Wednesday, March 30, 2011

30 Day Blog Challenge--Day 25: My Favorite (Funny) Quotes

Fasten your seatbelts...I've been looking forward to this topic for a long time. I love quotes! At first I thought I'd do all my serious quotes, like "Try your best to make goodness attractive. That's one of the toughest assignments you'll ever be given." (That's Mr. Rogers, of course.)

But, when I woke up this morning, I wasn't in a very serious mood. I'll save those quotes for day 31 or something. So. Without further favorite NOT serious quotes!

The Mortal Instruments books:
  • "Have you fallen in love with the wrong person yet?'
    Jace said, "Unfortunately, Lady of the Haven, my one true love remains myself."
    Dorothea roared at that. "At least," she said, "you don't have to worry about rejection, Jace Wayland."
    "Not necessarily. I turn myself down occasionally, just to keep it interesting."
  • Jace said, "Somehow, I thought it would be bigger."
    Clary looked at the Cup in her hand. It was the size, perhaps, of an ordinary wineglass, only much heavier. Power thrummed through it, like blood through living veins. "It's a perfectly nice size," she said indignantly.
    "Oh, it's big enough," he said patronizingly, "but somehow I was expecting something… you know." He gestured with his hands, indicating something roughly the size of a house cat.
    "It's the Mortal Cup, Jace, not the Mortal Toilet Bowl," said Isabelle. 
    • Ray: Symmetrical book stacking. Just like the Philadelphia mass turbulence of 1947.
      Dr. Venkman: You're right. No human being would stack books like this. 
    • Gozer: The Choice is made!
      Dr. Peter Venkman: Whoa! Ho! Ho! Whoa-oa!
      Gozer: The Traveller has come!
      Dr. Peter Venkman: Nobody choosed anything!
      [turns to Egon]
      Dr. Peter Venkman: Did you choose anything?
      Dr. Egon Spengler: No.
      Dr. Peter Venkman: [to Winston] Did YOU?
      Winston Zeddemore: My mind is totally blank.
      Dr. Peter Venkman: *I* didn't choose anything...
      [long pause, Peter, Egon and Winston all look at Ray]
      Dr Ray Stantz: I couldn't help it. It just popped in there.
      Dr. Peter Venkman: [angrily] What? *What* "just popped in there?"
      Dr Ray Stantz: I... I... I tried to think...
      Dr. Egon Spengler: LOOK!
      [they all look over one side of the roof]
      Dr Ray Stantz: No! It CAN'T be!
      Dr. Peter Venkman: What is it?
      Dr Ray Stantz: It CAN'T be!
      Dr. Peter Venkman: What did you DO, Ray?
      [they all see a giant cubic white head topped with a sailor hat, Peter looks at Ray]
      Dr Ray Stantz: [somberly] It's the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.  
    Harry Potter:
      • It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. (Dumbledore) (How did that serious quote pop in here? Oops. :D)
      • "No, sighed Dumbledore. He is not very happy with me either. We must try not to sink beneath our anguish, Harry, but battle on." Harry grinned.
      • I am a wizard, not a baboon brandishing a stick.
      Howl's Moving Castle:
        • Howl said, "I think we ought to live happily ever after," and she thought he meant it..."It should be hair-raising." 
        • "You'll exploit me," Sophie said.
          "And then you'll cut up all my clothes to teach me," said Howl.
          • Wash: Yes, yes, this is a fertile land, and we will thrive (as Stegosaurus:) We will rule over all this land, and we will call it...This Land. (as T-Rex:) I think we should call it...your grave! (as Stegosaurus:) Ah, curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!" (as T-Rex:) Ha ha HA! Mine is an evil die!
          • Mal: Well, look at this. Appears we got here just in the nick of time. Whaddya suppose that makes us? 
          • Zoe: Big damn heroes, sir.
                    Mal: Ain't we just.
            • (Zoe, Mal and Jayne are backed up against the edge of a cliff by an angry mob)
              Mal: There's just an acre of you fellas, ain't there? (to Zoe: This is why we lost, you know. Superior numbers. 
              Zoe: Thanks for the re-enactment sir. 
              Dr: Horrible's Sing-Along Blog:
              • Dr. Horrible: And by the way it's not about making money, it's about taking money. Destroying the status quo because the status is not quo. The world is a mess and I just need to rule it.
              • Dr. Horrible: Wow. Sarcasm. That's original.

