab me. The TV hype didn't grab me. I haven't read the books. The fact that a bunch of pimple-poppers gave up an extra 90 minutes of their Friday evening to catch the movie on opening night wasn't really a big sell either. Top that with the fact that both my 11-year old son and 25-year old au pair wanted to see the movie - clearly, this would be one that I would miss.

I've seen it twice. I'm a convert. I even got Betty to go see it with me.

  • I'm a sucker for love stories. Not so much vampire stories. But at the end of the day, this was a love story.
  • Robert Pattinson, as Edward, was hot. I'm horrified to say that. He's 22. Technically, if I'd gotten busier a little earlier, he could have been my son. And he was playing a 17-year old. I'm kind of grossing myself out, but he was H-O-T. Hot. My only consolation? Technically, in the movie, he was over 100 years old, so really, he could have been my sugar-daddy.
  • I liked that all the high school kids were pretty normal looking kids. Not all 90210-ish. They looked like kids you could find going to school at a rural Washington high school.
  • I liked that Bella was the heroine, and was pretty in a normal, natural way. And not that fake "ugly at the start of the movie, pretty at the end" kind of way Hollywood likes to do. She was real. Dressed real. Drove of a piece of crap truck like you're supposed to do in high school.
  • The small tweaks to typical vampire legend were interesting, as well as the way they wove it into Native American myth. Kind of taking it out of the Eastern European, dark, dank blood-sucking genre. Liked the sparkly thing.
  • Vampires have much better taste in housing and decorating than I expected.
  • The scenery was beautiful. We've been out to Port Angeles, but not to The Push, and not to the rest of the places out on the Olympic Peninsula. Guess where the next in state trip for the Chakos will be?
  • The sexual tension was KILLING me. It was awesome, and kudos to the directors. Seeing it the second time was almost better, for that aspect. The way he was physically affected by the scent of her blood. The way you could hear her breathing when they first kissed. The way her chest rose and fell. The franticness of the first kiss. You could feel his restraint. It was the agony of firsts all over again. But with better cinematography than I remember in my real life.
Bottom line? I think I liked it because I didn't expect to like it, and yet it appealed to all of us. We all saw, and loved, the movie from our own perspective.
  • My 11-year old saw an action film. He even tolerated (and liked?) the love scenes, primarily because it was critical to setting up the conflict between the vampire clans. He loved the fight scene in the ballet studio. Chick vampires ripping heads off appeals to him, apparently. He's psyched for the sequel.
  • My au pair saw a movie about chaste and pure love. The theme of restraint is important to her, and her Christian values, and as she prepares for marriage. She found it inspiring that Edward, because of his love for Bella, had to exercise restraint and suppress his baser instincts. "Remember who we are," struck a chord with her, in a society that constantly challenges her values.
  • I saw a movie of instinct and passion. That the director captured perfectly in looks, smells, the way a jaw clenched, a muscle flexed, the distance between faces. I sat with my hands over my mouth a good portion of the time, holding my breath. Feeling it in the pit of my stomach. Not knowing how it would end. Wanting love to win out.

So if you're a disappointed reader of the book series, I'm sorry. You're going to have to learn how to detach the screenwriting from the book - it will never be the same. But for those of us who haven't read the books, I think they did a great job of making a movie that appeals to a broader range than you might expect.

Not quite Oscar material . . . but ladies, go stare at Edwards lips, flushed red, and see if you don't want to throw yourself in front of that sparkling, immortal bus . . .

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Reflections - Whitefish MT

"Moose" art is popular . . .

Not even Thanksgiving and the town is ready for the holidays . . .

A little color among the bare branches . . .

Clouds above the train station . . .

Reflections on Whitefish Lake

Big Mountain reflects on Whitefish Lake

Last of the berries . . .

More reflections on Whitefish Lake

Whitefish Lake

I couldn't resist Betty . . . what my boyfriend would drive if he lived in Whitefish, MT!
Respectfully submitted,
The Wife

Saturday, November 29, 2008


I like puzzles. They appeal to my analytical side. That part of me who kicks butt on spacial relations.

I bought a real challenge and have been working on it to avoid my real work.

2,000 pieces. The Starry Night. Vincent Van Gogh.

Post-impressionist bastard.

I will pwn you.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Post 300

Wow. Big round numbers. Seems like it should be something monumental.

