Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tragically Sad (and Damaging) Childhood Movies

One of my favorite places in town is a little establishment known as “Hastings.” It’s a chain store, but not everywhere has a Hastings (say it isn’t so!), so I will just inform you that this magical land is a store that sells new and used books, CDs, and DVDs. And video games, I guess, but whatever. (I also hear they throw a mean prom-style “Twilight” release party, but sadly I was not able to witness this first hand.) Anyway, I credit a large chunk of my DVD collection to the used DVD deals I’ve found at Hastings (buy one used DVD and get another for $1! DUDE!). I go there way. Too. Much.

So I was at Hastings recently, and was wandering the aisles, absentmindedly half listening to the buzz of the local geniuses* that also frequent the store, and half listening to the movie playing in the background. I didn’t know what movie it was, but the voices were making me feel so sad. Finally my head swiveled from the special edition copy of “Sixteen Candles” that I was considering buying (didn’t happen, in case you were wondering) up to the rows of video screens on the wall. There it was, the root of the sadness: “All Dogs Go to Heaven.” Guys, I barely remember this movie, but just the sound of the voices alone was stirring memories and emotions in me and I was suddenly feeling so depressed. The little dogs! And the bad guys! And the little orphan girl! I ended up leaving the store empty-handed, feeling like I needed to just head home and have a good cry. I didn’t do that, but still—isn’t that crazy? That emotions from nearly 20 years ago can be stirred like that? I’m amazed at what our subconscious can hold on to.

Anyway, that got me thinking about some other sad childhood movies, so to follow-up on my post of scary childhood movies, I now present you with Tragically Sad (and Damaging) Childhood Movies.

All Dogs Go to Heaven

As long as we’re already talking about it, here’s the trailer for “All Dogs Go to Heaven.”

But dude, don’t let it fool you, this movie is not filled with just “magic, mischief, and music.” My gosh you guys, this little girl absolutely breaks my heart! Even her voice makes my bottom lip wobble. The whole movie is on YouTube if you want to check it out, but I honestly don’t think I could ever watch this movie again.

The Rescuers

Y'all. Another little orphan girl:

She wants to be ‘dopted! How adorable is that? And they are just so horrible to her! It's awful. The worst part? That lady TOOK PENNY'S TEDDY BEAR! A thought that surely terrified me as a child. And THEN she had to go down in that hole just like Baby Jessica? Oh the trauma.

An American Tail

Surely you knew this movie would be included. As soon as you saw the title of this post, you thought to yourself, “Oh, well of course Fievel will be included.” And if you didn’t think that, may I please just direct you to the following clip?

I watched this song the other night and I hadn’t gotten past the words “pale moon light” before I burst into tears. By the end of the song I was absolutely sobbing. What is it about this song? My gosh. Really though, I remember the entire movie as being sad. He spent the whole time separated from his family?? Scared the ever-loving everything out of me, and thinking back on this movie just leaves me with a heavy heart. Terrible. Another movie I could never watch again.

This list could be longer, but I decided to refrain from including movies that have just one sad part but otherwise remember fondly, like “The Land Before Time” (His mother died! And the little TREE STAR!) or “Lady and the Tramp” (When Trusty gets run over! GAH!). Not to MENTION all the sad songs. But those movies don't completely depress me like the three mentioned above. Now if you'll excuse me, I think I need to go curl up under my comforter now. With my teddy bear.

*True story, one time I overheard the following conversation at Hastings:

Joe Bob: (picking up a movie) What about this one?
Betty Raye: Oh, eck, no, I never got into those Lord of the Rings movies.
Joe Bob: (picking up another movie) Did you ever see this one?
Betty Raye: Oh, yeah! Now that's a good movie.

And what is this mystery movie that is SO much better than The Lord of the Rings?

Cruel. Intentions.

End scene.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Water filter application

I pulled into the Target parking lot with every intention of purchasing this:

Instead I was distracted by the shiny Mac Store and came out 2 hours later having purchased this:

I still need a new water filter. But hey, it's a Mac, there's bound to be a water filter application at some point, right?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

They Call Her Valerie

When I read Ginger’s post about her name, I thought, “Oh, that’s nice. Her name is so entertaining. But I don’t have any thing really to say on the topic. No one wants to read about the name Valerie. BORING.” Well guess what, blog readers. You don’t have a choice in the matter! I write it, you read it; that’s the deal we made. Ha!

I love the shortened “Val,” because most all of the people closest to me call me that. I don’t introduce myself as Val, because it sounds weird and fake and...you obviously don’t know me well enough to call me that. I’m okay with you calling me Val when you get there on your own.