              Your turn! What are your favorite quotes?

              Monday, March 28, 2011

              30 Day Blog Challenge--Day 24: Describe My Home

              Our home is for sale. It is the best home in the world. We've got 10 acres of woods in the backyard, a swimming pool and a rusty old swing set that has too many happy memories to give away just yet. My favorite trees are the maple in the front yard, the hemlock near the mailbox that the kids always climb, and the oak tree I planted when we had a still born baby. There are huge boulders in the backyard, at the beginning of the woods, and the kids have each claimed one. In between D's boulder and L's boulder, there is a firepit--well, it's more just a charred place with some rocks around it, but we cook s'mores out there once in a while.

              The only garden I ever loved is right there too, where the woods meets the back lawn. It's wrapped around a pine tree and a birch tree--trees that I ought to add to my list of favorites. How can I move away from my trees??? My garden has at least 4 kinds of hosta, some astilbe and bellflowers. I once ignorantly planted mint in my garden. Do not do that unless you mean it! Mint is determined to take over the world. I am happy to say that my garden is mint free, though it took several years of pitched battle before I finally emerged victorious.

              Japanese Spurge (Not my garden)
              I've also got Sweet William, Goatsbeard and Stinging Dead Nettle, which is a gorgeous, gorgeous plant, in spite of its dreadful name. For some reason, my very favorite plant is an unobtrusive plant called Japanese Spurge. Mine doesn't look like this picture at all. It always just barely hangs on, and I rejoice every time it sends out a new shoot. It hardly grows, for some reason, and yet it is always there, tough enough to hold its own, even when other plants try to crowd it out.

              I'm not sure why we've got Virginia Creeper up here in Maine, but if I leave my garden alone for very long (which I often do) when I come back I've got to pull long spiralling vines of it away from my flowers. It is so pretty, especially in the fall, that I think it is a shame Virginia Creeper is so intent on destruction.

              A rock wall runs along the front of our property. Rock walls are amazing things. Have you lifted a rock lately? They are so much heavier than I ever expect them to be. And the people who first cleared this land dug them up, one by one, and carried them to the wall. I wonder if they were crazy or if they just didn't know that huge rocks grow in Maine soil, and no matter how hard you try, more immdeiately pop to the surface.

              So why are we leaving, if we live in the best home in the world? Sometimes that just happens. It's time to move on. We live so far away from church and work--which are not even in the same direction--that we spend massive amounts of time traveling. Next year we'll add in early morning seminary. I know people who can travel 35 minutes, spend 40 minutes at seminary and then travel 35 minutes to the high school every morning for four years and still have time for a life, but we are not those people.

              Saturday, March 26, 2011

              30 Day Blog Challenge--Day 23: Something I Never Get Tired of Doing

              First of all, I didn't mean to make my last post title sound so dire--it sounded like I was jumping ship. But ta dah! I'm already back. My 30 day blog challenge has probably stretched into something closer to 40 days, but at least we're on the home stretch.

              Those of you who know me, admit it. When you saw the title of this blog post you thought this was going to be a post about reading, right?

              I thought so too, except, inexplicably, about a month ago, I burned out on reading. You see, when I started this blog, I thought I'd write one book review a week, no problem. I read that much, easy. I can't really put my finger on why it was so difficult. Maybe there was some subliminal need to impress you with the books I picked. I don't think so.

              Maybe it was that I was searching for books a lot more, and the list of books I wanted to read got to be enormous. That's more likely. Plus, these blog posts take a lot longer to write than you would expect. And life has gotten really crazy, so available reading time has plummeted.