I'm amazed that in the past year + I have found 300 separate topics to write about. Especially since the impetus for first posting was as a catharsis for my husband's deployment. He's been home for months now and I still post.

So here are some posts I had lined up . . . none quite seemed right for the 300.
  • A long-lost post of pictures from Montana. Beautiful, but not 300.

  • A post about my take on the movie "Twilight" which I've now seen twice. But it could risk making me look like a cougar - not for the 300.

  • A post of these cool berries that hang on the bushes in Montana, long after the leaves have fallen.
    But somebody beat me to it.

  • A post about how much work sucks right now. But since I just got done being thankful for the fact that I have a well-paying job, that would be disingenuous for the 300.

  • A post about how, because work sucks, I'm probably a sucky mom and wife right now.

  • A post about my Jimmy Choos. Oh, wait. Already done that.

  • A post about my poker playing. But its all play money. Well, except the money I won on my birthday! WOOT!

  • A post about my weird dreams lately. Like the TRex that was going to eat me and my sister in law because she wouldn't stop vacuuming. Or having to run away, but stopping to pick blackberries along the way for sustenance.

So what is a girl to write about? I went to Waffles blog, since he always has something to say about something or someone. And I found this:

GenderAnalyzer - Man or woman - who is writing that blog?

What a piece of crap tool that is. I put in my own blog. The results?

We think is written by a woman (64%).

Way to go Sherlock. 64%? Come on?!?!?! How man freakin' shoe posts do I have to do to get myself a little further away from the fence? I have a picture permanently dedicated to my shoes, for crying out loud. I posted pictures of a teddy bear from my last business trip. I routinely dedicate space to the A-list actors I would cheat on my husband with. What more can I do to convince them I am a woman?????

My only consolation?

Apparently DrChako is doing almost as well at channeling his inner woman as I am . . .

We think is written by a woman (60%).

Go figure.

Happy 300th, me.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

By the time this posts, I will be elbows deep in deviled eggs, pie materials, and various other Thanksgiving trimmings that I am responsible for in our west coast "family" dinner. "Family" that I share no blood with, but with whom I share the circumstance of being far away from blood each year.

Like the rest of you, I will drink too much wine, eat too much turkey, and consume too many calories contained in Cool Whip, sweetened condensed milk, and pie crust. But before I render myself thoughtless in my gluttony . . . the things I am thankful for:
  1. A husband that drives me crazy, but cares enough about me spend five hours looking at shoes on the internet and talking to gay shoe salesmen to buy me the indulgence of a lifetime for my 40th birthday. And still thinks I'm sexy enough to wear them.
  2. An oldest son that refuses to wear anything but dark jeans, black court shoes, and random dark t-shirts, spends all day brushing his shaggy hair out of his eyes, but still has the heart to say "I want to marry a girl who's beautiful and smart, like Dad did . . ." with utmost innocence and sincerity.
  3. A youngest son who leaves me scribbled notes on my bedroom door and sends me off to work each day with sayings like "I love you - ALL THE NUMBERS!"
  4. An au pair who loves my children, respects my family, and is one of the sweetest girls you'll ever meet (sorry, boys, she's off the market for good in a few months).
  5. A job that makes me work like a dog, think 'til my brain hurts, and live a client-service philosophy every minute of every work day (even when my clients bitch). But, a job. That pays. Pays well. In cash. Twice a month. Never fails. Did I mention, a job?
  6. A house. With a mortgage payments that are current. With an ARM that won't adjust for another 3 years. And equity. Even in a down economy. Because we put down a downpayment and didn't finance something we couldn't afford.
  7. Cash in the bank. Even when the stocks are going in the toilet.
  8. Food. I dropped off a turkey and some trimmings at the local food bank today. Saw the lines of people standing outside. Waiting for community services and food. Happy to have someone's extra ramen noodles at this point.
  9. An extended family whose love I can feel, no matter how distant they all are. And from this corner of the earth, they all seem pretty distant . . .
  10. Friends. Ones I can touch and see on a daily basis. Ones that I see less frequently. But who still drive across a mountain range or two to see me. And ones that I hardly see at all . . . except once or twice a year around the poker room or in a Vegas sportsbook. But who still make time to stop by and say "hi".

So tell me, my IIF's . . . what are you thankful for this year?

