Friday, June 18, 2010

Random Thoughts

*Jay and I watched Into the Wild the other night. Man, did I hate this movie. It's about a guy who, after graduating college, finds himself disillusioned with society (and his dysfunctional parents) and decides to run off and be one with nature in Alaska. Only he didn't prepare very well and neglected to bring supplies, provisions, or even a compass. Obviously, you can guess how this ends. It's based on a true story and I don't want to speak ill of the dead, but I couldn't relate to this guy at all. I get the idea of wanting to simplify your life. And I can understand the pain caused by other people's poor decisions, but you can't dwell on it forever. You have to pick yourself up and move on. I feel like the movie kind of glorified him and his silly decisions (Oh look! He's donating his $24,ooo life savings to Oxfam. What a guy!! ) but I just thought he was a brat. Okay, maybe I didn't hate the movie as much as I thought I did, since I seem to have a lot of strong opinions about it. Have any of you seen it? Or did I just write all this out for nothing since no one knows what I'm talking about?

*Another movie I've watched lately (about a dozen times-shut up Jay!), has been My Sister's Keeper. I'll admit I originally watched it because Alec is in it for about 15 minutes, but then I watched it again and again because it makes me cry in that body shaking way that is oh so good when you're premenstrual. Now I want to read the book. I've never read any of Jodi Picoult's books before but I know Theresa loves her, and I trust her opinion.

*Did you know that it's against the law in Oregon to pump your own gas? Do you know how exciting this is to me? I've mentioned here a few times that I hate pumping gas. HATE IT. In fact, I've only done it once in my life, as a teenager. Ever since we've been married, Jay's done it for me. It used to be a bit of a hassle because if I went somewhere without him, I had to make sure there was enough gas for me to get where I needed to be. But now that I live in Oregon, I don't even have to worry about it. This is truly the state made for Tammie.

*Thursday was the last day of school here. I have a cabinet full of art supplies. I bought some new games (this one and this one). I found another park just minutes from my house. And I stocked up on sunscreen for daily trips to the pool. Hopefully, I can make it through the summer. It's a bittersweet summer for me, since it's the last one before the girl goes to kindergarten. I want it to be a good one. One where the kids and I aren't screaming at each other day in and day out.

*Along those lines, I've instituted daily reading time for the summer. Once a day the kids and I stop what we're doing and read for 30 minutes or so. The boy reads independently and I read to the girl, unless she'd rather look at books alone. Generally, I don't like to have their at-home time be so structured, but I need to be realistic. The boy will not pick up a book on his own. He needs to be forced. If I leave him to his own devices, he'll do nothing but play Call of Duty all summer. (For what it's worth, I could devote an entire blog post to the mixed feelings I have about finally giving in and letting him play these war-type games. Then I could devote another post to the conversations my son is forced to listen to while he's playing these games: Why did you have to shoot that dog? Don't kill the people in the airport! They're innocents!!) Anyway, once he's given a shove in the right direction, he will read more on his own, but it's as if he needs to be reminded that it's an option and that he kinda likes it.

*The weather here is still pretty cool. We had one day where the temperatures reached the low eighties, but ever since then its been low fifties at night and highs in the sixties during the day. Of course the natives here are getting a bit restless, anxious for some summer weather. I, though, am loving it and can't complain. Back in Gainesville it's been brutally hot. Some days the heat index has made it feel like it was 108 degrees. So yeah, no complaints here. For me, it could be way worse.


Dani said...

I've heard of that movie. But seeing as how I only hear of movies and never actually watch any, I can't say if I like it or not. But, like you, if you are a city boy and go off into the Alaskan wild with nary a compass, then you deserve to become a bear's dinner...or however he met his demise. Harsh. But I'm big on personal responsibility.

I've read a few of the Jodi Picoult books. I haven't *loved* any of them. Lots of people do...but there is usually at least a couple of things that keep me from giving it a full 5 stars.

If I need a soul-shaking cry I watch a sports movie like Rudy. I swear, I'm really a man.

You can't pump gas in Oregon?!? I don't mind pumping my gas...unless I'm running late, and then I cuss a blue streak. Usually directed towards The Mr., even though he is not present.

We are trying the daily reading's hard with The Boy. He has dyslexia therapy Tues-Thurs so anything "extra" sends him into a whine-frenzy. Both of us had a shit year, so I'm not putting a lot of expectations on either one of us. We have both been lazy, unmotivated slugs (without the slime) and The Girl is just along for the ride.