              Whatever--I burned out on reading. And that's something I never expected to say. I still do it. I still love it. It's still the most likely candidate. But it just wouldn't be true to say "Reading is something I never get tired of doing." So what don't I ever get tired of doing? I mean if reading isn't sacred, I would almost have to say there's nothing I never get tired of doing. But I think, maybe, it's true that there are a few things:

              watching the seasons change, especially winter into maple syrup season
              watching my children sleep
              waking my youngest 2 children up in the morning by reading to them

              And most of the time, reading, walking, and singing.
              And almost all the time: writing.

              Wednesday, March 23, 2011

              30 Day Blog Challenge--On hold

              I cruising close to the finish line. This is when I should put on that extra burst of speed and give it all I've got. But, that's just not going to happen. There are some great topics coming up, so stay tuned! But for a day or two, I'm giving in to my sore throat and to my heavy, heavy eyelids...................................

              Monday, March 21, 2011

              30 Day Blog Challenge--Day 22: A Song Without Words That I Love

              So many choices...

              Every summer, my friend Paul comes to Maine to teach violin at a music camp nearby, and I have the amazing opportunity to play duets with him at church (I play the piano, he plays the violin). He's so beyond me in ability that I always feel lucky and overwhelmed at the chance. This last summer he sent me a song called Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring to learn. It didn't seem like a hard song, and as I played it I realized that I recognized the tune. It was a beautiful song, and I was excited to play it with him.

              Then we played it together. Or rather, I would play one measure, and then I'd get tripped up, listening to him play and he'd play a few more measures and stop. This happened over, and over, and over. Whenever I heard his part, I thought I'd come in at the wrong time or was playing at the wrong speed, but I was wrong--it's just the way the two parts come together. It is gorgeous when it works, but I couldn't seem to make it work.

              So, we moved on to other songs, but I still wanted to play this one with him, so we kept practicing. I finally realized the only way I could do it was if I blocked him out completely, and focused completely on my own part. But listening to him play is one of the joys of my life, so I figured out how to record us so I could listen to it later. Here we are, in all of our kids-whining-and-people-coughing-in-the-background glory playing Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring.

              And I can't have a post like this without giving a shout out to my own daughter. I love to listen to her play Cristofori's Dream and Dream of the Forgotten Child on the piano.  Unfortunately, I don't have the audio of her playing, (when I get one, I'll post it).

              Friday, March 18, 2011

              30 Day Blog Challenge--Day 21: A Talent I Possess

              I have the ability to know and love people. I can feel the core of goodness most people use to make decisions. I've often thought of this as a liability.

              Sometimes I've wanted to shout at myself when I've had a political discussion with someone and agreed with everything they said, and then turned and had a discussion with their opposition and agreed with what they were saying too! I intuitively respond to people's value systems instead of their political viewpoints, and I'm way too persuadable. How frustrating for the poor people who were just looking for a good debate.

              And don't even get me started about how hard it is for me to say "No". (I'm working on it though. I've been substitute teaching this year. There isn't a job in the world that makes you say NO more often.)

              I wouldn't trade those weaknesses though. Not now that I realize they are merely a subset of the "talent" that has probably brought me more happiness than any other. It's the same part of me that understands what people are really saying and helps me to empathize with them. It must be this quality that has helped me find such amazing friends.

              I think it's this same talent that makes me a good writer. I know when a conversation feels real. I know when I know a character well enough to put them in a book. There aren't any shortcuts. It's a mess if I try to create a character and I don't know about his parents or what he ate for breakfast last Thursday.

              Thursday, March 17, 2011

              30 Day Blog Challenge--Day 20!!!! Something I Wish I Could Forget

              We've all got songs that worm their way into our brains. Here are some of mine...

              The Trashmen: Surfin' Bird
              This may have been the first song that ever hammered its way into my brain and stayed there for over a month. I was a teenager, and I walked around begging total strangers to sing me a different song so I wouldn't go insane.

