Cat-astrophe!!

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So most of us wake up to a blissful Sunday morning with a big breakfast or donuts before church. Wellllll, the Mister and I were awakened by our cat Maximillian wandering around in the rafters of the roof. A closet door was left open, and curious kitties will explore.

What’s the big deal about a closet door being left open? Well in our quaint New England home, all three closets lead to crawl spaces used for storage. We found bags full of MBTA transit worker uniforms when we first moved in. But anyway, Maximillian first roamed the crawl space. Pictured below is the crawl space where we first took turns watching for signs of Max.

Tight spot!

Tight spot!

Squatting here and trying to avoid damaging any tubes or insulation, we discovered how our kitty managed to get into the roof area.

Mua ha haaaa.

Mua ha haaaa.

Yep, a horrid, creepy shaft running inside the roof’s slant. So, I was already very frightened that Maximillian would be injured by nails or something else. But by now, my runaway imagination conjures ninja rats, rabid raccoons, freaky little fairies that eat teeth. Or worse: a spider.

Maximillian is finally lured down one of these shafts with some soft food. No nail punctures or evidence of being attacked by a horde of rats. But he was quite traumatized I think. At least for a few minutes. He tried to get into my closet a bit later. Sigh.

World War Z

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Zombie fans united this weekend at movie theatres to witness a depiction of the entire world at war with the undead. Based on Max Brooks brutally intriguing novel of the same title, “World War Z” is not your typical zombie film. 

If you want missing body parts, blood spatters and intestines hanging out, watch AMC’s The Walking Dead, or any of the newer George Romero movies. For the WWZ movie is mostly void of the gruesomely detailed walking corpses or attacks as Brooks so masterfully writes in the novel.  

But the film is packed with soldiers calling the zombies “Zekes,” shooting at them, and putting their lives on the line to save their country men.  Bombs, including nuclear, fall. People panic and scream and fall prey to the infected and entire cities are lost as millions (possibly billions) of people turn.  And these bad boys and girls don’t stumble around stupidly and aimlessly.  These zombie biznaches run, climb stairs, leap, and even parkour throughout streets, building tops, and over obstacles. They pile on top of each other like ants, scaling buildings and walls. And these zombies are intelligent. 

Viewers who have read the book will also find Patient Zero, a kick-ass female soldier, and most importantly, the horrid, radical, and seemingly irrational decisions that salvage human kind. Well, most of human kind anyway. And this last idea is what I believe is the premise of the novel. 

If you are interested in seeing the movie, but have not read the book, don’t read it yet.  Just go enjoy the film. Then pick up Max Brooks’ World War Z at your local library or book store.  If you have read the novel and haven’t seen the film, be prepared that the film creators basically put Brooks’ idea on the big screen. Don’t compare it to the book. 

And good luck surviving this version of  the Zombie Apocalypse.

Flying Monkeys are Still Freaky….

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My mother said I was four years old when I settled on the floor in front of our television to watch The Wizard of Oz for the first time.  She said I made it through the tornado ripping up the house and landing on the witch.  I made it through Dorothy getting swarmed by munchkins.  Yet when giant monkeys soared in, Mama said I propelled off the floor in a hissy and cowered in her lap.  

And this weekend, thirty-plus years later, I sat in a theatre, again wowed by the land of Oz. Sam Raimi and teams of special effects artists delighted us with Oz, The Great and Powerfulcomplete with Munchkins, Tinkers, witches, and yes, flying monkeys.  Though not seen at first, they howl and screech through the wind and cast menacing shadows on the land below.  Once they make their appearance in hordes, they hiss and bare baboon fangs, and attack with clawed hands and feet.  And now they are in 3-D.  I squashed back against the theatre seat and wast tempted to duck.  

Though obviously computer generated, Oz, the Great and Powerful is a beautiful movie.  The costumes are quite imaginative. The characters are wonderfully executed, as James Franco is charming and marvelous.  Rachel Weiss is wickedly lovely.  And Mila Kunis is surprisingly brilliant.  Oz is well worth the price of the ticket and a trip to a good theatre to view it.  

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My 2011 Movie Review…..

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 I love watching movies.  Since the ingenious invention of the Red Box and soaring prices of theatre tickets, I mostly watch them at home on DVD.  And as I look forward to another year of sequels, film re-makes, and The Hobbit, I reflect on 2011 ‘s films.  Granted, I have not seen all these movies, but I’ve noticed some trends.  My conclusion is that perhaps MTV, People’s Choice, etc should consider adding a few categories to the movie awards:

Best Sequel/Prequel/Next in Series Film:
Fast and Furious Five     VS     Harry Potter and     VS     Paranormal
                                                         Deathly Hallows II              Activity III

VS     Rise of the Planet     VS     Transformers          VS     Sherlock Holmes
                of the Apes                    Dark of the Moon               Game of Shadows

VS     X- Men First Class     VS   Holy Crap, I think I can keep going….. 