Several people call me V, which probably seems weird and not like a name or nickname or anything AT ALL, but sounds very natural when certain people do it. V-Baby, however, can only be pulled off by a very select few....

People in my parents' generation like to sing me a random song that NO ONE ELSE has EVER heard of. It goes "Valereeee, Valeraaaah, Valerah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!" Or something like that. A lot a lot of older people sing me that song. Good one.

If someone can’t quite remember my name, they will usually at least remember that it starts with a V. Victoria? Not quite. Vanessa? Eck. Do I look like a Cosby to you? And I used to really hate the Veronica guess too, but now I’m very okay with that. Anything that gets me one step closer to V. Mars....

I have never ever never seen my name spelled with a “Y.” Ever. Why do people attempt to spell my name this way? Valery? What? VALLERY?? Even weirder. Did you even try at all? You just spelled “valley” and threw an R in there, didn’t you? Fail.

“Your song’s on the radio!” Dad would tell me. And sure enough, those guys would all be singing “Valerie! I love her....” I would get all squirrely and embarrassed but totally love it all at the same time. Indeed, it has always been “My Song.”

When I was little, I always felt very limited when it came to games involving what words started with the same letter as the first letter in your name. “I’m going on a picnic and I’m bringing... a vest? Vultures? A violin?” So not creative/fun/glamorous.

The name Valerie means “determined.” For me that apparently translates to: “Determined to not doing ANYTHING until the dang LAST POSSIBLE SECOND because why not? Determined to LOSE things and BREAK things and WHAT THE CRAP? Determined to ALWAYS FORGET EVERYTHING because what was I talking about?” Yes, I am very determined.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Does anyone else...

-Actually keep the small plastic bag of extra buttons that come with new clothes? (other than my mother)

-Worry about the waitress when you have a large group of people at your table? Is anyone else paying attention to her?! Pay attention people!

-Utilize cruise control a majority of the time you are driving?

-Drink milk straight from the container?

-Drink chocolate syrup straight from the bottle?

-Remember watching Hang Time on Saturday mornings? AWESOME.

-Find cottage cheese to be disgusting? I call it bird food because it looks like a mama bird chewed it up and then spit it back out on my plate.

-Know that there are only 122 days until the movie event of the summer?

-Find reading non-fiction to be a chore?
-Wish that you too could have had an animated conscience like McGee as a child?

-Dream about meeting Jim Gaffigan?

-Only wash on two settings? Colors on cold, lights on warm. I don't have time to make 12 piles.

-Groan when King of Queens comes on?

-Find existential Facebook status updates to be ridiculous? Ginger is basking in the sun of thoughts and the dreams of clouds. OR Ginger is tap shoes and rhythm.
-Wish they could still catch WINGS reruns on t.v.?

-Recall wishing to live like The Boxcar children? I read the section about swimming in the little pool and setting up house in the car over and over. Things went downhill for me when they actually moved into a real house.

-Wish that they still had their curly elastic shoe laces?

-Cry so hard through Extreme Home Makeover that sometimes they don't think they actually have the emotional energy to watch it?

-Think of the state of Texas as if it's your best friend?

-Wonder why Claudia Kishi was supposedly so fashionable when her choices were clearly unstable?

-Remember reading and loving and being obsessed with A Bride for Donnigan or The Stars for A Light - Dr. Cheney Duvall, M.D.?

-Have all the dialoge and songs memorized from at least six Psalty tapes?
-Recall spending their Saturday nights expectantly watching Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman?

....Just thought I would check.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A Tour of Random

I love my Office calendar.

But I need kind of need a new one….

Ginger likes to write on pictures with Sharpies and send them to me. This one involves yet another inside joke that no one else will ever find funny.

This is what the inside of my fridge looks like as of 10:30 PM this evening. I only took one thing out before taking this picture, but I'll never tell what....

It's been pointed out to me recently that I have quite a compulsion when it comes to buying (and hoarding) boxes of cereal. But that's not the half of it....

Hey, at least they're all different kinds! I like variety. (Until I get tired of it.)

This is the cheap little DVD player I bought at Walmart for practically nothing. Consequently, I've found it's a noisy little bugger. However, I've discovered that if I push on the DVD player just a little bit and give it some pressure, the buzzing instantly quiets down. The solution? A precarious stack of books now keep the whirring to a minimum so I can just be lulled to sleep with nothing but the sound of Stars Hollow. Thanks, giant stack of books!

I went to Houston this weekend. Show of hands as to who's surprised to find I still haven't unpacked? Yeah, that's what I thought.

Oh, check THIS mess out! I got a friendly little letter from my cable company about an upgrade to my DVR. 'Great!' I thought. 'Who doesn't love a free upgrade?' Well ME, actually, upon reading that lovely bolded sentence in the middle of the page. What. The. Crap. I'm about to lose all my recordings AND I only have until March 25th to watch them or "back them up?" No ma'am. Not okay.