              Willow Smith: I Whip My Hair Back and Forth
              Even though this gets under my skin, it's also hypnotic. I'm not sure if it is the music or the dancing, but once I start, it's hard to stop.

              Kung Fu Fighting
              When my kids were little, someone gave us a hamster that sang this song and pretended to fight. I'm telling you this song played in my dreams for weeks before I finally trashed that thing.

              It's Peanut Butter and Jelly Time
              The first time I did Nanowrimo I found a web site that forced you to write quickly. If you didn't make your word count goal, this song would blast you as the punishment. Dang. I can't remember which website it was. Sorry!

              Which songs can't you forget?

              Wednesday, March 16, 2011

              30 Day Blog Challenge--Day 19: 5 Places I Would Love To Travel

              As usual, I asked my kids to answer this blog challenge. This is what they said:

              J#1: Lugano, Switzerland (of course. I didn't really need to ask.)

              J#2: Mexico
                (L: No way! Mexico is a dangerous, dangerous place.
                Me: I'd love to go to Mexico. Why do you want to go there?
                J#2: Because they have the most coconuts in the world.)

              D: Probably somewhere in the Netherlands. (Again...did I really need to ask?)

              L: Ohio. Or where ever that toilet place is.

              Hee, hee. This is what she means by "that toilet place", and it's definitely not in Ohio:

              The Toilet Bowl, Hanauma Bay, Hawaii
              Sadly, I don't think the Toilet Bowl is open for swimming anymore. I'd still go though! In fact, I'll concur with all my kids (again). I'd love to to all of those places, which leaves me with one more...It's so hard to pick. Should I backpack across Great Britain? Eat my way through Italy? I think the place I pick is a place I haven't been back to since I was a child. I LOVED San Diego, California when I was a kid, especially Sea World. So that's spot #5:

              Monday, March 14, 2011

              30 Day Blog Challenge--Day 18: A Cause That Inspires You

              For days I tried to think of a great cause to talk about today. I wondered which of the many great causes I ought to try to raise awareness for, in my own bumbling way. Well, the Buy Local movement has really captured my interest. Unfortunately, if they looked in my kitchen cupboards I wouldn't win any contest to be their poster child (YET).

              Or how about "It's Not A Bourne Movie Without Jason Bourne" or INABMWJB? Important, important issues, and the acronym sort of rolls off the tongue. It's a subset of the "Matt Damon: Please Be In More PG-13 Movies" movement that has been so wildly successful lately. They hardly need more publicity.

              It took all the news from Japan before I realized that there is a cause that inspires me, along with an organization I have been a part of for so long that I sometimes take it for granted. Like most of you, my first response when I hear about a natural disaster is to wonder what I can do to help. It's a comfort to know that the money I donate to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints each month IS a form of helping.

              Because we have emergency relief supplies stored throughout the world, and people already on the ground, we are usually one of the first organizations to get needed supplies in the hands of people who need them.

              Here is the church's official statement about their Humanitarian Aid program:
              • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints provides relief and development projects for humanitarian purposes in countries all over the world. Projects operate without regard to the nationality or religion of the recipients.
              • Humanitarian service may include emergency response to natural disasters, such as an earthquake or a tsunami, or man-made disasters, such as the effects of war and famine. It may also be part of a longer-term effort to meet serious and more entrenched human needs, such as the need to alleviate disease.
              • Within hours of a disaster, the Church works with local government officials to determine what supplies and food are needed. Materials are then immediately sent to the area.
              • After urgent needs are met, the Church looks for additional ways to help with the long-term needs of the community. The Church’s approach is to help people become self-reliant by teaching skills and providing resources for a self-sustained life.
              • Donations, principally from Church members but also from people around the world, are used to make relief projects possible. One hundred percent of the donations given to the Church’s humanitarian services are used for relief efforts. The Church absorbs its own overhead costs.
              • The humanitarian services arm of the Church sponsors five ongoing global projects to help people become more self-reliant. Initiatives include neonatal resuscitation training, clean water projects, wheelchair distribution, vision treatment and measles vaccinations.
              You can donate on-line at or by mailing them to: Humanitarian Aid Fund, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 50 East North Temple Street, Salt Lake City, UT 84150 (or call 801-240-3544).

