… the 4.0 magnitude one that hit at 3:04 today around Youngstown. I was upstairs and felt everything shaking — the walls, the stuff on the walls, the furniture. My daughter, sitting in the living room, called up, “Is this an earthquake?” It seemed to go on for a really long time. The funny thing is, my husband was with my son and other daughter in the girls’ bedroom downstairs and they didn’t feel a thing. Hmm. Better make sure our homeowner’s insurance policy covers earthquakes if people keep messing with Mother Nature like they are.
Archive for December, 2011
Also from Lisa Shah, at Fairlawn Parks, came this great idea: you use old greeting cards to make boxes to put gift cards in. An easy, fun, cute, “green” way to present gift cards. http://familyfun.go.com/crafts/gift-card-envelopes-673534/ One note: enlarge the pattern 110%.
This is very cute, and “green”, but can be tricky! Go here for instructions and video: http://familyfun.go.com/crafts/carton-wallet-675068/ I’m going to keep mine in my car for loose change for meters. Thanks to Lisa Shah, naturalist for Fairlawn Parks, for sharing this with me.
I’ve been to Indy twice in the last 10 years — once in the summer and once in the winter. Both times I’ve been so impressed by how the canal “makes” the downtown. I don’t know the history of how or when this happened, all I know is that the canal area incorporates water fun (paddle boats, kayaks and gondolas), art (murals and statues), residences (apartments looking over the canal), museums, outdoor entertainment and more. I SO wish Akron could do something like this.
I read in yesterday’s Beacon that a new aquarium is opening in Cleveland’s Powerhouse next month. Zoos, I like. Aquariums, not so much. Especially when they cost $22 for adults and $16 for kids 2-12, like Cleveland’s will. My husband and I have been to well-respected aquariums in Newport, Ky., New Orleans, Boston and Baltimore. I think. The reason “I think” is that at one point we stopped going to aquariums because they were so pricey and all seemed relatively the same. I do know we skipped Chicago’s and Atlanta’s, and didn’t take the kids to the ones in New Orleans and Boston when we returned to those cities with them. I mean, the first time you walk through a shark tunnel or pet a sting ray, it’s cool. But after that, it’s the same old, same old. Even the jellyfish exhibit at the Akron Zoo for four years and its upcoming switch to coastal reefs is too small to have anything “different”. Now, if I want to go to an aquarium, I’ll go to the one in the Pittsburgh Zoo. It’s free with our annual $68 membership to the Akron Zoo. I mean, I hope the one in Cleveland is very successful. I just won’t be going there.
If you haven’t noticed by now, I’ve been in a big foreign film phase lately. One I highly highly recommend is “Departures”, a Japanese film which won an Oscar for Best Foreign Film in 2009. It’s about an unemployed cellist who accidentally takes a job as a “casketer” — someone who prepares a body for burial or cremation. The movie starts out kind of funny as you totally relate to this guy who’s really freaked out about touching dead bodies. But, like the protagonist, you begin to view his job as very special, almost spiritual. The movie turns from kind of funny to very touching and moving — but not depressing. I teared up in at least five places, but it wasn’t a bad thing. This movie is so good in so many ways. I mean, really really good. I can totally see why it won an Oscar.
Starbucks has been testing beer and wine sales at some of its Northwest US stores for the last couple years, and next the concept moves to Chicago. (The company says it wouldn’t sell alcohol in all its stores, though, just ones that “fit”.) I also read that Columbus-based White Castle is considering selling beer and wine in its burger joints along with alternative restaurant concepts, like barbeque and Asian food. (White Castle is currently testing the ideas in one store in Indiana.) I was also reminded that some Pizza Huts serve alcohol when I saw a sign outside the Pizza Hut on East Market Street that advertised “happy hour specials”. Chuck E. Cheese serves beer too. I’m curious where this will all lead — can you imagine buying beer at McDonald’s?
I’m going to go ballistic at the next family gathering when people text when we’re all sitting around opening Christmas gifts or eating dinner. Good God, people, give it a rest for a few minutes.
Mastermind is a game of logic and deduction for those eight and older. I had bought the travel version in the summer of 1999 before my husband and I traveled to Italy for nine days. We played it SO much in airports, airplanes, etc. that we could not bear to play the game again until two weeks ago — 12-1/2 years later!! I was happy (and relieved!) to find that I was still able to break the codes when I played. I brought the game when we celebrated Christmas with my in-laws and it was very interesting to watch the others play — kids, teens and adults. It’s not easy to break a code — it requires a certain way of thinking that neither my often-cocky 18-year-old nephew nor my always-cocky 47-year-old sister-in-law could master. Embarrassed they couldn’t break the code, they both refused to try a second time. (I have to admit I did get some satisfaction from that.) It’s kind of stressful to try to break the code, especially with a bunch of other people watching, but it was fun to see the looks of satisfaction people got on their faces when they did. One of my 16-year-old nieces actually liked the game so much she asked her mom to buy her one for their house. And although it was refreshing to see teenagers play a game that was not electronic, not one of them could play without texting after every move. Argh!
This is a foreign film (French) but it’s a lively romantic comedy that could have easily been made in Hollywood and star Matthew McCanoghay and Katherine Heigl. Instead, the lead actress is Vanessa Paradis, Johnny Depp’s “baby mama” (the first time I’ve ever seen her in a film). The basic plot is that a guy who’s hired to break up women in unhappy relationships ends up falling for one of his “clients”. The actions of the “heartbreaker” and his team were often outrageous and made me cringe but it was all in good fun. An added bonus is the gorgeous scenery of Monaco. I give it a thumbs-up, as does my husband.