And finally....

My most recent DVD purchase! Heck to the yes, my friend.

Heck to the yes.

Sunday, March 8, 2009


The lesson this weekend came straight out of Joshua chapter two. I was teaching through the story of Rahab hiding the spies in Jericho to my third through fifth graders. The main lesson point: Take a risk in His name. The verse: "God is no mere human. He does not tell lies or change his mind." Numbers 23:19. The kids were tracking with me during all three of the services, or at least they seemed to be. At the end of the lesson we proceeded into our weekly trivia challenge. The questions are easy enough if you've been listening to the lesson... IF being the operative word. Holy moly 11:00am service... what in the world?

Me: What was the name of the woman who hid the spies.
5th grade girl: Umm...huh....uhh...
Me: I know you know this. Is it on the tip of your tongue?
5th grade girl: Yes.
Me: What letter does her name start with?
5th grade girl: A c....
Me: Let's go over to the fourth grade.
Child who is madly waving their hand: Erica!
Me: Umm. Not really close. I'll give you a hint. It starts with an R.
4th grade boy: ...Rerica!!
Me: Oh gosh. Third grade?
3rd grade boy: Ray.
Me: Halfway there. Where were you guys this morning? I've failed you.
5th grade boy bursting at the seams: RAYA!!
Me: Nope.
4th grade girl: Rahub.
Me: Close enough. Everyone say RAHAB. Now everyone say RAHAB! One more time...

I had hoped this might have been the only problematic question of the morning, but perhaps I was aiming to high.

Me: What was the name of the city that the spies were sent to check out especially? The one that RAHAB lived in?
3rd grade girl: Jerusalem!
Me: Good guess and correct first letter!
5th grade boy: Ginger?
Me: Are you guessing the name of the city?
5th grade boy: Yes.
Me: And Ginger is the name of the city?
5th grade boy: I think so.
Me: Ginger is my name. Rahab was the woman in the story, and NOT Erica, remember everyone?!!
5th grade boy: Oh. How about Jericha?
Me: What about 4th grade?
4th grade: JERICHO!!
Me: Thank you!! Now everyone say JERICHO...and again... now say RAHAB LIVED IN JERICHO!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Movie Club

Stephen was the one who came up with the idea. A movie club, so a group of us could broaden our film horizons, discuss different movies, and maybe even have some fun thrown in there as well. Thus the inception of The Great Society of Movie Watchers.

Every Sunday Jesse, Kyle, Stephen, and myself gather to watch a movie. In the fall it was Hitchcock, ranging from "Vertigo" and "Dial M for Murder" to "Psycho." We watched, we rated, we discussed. And we got burned out on Hitchcock.

So this January we began attacking the IMDb Top 250 movies. This list has movies like "His Girl Friday" and "City Lights," not to mention more modern films such as "Sin City" and "The Dark Knight." It's a broad list!

It's been interesting to see the movies different club members have picked, and what everyone's reactions to those movies have been. I was personally not a fan of "Blade Runner," but I was in the minority on that one. I selected "Duck Soup" a few weeks ago and the reception was...slightly lukewarm. "Harvey," however, was a rousing success.

I'm so glad to have a weekly outlet to discuss movies now. And not only discuss films in general, but to also pick apart what we've just watched, debating over the camera work (some more than others), character motivations, other movies we've seen some of these actors in, and so on.

It's also been a great way to get to know everyone in the club more, and see different quirks come out. Jesse is so eager to watch any movie, he is excited about everything and up for anything. Even if he didn't like a particular film, he will still discuss it with a smile and keep an upbeat attitude about the next movie. Kyle is a warrior for sticking with the club despite our tendency to select movies that he doesn't particularly care much for. I began to think something was wrong, until he didn't even end up liking one of the movies that he picked. Kyle is very...selective. And Stephen.... Well, poor Stephen just has a knack for picking the movies that are, shall we say, slightly uncomfortable to watch in mixed company. It just makes the situation all the more humorous, and now I am just able to laugh through any awkward parts, because it's just inevitable with his picks. Stephen is the glue holding the group together, not only hosting the club at his house (where the giant TV lives), but keeping track of time changes, putting together our movie list, and whatever else it takes to make our Great Society of Movie Watchers happen every week.

And now-- a new feature of movie club! We've begun a blog where you can keep track of the movies we're watching and what everyone thought of each week's film. Click here to check it out! Hopefully this means weekly updates, so stick with us on the blog, and feel free to make any and all movie suggestions! I mean, we are slight fans of movies....