              Saturday, March 12, 2011

              30 Day Blog Challenge--Day 17: A Photo of the Last Thing I Purchased

              Quick! Before the last thing I purchased is something boring like a new piece of plumbing. This topic was supposed to be for Day 9, but on Day 9, that was the only thing I bought. It was cool enough, because the first piece of plumbing equipment I picked up happened to be the exact right piece (!) but I decided to wait for a more exciting development in the purchasing department.

              Bad economy + natural dislike of shopping + really busy lately = I won't be buying anything cool any time soon. Add in the fact that I am not a great photographer, and you should just skip this post. Oh yeah. Too late.

              Last night I went on a date night with my husband. We went to Panera Bread, which is one of my favorite places to eat. I bought a Tomato and Mozzarella Panini with a Fuji Apple Chicken salad. Yum!

              (I did not take this picture. It came from a blog devoted to all things panini.)

              Friday, March 11, 2011

              30 Day Blog Challenge--Day 16: Someone Who Inspires You

              When one of my children was preschool age, every day seemed to be a power struggle. I prayed about it a lot, and got a rather strange answer to my prayer. I felt inspired to watch Mr. Rogers with this child every day. We began planning our life around being home in time to cuddle up on the couch and watch Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, and he changed our life.

              Everyone in the family got into it. Even the older cousins would sit on the floor and watch with us if they were around, which was an incredibly awesome thing for them to do, because it allowed my older children to drop their "I'm too old for this" attitude and enjoy the show.

              Mr. Rogers is no longer on any stations near my house. On a happier note, while doing a little research for this blog, I realized that you could go here to watch him on line! I feel like Mr. Rogers is role-playing the best parenting demonstration ever. But as I've learned about this great man, he has taught me about more than just parenting. He's taught me about not being afraid of creativity, about the discipline needed to be creative, about the good one passionate person can do in the world.

              Here is just one of the quotes by Mr. Rogers that has helped me in my life:

              I like to swim, but there are some days I just don't feel much like doing it--but I do it anyway! I know it's good for me and I promised myself I'd do it every day, and I like to keep my promises. That's one of my disciplines. And it's a good feeling after you've tried and done something well. Inside you think, "I've kept at this and I've really learned it--not by magic, but by my own work.

              Tuesday, March 8, 2011

              30 Day Blog Challenge--Day 15: 5 Memories From My Childhood

              We've reached the halfway point on my 30 day blog challenge. I didn't know if I'd enjoy writing all about myself and sending it out into the ether for anyone to read, but I'm having a great time! I hope you're enjoying it too. These memories are very, very random...

              Me and my aunt Jayne

              Memory #1:  Swimming. We had a pool at our house when I was young, and after we moved my dad kept promising me that we'd build a pool at our new home as soon as I qualified for the Olympics. I loved the water, and being called a fish was always a compliment.

              Other swimming memories:
              Buckin' Bronco...I'd get on my dad's back and he'd go down to the bottom of the pool and try to buck me off. 
              Playing mermaid with my sisters in my grandma's pool, and I dared to swim with no one else around.
               My uncle Mark's boat. I'd sit on the front of it and we'd speed as fast as we could.
              Being absolutely positive I'd seen the Bear Lake monster's eye.

              I'm pretty sure that water is the key ingredient to an amazing childhood.

              Memory #2: I must have been about 7 years old when my parents took me to see a production of Fiddler on the Roof. Right in the middle of the play, there is a scene where a Tevya pretends he just had a scary dream, and as he's telling it to his wife, it unfolds around them. I was completely fascinated by a ghost that hovered right over their bed. I can imagine what a pest I must have made of myself, asking my parents how the actress was floating above the ground, because I can remember as plain as anything when my dad said, "She's standing on a bowling ball. Shhh!" I spent the rest of the time in complete silence, trying to see the bowling ball. I was an adult before I realized that it wasn't true.