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Lodge at Whitefish Lake

Before my birtday, I traveled to Montana for business. While scheduling and various transportation issues kept me from making a journey to the Underground cabin, it wasn't a complete bust. After some logyard tours and such, my teammates and I snuck away for a few hours to Glacier National Park. Photos to come later.

The nice thing about working for a decent firm, whose clients are fiscally responsible, yet don't expect you to live like paupers, is that you get pretty decent accommodations. A little call to the Lodge at Whitefish Lake, drop the client's name, and we get a reasonably-priced, well-equipped little hideaway for the time we're there . . .

Even a teddy. For when I get scared and lonely, at night. (Teddy costs $29.99 and can't be expensed in my time and expense report, just FYI).

May your accommodations on the road be as good as mine . . .
Respectfully submitted,
The Wife

Ghost in the Machine

Ever take a picture and get a weird effect, without even trying?

Ghost in the machine . . .

Respectfully submitted,
The Wife

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

4-0, Part Deux . . . "That's Choo"

Not "Who?"
Not "Shoe"

Jimmy Choo.

'nuff said.
Happy Birthday, Me. (Thanks, Doc.)

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife


'nuff said.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

One Good Night of Sleep . . . Please

I shouldn't complain, really. I'm in a monster suite in The Lodge at Whitefish Lake in Montana. Two queen beds, a sitting area with a fireplace and two chairs. A work desk. Kitchenette. Bathroom big enough for an orgy. Not that I've had one it it. Yet.

With just me, and two beds, I should be in heaven. See, I get ALL the pillows to myself. I can create a little pillow cocoon . . . one pillow lover on my right, one pillow lover on my left, on pillow lover on top of me, and then the one under my head. Pull up the sheet and the duvet . . . should be a formula for divine rest.

However, a nagging cold has kept me awake coughing most nights. Well, that, and the fact that the Lodge doesn't actually have the cooling system turned on. Which means somewhere in the middle of the night, my duvet covered pillow orgy has really just turned into a heat torture chamber, and I'm flinging covers and pillows like a crazy woman. Fifteen minutes later, I cool down, and miss my down-filled boys . . . so I gather them around me again until my internal thermostat schedules our next break up.

If this is anything like what hot flashes will be like when I go through menopause, just shoot me now. Well, wait a few days. Family is taking me to a birthday dinner tomorrow, and then party on Saturday at my house. Oh, and there is Thanksgiving coming up. One of my favorite holidays. Oh, and Hannukah. Oh, and Vegas.

Ok, shoot me after the first of the year. At least I'll get to miss busy season.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Little to the Left, Please . . .

Ever been in one of those situations where you witness something on another, and you feel like you should say something, because its distracting you, and you're pretty sure its distracting other people - you're just not sure how to bring it up?

Say, broccoli pieces, or a popcorn kernel, in someone's tooth. Toilet paper stuck to the bottom of their shoe. The unzipped fly.

Today, I'm sitting in a training for work. Diligently paying attention. One of the instructors was a firm specialist. Very knowledgeable. I was taking notes like a fiend. Then he stepped out from behind the little podium.

Men's flys are sewn to the left. Check it out sometime. Which means that to the left side of the center opening, you have lots of thick layers of fabric, multiple stitchings, etc. All forming a nice little barrier. To the right of the fly? Nothing but a single layer of fabric.

What is your point Mrs. Chako?

Well, its not so much my point . . . as it was the instructor's point. See, he hung a little right. Well, a lot right.

I don't know if it was just that the Dockers were a little worn and relaxed, or that maybe his choice in undergarments wasn't as supportive as they could be. Maybe he was commando. Maybe his shirttail was all bunched up into something resembling . . . well, you get my point. Or maybe his, I guess. I'm not talking full attention here or anything. Just a little "hey, I'm here!"

Suffice it to say that every time he stepped out from behind the podium, I felt like giving him the "adjust your junk" signal. Except I don't know what that is, since I don't possess junk.

Now if only I can strip those images from my mind the next time I have to explain valuation concepts to my staff . . .

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Of Class and Coincidence

I arrived at the airport last evening, flustered and stressed from the days activities and my workload. And one more all day out of town meeting on the horizon. The stress was a build up of the past week - I had plenty of time. The security line was non-existent. I got a 15 minute chair massage. Arrived at the gate early. Theoretically, I should be cool as a cucumber by now.

