Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Movie Review: Love Story

The pretentiously-named Love Story was the highest grossing film of 1970. It garnered seven Oscar nominations and five Golden Globe nominations. It lost the Best Picture Oscar to Patton, but won the Best Drama Golden Globe.[1] It is listed as the ninth best romantic film by the American Film Institute in their 100 Years…100 Passions list.[2] It is probably best known for the last line of the film, "Love means never having to say you're sorry", which also earned a spot in an AFI list.[3] The lead actor in Love Story, Ryan O'Neal (who later appears in Bones [4] as Temperance Brennan's father) later starred in the screwball comedy, What's Up Doc?, where he mocks that same line.

Movie Review: Family Plot

Family Plot was Alfred Hitchcock's last film.[1] When I prepared to watch it, I assumed that the title referred to a conspiracy involving a family. But in reality the title has two meanings—a conspiracy against a family and a plot in a cemetery owned by another family. The conspiracy involves a fake psychic, Blanche, and her boyfriend, George. But, in what I thought was an interesting take, Blanche isn't bilking her mark, an old woman looking for her lost nephew. Blanche actually locates the lost nephew, Arthur, instead of providing a convincing actor. Arthur, as it turns out, also leads a life of crime. He kidnaps important people and demands ransoms in the form of expensive jewels.[2]

Movie Review: xXx: State of the Union

Based on my experience with the first xXx movie (which, thanks to its title is difficult to research on the internet [1]), I went into this one with low expectations. Vin Diesel, who generally isn't known for his ethos as an actor, plays a thrill-seeking criminal who is recruited by the NSA. That's the MacGuffin. In reality the movie is just an excuse for Vin Diesel to pretend he's awesome. In the sequel Vin Diesel is replaced (because he's not extreme enough) by Ice Cube. Consequently, this movie was little more than a 2-hour-long rap music video.

Saturday, February 16, 2013


We've taken Lilli sledding twice now. The first time was before we left Utah. We met up with some of my buddies from high school to say goodbye before our move [1], and went to John Adams Park in Brigham City. The park is mostly a depression and there were spots to sled all the way around the bowl. Lilli and I were feeling fearless, but Leann needed to be reassured. So we started out near the bottom of the hill and once Leann was soothed, we worked our way up to the top of the hill.

Friday, February 15, 2013


Let's start with a little background. First, Lilli has recently developed enough hand–eye coordination and pattern recognition that she can do puzzles and the like.[1] Second, when Lilli was born [2] her Reed greatgrandparents gave her $25 to start a savings account. When we opened the account they gave her a piggy bank. Third, when we moved last month [3], we rediscovered the piggy bank. Leann gave it to her to play with and I decided to show her that, besides being pink, a pig, and saying oink oink, it also accepted money through the slot on its back. We still have to keep an eye on her so she doesn't stick a coin in her mouth and accidentally choke on it, but now she loves playing with her piggy bank and asks for money. Since she's saving it and not spending any of it, it's hard to say no.

Little Learner

A few months ago, during my hiatus from blogging, Lilli taught herself the letter i. Since i and eye are homophones and the jot above the i is drawn the same way as the eyes on the cartoon characters in some of her books, especially Dr. Seuss's ABC [1], she initially thought they were the same thing. This inspired us to draw some letters on cardstock and tape it to the wall. It didn't take Lilli long at all to learn the first batch, so we added more. Then more. And then we took them down for the move to Wisconsin [2], and we haven't put them back up. But since then Leann has found an app for the iPad, called Endless ABC, that is helping Lilli learn all of her letters, both capitals and lower case. She's surprised us several times by identifying a letter we hadn't taught her. So here are some videos of Lilli playing Endless ABC.