              Me and Sam
              Memory #3: We spent a couple of years living in Heber City, Utah about a mile from my grandpa's farm. They had a huge dog named Sam. My aunt Jayne says I was terrified of him, but I don't remember that. What I remember is being woken up one night by Sam's howling. He'd attacked a porcupine, which turned out to be a really bad idea. I remember watching my dad use pliers to pull the quills out one by one...Poor Sam.

              Memory #4: Piano lessons. After a few years, I loved them, but at first they were miserable. I remember scribbling "I QUIT!" all over the song Home On The Range in the John Thompson songbook. When I couldn't take it anymore, I learned just to eliminate the middleman (my mom) and put my own self in the corner. But I am so grateful she didn't let me quit. Playing the piano is one of my favorite things now.

              Memory #5: Being surrounded by handicapped people. I wish I could give this blessing to my kids. My dad worked in nursing homes for most of my life, and my mom had a very special relationship with her aunt Marlene and all of the ladies from Marlene's group home. They were always coming over for parties. Another man, Claire Durfee, had such severe cerebral palsy that he couldn't walk and most people couldn't understand him when he spoke. I could though. My mom always said I helped him learn to talk. I don't know if that's true or not. What I know is that he had a smile like sunshine and he always made me happy.

              Monday, March 7, 2011

              30 Day Blog Challenge--Day 14: 5 Things I Want To Do Before I Die

              We are in the middle of our 1000th snow day of the year--at least that's the way it feels. So as I started writing today's blog, I asked my kids to answer this question.

              Some Things My Kids Want To Do Before They Die 
              • Jump Off A Cliff
              Me: What? Jump off a cliff? This isn't a list about how you want to die, it's stuff you want to do first. Do you mean you want to go hang-gliding?

              J#2: No. I just want to jump off a cliff.

              It took a little more probing before I realized he wanted to go cliff jumping. Silly me...Here's the rest of the list:
              • Sky diving
              • Waterskiing
              • Horseback riding
              • Meet Johnny Depp
              • Learn archery 
              • Play in the FIFA world cup
              •  Meet Wesley Sneijder
              • Go to Switzerland
              • publish a book
              • jump in a pound of spikes
              Me:  Is that your way of saying you're tired of talking about this?

              Writing a list of 5 things I want to do before I die is very different than writing a list of 100 things I want to do before I die, or 20 things I want to do this year. A lot of whittling went on to make this list.  Then I found a great quote:
              “If I had my life to live over I’d dare to make more mistakes. I’d relax, I would limber up. I would be sillier than I have been this trip. I would take fewer things seriously . . . I would eat more ice cream and less beans. I would perhaps have more actual troubles, but I’d have fewer imaginary ones . . . “You see, I’ve been one of those persons who never goes anywhere without a thermometer, a hot water bottle, a raincoat, and a parachute. If I had it to do again, I would travel lighter than I have. “If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall. I would go to more dances. I would ride more merry-go-rounds. I would pick more daisies.” 
               With that in mind, here is my list:

              5 Things I Want To Do Before I Die
              (and no, I don't really care if I learn how to count)

              1. Hold my great grand-children.

              2. Live like a local for a month. Preferably somewhere warm. Or Switzerland. Somewhere that changes me.

              3. Publish things. Get read. I no longer have a desire to be world famous. But I would love to make a living doing something I love as much as writing.

              4. Make peace with my body.

              5. Be a temple worker.

              6. Complete my kids' list with them.

              Saturday, March 5, 2011

              30 Day Challenge--Day 13: My Playlist

              Funny thing, but I actually made a playlist this morning before I remembered this was the topic. Glad you couldn't see me rocking out in my car--it might have made me self-conscious. Nothing new here, just all great music that has passed the test of time.