It's hot as balls here. Hence, the lack of structured activity due to hours spent in the pool.

Tammie said...

dani: if you ever come for a visit, you and jay can sit around together and watch Rudy and cry. its his favorite movie EVER. i usually stand in the background somewhere making snide, bitchy remarks. ( i totally deserve whatever assy comments i get from him about My Sisters Keeper.)

re: Into the Wild- the bear wouldnt even eat him because he was so thin. he starved to death. but yeah, my thoughts are much the same as yours.

nevertravelled said...

Ha! This made me laugh. I didn't see that movie, but there's a reason I didn't see it. Dumbass.

Both Terri and my best friend Erin love Jodi Picoult. So, two more votes. I've never read anything of hers but I bet I would like them at least a little.

When I moved to California I had no idea how to pump gas, since I'd never done it. Now I don't mind it at all, but it's awfully nice to just sit in your car and have someone else do it. And wash your windshield, too.

All my Oregon friends and relations are amazed at how long the rain and chill is lasting. We're having it too. It's getting sunnier and warmer, but it's nothing like usual. Which is just fine by me.

Can't wait to see you!

~ The Jolly Bee ~ said...

We watched "My Sister's Keeper" over break. Per my daughter, the book ends differently. Either way, it's a tear-jerker.

Good for you enforcing that 30 minute reading rule. I've been such a lame mother of late, I literally have to pry the ipod out of my 12-year old's fingers at bedtime. He has no interest in reading and I'm not really sure what to do about it. We're reading a book together now, but he actually fell asleep while I was reading (this is someone who gave up naps about 10 years ago). I think we need some new rules around here.

And lucky, lucky you. I need someone to pump gas for me. It is such a hated job.

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

Hey Tammie I saw that movie as well. I hated it. My hubby said he understood the kids need to get away. Yea I get that too but he was stupid! I won't go on....we feel the same on that.

I have my sisters keeper on my DVR and just haven't watched it yet. I know I will need a box of kleenex.
I love the little girl that is in the movie.(abagail?)

I didn't know there was any state other than NJ where you couldn't pump your own gas....and I have lived in neither. I too hate to pump gas.

I love your "structured" reading idea. Can you do that to me so I could get more reading in my life?

And don't get me started on the opressive heat and humidity. I have been trying not to whine since winter was so dreadful but honestly it's that ole 94 degrees and high humidity like you just left only I don't live in Florida!
I'd trade you in a heart beat. I will be curious though after 2 yrs if you will be restless like the natives. It took me 2 yrs before the weather began to make me restless when in the PNW. I was so thrilled with the cooler climate before that.

Theresa said...

I haven't seen Into the Wild. Not sure I've ever even heard of it, but it doesn't sound all that interesting to me. I'm just not a fan of those kind of "stranded and survivor" movies. I couldn't even get through Cast Away.

The book, My Sister's Keeper, was the first Jodi Picoult I ever read and the BOOK made me cry and sob all the way through. It was like Anne of Green Gables all over again. So I didn't watch the movie. I just haven't been in the crying/sobbing mood lately. I will say that I hear that the book and the movie end differently.

I hate pumping gas. I actually ran out of gas in the driveway once because I will push the contents of my gas tank to the ultimate limit before pumping gas, and even then I usually try to wait until I can make the hubs do it.

So jealous of your weather too. It's already 90 here and it's only 10 am. ugh

Tammie said...

daphne: thats how it is here too. its slowly getting warmer, but its still gorgeous. i dont know if ive had to sweat once since moving here.

jodi: i think our 12 year olds are very similar. my son has no interest in books even though ive been reading to him his whole life and everyone else in the family loves books. he'd just rather be connected and plugged in to something. its so frustrating.

peggy: yep, abigail breslin is in the movie and shes awesome. actually, all the kids in the movie are pretty good. (you know how a lot of times the kids in a movie totally suck and have no skills and its as if they're reading off cue cards the entire time? its not the case here.)

Theresa: yeah, im not a fan of survivor-type movies either but i thought id be more into it because of the political undertones.(its directed by sean penn) but i just didnt enjoy it at all.

ok, now i MUST read the book.

Sarah Parsons said...

I hated that movie. I thought he was stupid and, well, extra stupid. If I remember correctly, he ate something he shouldn't have, which poisoned him, causing him to no longer be able to digest food, thus starving him to death. Honestly, I'm glad he eliminated his genes from our pool. Glad we feel the same.