Best Depiction of an Alien Invasion:
Attack the Block      VS     Cowboys and Aliens      VS     Super 8

VS     The Darkest Hour

I Kicked a Lot of Butt: 
Zoe Saldana          VS     Saoirse Ronan     VS     Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner
in Columbiana                  in Hanna                     and Paula Patton in 
                                                                                  Mission Impossible, Ghost
                                                                                   Protocol

VS     Jay Choa (as Kato)
           in Green Hornet                         

I Made You Laugh Your Butt Off: 
The Cast of           VS          The Cast of           VS      The Cast of
Bad Teacher                       Bridesmaids                         Paul

VS     Jesse Esienburg and Aziz Ansari in 
         30 Minutes or Less 

 Best Superhero Movie: 
Captain America      VS      Green Lantern     VS      Thor

Great Trip Down Memory Lane
Conan the Barbarian     VS     Fright Night     VS     The Muppets     VS     The Smurfs

Did We Really Need ( or want ) This Movie? 
Cars II          VS          Pirates of the Caribbean:
                                  On Stranger Tides

Dear God!  Please Make it Stop!!!!
Alvin and the Chipmunks:     VS     The Twilight Saga:      VS      Happy Feet Two
Chipwrecked                                      Breaking Dawn                    

 Total Waste of Film:
Your Highness

My Beloved Christmas Traditions

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Whether I spend Christmas back home in Louisiana, in my house in Massachusetts, or with in-laws in New Hampshire, like many people I have found holiday traditions that make this time of year memorable. 

Ham for Christmas Dinner. If it’s just the Mister, me, and the Kiddo, we bake ham sprinkled with brown sugar.  After a Thanksgiving turkey and turkey sandwich lunches, I’ve enough tryptophan.

Opening one gift on Christmas Eve. With up to eight estatic grandchildren in the home, my parents overlooked delayed gratification and allowed everyone to open one gift on the night before Christmas.  It eased antsy hands wanting to grope for presents and made room for all the “Santa” gifts under the tree. 

Holiday Trail of Lights.  Load up a couple of cars!  The Shreveport/Bossier Holiday Trail of Lights includes the Pierre Bossier Mall, civic center, and the Christmas Tour of Homes. 

The Cajun Night Before Christmas.  Whether I’m reading it aloud to Northern relatives or just to myself, every year I read Trosclair’s Cajun Night Before Christmas.  Although I was not born Cajun myself, I still enjoy this book just as many other Louisianians do.  You see, Saint Nick is not stupid.  He knows that hoofed reindeer and a sleigh won’t cut it in the swamps and bayous of the south.  He rides a skiff drawn by eight flying alligators.. Gaston, Tiboy, Pierre, Alcee, Ninette, Suzette, Celeste, and Renee.  The Cajun Saint Nick and his reptiles are also featured as lights and lawn decorations in the Holiday Trail of Lights.

The Pageant or Christmas Eve Service.  Though I have not belonged to a church in years, I have fond memories of nativity plays.  Boys wore their Dads’ robes when acting as the Orient Kings.  A choir dressed like angels provided the season’s music.  And I eventually did get over the fact that my adorable, olive-skinned and dark headed baby was not chosen to be Baby Jesus. 

A Christmas Story.  I watch the TBS presentation of my favorite holiday movie every year, except I did miss it last year.  Am a bit worried this year, for I will be traveling on Christmas Eve.  May have to inform the family to reserve a television for me on the big Day. 

The Polar Express.  In recent years, we’ve snuggled up with blankets to watch this incredibly touching movie so wonderfully brought to life from the book.  I love the songs and how colorful the characters are. 

The trip to the movie theatre.  Twenty years ago this Christmas, I took my sister-in-law and two little nieces to see Disney’s Beauty and the Beast at the movie theatre where I was employed.  Being their first movie going experience, they were someone nervous and didn’t quiet know what was going on.  Well, next year, they jumped up and down at the concession stand while waiting for Aladdin.  So now every Christmas we are together, we pick a family movie to see.  It’s one of the gifts.  My husband, son, and I carry on this tradition on when not visiting family.  Following movies include Aladdin, The Santa Clause, Rocky and Bullwinkle, and Avatar.  This year’s movie?  Either Hugo or Tin Tin.