              1. Give It To Me by Timbaland,

              2. Club Can't Handle Me by Flo Rida

              3. Cowboy Casanova by Carrie Underwood

              4. Beer In Mexico by Kenny Chesney

              5. Come On Get Higher by Matt Nathanson

              6. Viva La Vida by Coldplay

              7. I'm Your Man by Michael Buble

              8. Queen of Hearts by Juice Newton

              9. Somebody to Love The Glee Cast version

              10. Love Story Meets Viva La Vida by: Jon Schmidt

              Friday, March 4, 2011

              30 Day Blog Challenge--Day 12: Something I Love

              Something I Love...Clearplay

              I started doing this 30 day challenge just over 2 weeks ago. When I first read the list of challenges, I KNEW I was going to blog about how much I love my Clearplay DVD player. It's an amazing device that allows you to download filters for loads of movies and an increasing number of TV shows. We're making our way through the episodes of Chuck right now. The filtering system edits out most of the stuff I wouldn't want my kids to see--though for some reason I couldn't get it to edit out Captain Awesome when he dressed up as Adam for Halloween, and it took some experimenting before I figured out what mix of settings would eliminate Sarah in her underwear.

              For most of the movies we want to watch, it simply edits out the swearing. We could also program it to edit out just about anything we might have a problem with: violence and/or gore, sex and/or nudity, disrespectful talking, racial slurs, even mushiness. I've never used the mushiness setting, but one of these days I'm going to turn it on and figure out what the heck that's all about. There are 12 filtering categories in all, and for each category you can set "No Filtering; Least Filtering; Medium Filtering; or Most Filtering."

              If they are skipping sound, the image keeps going, kind of like on TV-edited shows. If they skip a sight, it's a split second jump--in many cases you don't even notice it, but sometimes you can. One thing they strive to do is maintain the quality of the show and the storyline, and if something is important to the storyline, they don't filter it. I haven't had a problem with that.

              They are constantly adding more movies and television shows to their data base, and they send you periodic updates. You take the flashdrive out of the DVD player, put it in the computer and push one little button and you've got their entire data base updated. It takes about 10 seconds, if that.

              We've had to learn the hard way that not all content can be edited out of movies. If a movie is geared to teach a message you find offensive, Clearplay can't do a thing about it. It's also probably not going to edit out the important conversation two strangers have while lying in bed after meeting in a bar and...You get the picture.

              The worst movie we ever watched on Clearplay was Grease. If I remember right, two of my favorite songs were completely edited out. Even with all settings up to maximum, we couldn't edit out the poor messages in that movie.

              One of the best shows we've watched on Clearplay was the latest Star Trek movie. We kept most of the filtering off, but had language and violence on "least." I only noticed one spot where they edited violence, but there was a constant stream of swearing edited. We didn't miss it at all.

              Wednesday, March 2, 2011

              30 Day Blog Challenge--Day 11: Something I Hate

              This post might not win me any friends. Quickly! Before I get hate mail! I DON'T hate Buffy the Vampire Slayer OR Veronica Mars. Logan Echolls and Xander Harris are some of my all time favorite television characters. What I hate is the way these shows reeled me in, made me love the characters like good friends and then spiraled down into a place where I didn't feel comfortable watching them anymore.

              I've always felt that by the time my kids were teenagers, if a show wasn't appropriate for them to watch with me, most of the time I shouldn't be watching it either (with some obvious exceptions--my teens are still too young for some adult themes). The day I started needing to check the episode guide of Buffy the Vampire Slayer before I let my daughter watch it with me was a sad, sad day. We just finished the few acceptable episodes of season 4, and from what I can tell, it's not even worth it to look at the episode guide for season 5. 
              As you all know, Chuck is my favorite TV show. It started this same slippery slide--there is a point somewhere in season 2, maybe season 3, where I thought I might have to give it up. But some genius person on the Chuck writing staff realized that adding more sex was not what was going to save the ratings. Of course the characters on Chuck still don't act exactly the way I think they should--what a boring, sanitized show it would be if everyone did. But I'm no longer bombarded with a constant assault on my values. 

              Wake up television! There are still lots of us out there who want smart, sexy television without the trash!