I am jealous of your weather. It has been so so SO hot and humid and just unbearable the past few weeks. Maybe longer, I don't know. I'm losing track of time. The other morning, I tried to do all my chores early, and when I finished at 8:30 IN THE MORNING, I was drenched in sweat. That's just unreasonable.

About pumping gas, I'm indifferent, I guess. I mean, I'm not saying I'd MIND if there were a law stating someone else had to do it, just that I'm indifferent.

Lia said...

I had no interest in seeing that movie. I also don't want to see my Sister's Keeper. I love some Jodi Picoult books, mostly Plain Truth, but I have read a couple that were ehh or ugh. I don't want to read or see My Sister's Keeper, though, because I think I wouldn't even think twice about having another baby if meant possibly saving one of mine.

Carla said...

A funny thing about pumping gas in Oregon - we spent a week touring the state about three years ago and didn't realize that pumping your own gas was against the law until just before we left the state! We just thought the service was extra good!

hester said...

I had mixed feelings about the guy from Into the Wild. I read the book first and was sort of haunted by it. I googled him and saw the real photos he took of himself before he died. Pretty sad! The part that broke my heart was that he didn't even contact his sister to let her know whether he was alive or dead. I think maybe he had some mental health issues and wasn't quite in touch with reality. I watched the movie as well and found it very long, but interesting. I agree that what he did was stupid but I sort of admired him for kicking against the world's values.

I love your idea of doing some reading every day. We only seem to get around to it at bedtime and then sometimes the pleasure of it gets a bit lost amongst the bedtime shenanigans. I might try it.

I hate putting petrol in our car too (mostly because of the fumes) but it's very rare in Australia for them to do it for you. The guy just sits behind his cash register inside and waits for the money!

Tammie said...

heather: im glad you commented since you've actually read the book too. from what i understand, the book doesnt quite make him out to be the hero that the movie does. isnt it a bit more of a realistic portrayal of the events. ive read some reviews and i think it delves more deeply into the pain that he caused his family, especially his sister. i would like to have seen more of that in the movie.

i think he definitely had some mental health issues as well. i just dont think the choices he made were those of an entirely sane individual. again, i wish the movie had at least touched on that idea, instead of selling him as this totally normal guy who just wants to break free from it all.

also, after i read your comment i googled the pictures as well and it is heartbreaking how thin he was. when i think of the pain he caused his loved ones, especially his parents, it almost makes me ill.

Dysfunctional Mom said...

I loved Into the Wild, the book and movie.
I think the book "My Sister's Keeper" is much better than the movie.

kraftykash said...

Ahhh...Summer! The kids and I have been playing the monolopy card card ALOT. Its, fun, fast, and easy. Let me know what you think of the blink game. Your weather sounds great! Its been raining here for a few days....non stop. This is not normal, we will soon be blasted by deathly heat and humidity. I can feel it. :)
No gas pumping law?!?!?! That ROCKS!

Jessie said...

I think that Into the Wild was more than a mere chronicle of a college grad's dissent and adventure. I completely understand and align with his view of the world and I found his journey liberating and passionately REAL, something our society very much lacks. It matters not that he hated his parent's relationship (a metaphor for society and loveless interactions; shells of human life) nor that the story ends with his careless demise. I believe that he had incredible courage to let go of the societal bids he so desperately hated and experience life as he dreamed. This was the glorification. Who of us can really say we've been so daring and equally brave? Perhaps some, but certainly not I.

Tammie said...

jessie: what you got out of the movie was what i wanted to get out of the movie but ultimately didnt.

i thought that's how i'd feel about Mcandless, but there was just something about him that i couldnt relate to. there is a scene in the movie where he says something about not needing any money and then he burns his last few hundred dollars. (i havent read the book, so i have no way of knowing if he did that in real life) but anyway, that scene really pissed me off and i feel as if only someone who has never really had money problems would do something so arrogant.

i myself have always struggled with money. there have been times ive had it, and times i havent had enough, but i almost always want more. i hate that about myself. but at the same time, i feel like i have a respect for money. i know its what keeps my family fed. its what pays the electric bill. i cant imagine life without it.

i dont know. maybe my problem is less with christopher mccandless and more with sean penn. (whom i normally love love love, by the way.) i felt like a lot of parts of this movie were kind of self serving, nauseatingly pretentious, and completely disconnected from the average persons reality.