"If we could see passengers Joe Blow and Mrs. Chako at the reservation desk . . . "

Not sure what it was about, I wandered up. Stood patiently with my bags, waiting for a young gentlemen who was trying to get his mother and grandmother on the flight to Guadalajara via LAX.

When he finished, the gate agent turned to me. "I assume you're Mrs. Chako?"

I smiled sweetly and nodded. He asked for my boarding pass, and began typing furiously. Ripped up my boarding pass. "Aisle or window?"

"Aisle," I said.

Printed a new boarding pass. First class. Things were definitely looking up.

* * * * *

I sat in my black pinstriped suit, looking exactly like I belonged in first class. Like I'd paid to be there, rather than just gotten a gratis MVP upgrade. Drinking my Bailey's on the rocks, alternating with the sparkling water with lemon and lime. Reading my advance preparation material for the next days meeting.

The gentleman in the seat ahead of me across the aisle didn't quite look like what you'd expect a first class passenger to look like, but I don't make judgments. This is Seattle, after all. All of our millionaires wear jeans and fleece and stocking hats and don't shave. He slept a good portion of the trip, read the in-flight magazine . . . typical traveler without an agenda. Kept his hat pulled down, a few strands of hair peeking out.

As we approached LAX, he woke up, and the cabin lights reflected on his face. Late 40's, early 50's. Lines starting to etch themselves in his cheeks, the corners of his eyes. Not unattractive, just marking the passage of time. His eyes were pale blue, reflecting in the dim light. I found myself staring, occasionally. The set of his jaw looked familiar, and I tried to place the resemblance.

By the time my brain processed, I realized I'd missed a couple opportunities to get a better look. I went to the bathroom again, but it was hard to look without staring, and he was turned away. The nagging familiarity continued, made even stronger by the general scruffiness. I could picture it clearly. Although in my head, the blue eyes were even bluer, but I'm sure it's probably just tricks of the trade.

We landed, and he stood to get his bag out of the overhead. The old man in front of me stood, as well, taking an extraordinarily long time. I had enough time to observe that he was slightly taller than me, as I expected, but the old man blocked my view and my progress.

By the time I got out of the plane and down the jetway, I was pretty certain. I walked out into the open terminal, which wasn't crowded, at this time of the night.

I spotted the hat across the way. Watched Viggo Mortensen's back leave Terminal 3 and head out into the Los Angeles night.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Sunday, November 9, 2008

I Concede . . .

Now I just have to figure out how to get him to allow me to wear something a little lower key than he might have in mind as the beer bitch . . .

Like this (no purple!).

Or this (purple - ick).

Or this (black - maybe they won't notice the logo).

Not this.

Wish me luck.

Aaron Rodgers and I are going to have to have a talk.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Friday, November 7, 2008

(Not Quite) Above Board

I met one of my colleagues from back east this year doing a quality review thing for work. He was hysterical. Short, red-headed Italian spitfire of a man with the mouth of a sailor and funny as could be. We still keep in touch periodically and are hoping we can go out together next year and bust chops together.

So today he pings me and says "I could really use a drink."

"Me too," I said. "Name your place, name your poison." Keep in mind he's back east.

"Vegas," he types, without hesitation.

"I can be there in a few hours," I said.

"Awesome! Think the hubby will mind?"

"Well . . . we can ask him when we get there - he's in Vegas right now."

(Here, he inserts a big smiley face)

"Bellagio," he suggests.

"I love the Bellagio," I said. "Just make sure when we see him you tell my husband its all above board. Or below board, I guess, if you like."

(He inserts another big smiley face)

Alas, reality set in . . .

If you see my husband in Vegas, tell him I'm home, alone.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

OK, Just a Couple More

funny pictures of cats with captions
more animals

more animals

Use Caution . . .

Son #1 loves this . . . this one actually tickled me.

funny pictures of cats with captions
more animals

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Damn the Subconscious

Is there something wrong with me if I woke up this morning from a dream that I was in bed with a naked Otis? DrChako thinks it's his new facial hair.

I still feel like I owe Mrs. Otis an apology. Even though it's not a recurring theme. At least not that I remember. Or can predict.

Wonder who shows up in my subconscious tonight?

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife