Sunday, December 30, 2007

3:00 AM

Well, hello there.
Here is what I know today.
If one combines a too-salty meal with a sick family member, a satellite receiver that cleans its hard-drive at 3:00 in the morning and the Worst Pies in London, you get blogging in the dead of night.

My lovely craft club ladies and myself went to see Sweeney Todd today. Yesterday. Saturday.
I was introduced to this musical in the early 80s when we taped a performance off TV.
I love this musical.
It has everything one could want.
Great music- sweeping melodies, fantastic syncopation, odd instrumentation.
Crazy story filled with drama, humor and pathos.

I will fully admit that I entered the theater with some trepidation.
Could this show work as a movie?
Would they cut out all of my favorite songs?
Would it carry too much Tim Burton-ness and not carry through the Sondheim-ality?
All my fears were assuaged.

First of all, the cinematography was divine.
There was a wonderful cohesive feel to the whole thing.
The backgrounds and costumes were all painted in muted neutral colors to give the most contrast to the occasional splashes (and gushing torrents) of red.

The singing was far beyond my expectations.
Timithy Spall has a lovely tenor, and Alan Rickman's lusty bass voice was a wonderful surprise. Is there anything that man can't make sexy?
I was watching Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix the other night with the hubby and I says to him, I says "I always feel like watching Truly Madly Deeply after seeing Rickman as Snape to remind me that he can play a nice guy."
Triple that for Sweeney Todd.
One scene from the stage show that didn't make it into the movie and that I didn't miss one jot was the Judge's self-flagellation scene.

The truly shining star, singing-wise was the boy who played Toby, Ed Sanders.
That role is very demanding. His voice was beautiful, very agile. His dramatic scenes were also quite enjoyable.

Johnny Depp.
What to say.
I love him and some day he will grow to love me too.
Same for Helena Bonham Carter.
Also for Tim Burton.
I have loved nearly every movie of his I have ever seen.

I cannot count the number of times I watched the musical. I know this story back and forwards. This adaptation was seamless. Some of the songs were removed, and some shortened, but the story was just as effective. Tim Burton's directing was amazing. The pacing was tight, suspenseful. It has been some time since I felt my heart pound like that during a movie. I was leaning forward in my chair, and I already knew what was happening.

One more thing.

If you're looking for a fun night out, and you see a movie poster with blood dripping down the title, perhaps you should reconsider bringing your 4-6 year old daughter, person in our theater today.
And if you bring said 4-6 year old daughter, maybe leave after the first time Sweeney says Shit, or after the first person gets brutally slain.
Just a thought.

Review ended.

So, how was every one's Christmas?
We had a delightfully stress-free couple of days.
Christmas Eve with my family, followed by Christmas morning at home with the kids.

I had a semi-homemade Christmas this year.
I purchased a set of natural wooden blocks from Beka, and dyed them with a non-toxic water-based wood dye so they are now bright colors.

I was a little stymied about what to get my dad, but I thought that you can't go wrong with a present from the grand-kids.
So I got the wonderful husband to pick up an apron from the store, and I had the Elder Hug-a-Bug to draw a picture on some canvas with fabric markers.
She drew Grandpa and herself and her brother, and they are all holding hands.
I could weep with joy.
I asked her whether she would like to write a message, like merry Christmas or I love you grandpa, and she chose I love you.
So I wrote it down and she copied it over on to the fabric.
Then I made a pocket for the apron of the canvas.

Christmas Day my husband's parents came over and we had a third orgy of present opening.
Dinner was a little bit of a fiasco.
Why, oh why don't I have two ovens like Martha?
I had to let my pork loin out of the oven to roast my veggies and cook the Crescent Rolls (essential for any holiday feast) and the meat was pretty cool by dinner.
Oh, well. The rolls were flaky and delicious anyway, thank you Pillsbury Dough Boy.

The next day my Mom and Sister came over and built a fantastic table in our toy-room, which is really just a big closet with a window.
The kids love it! It is the perfect height for the elder Hug-a-Bug and the younger H-a-B is enjoying climbing up on the top of it.
There is also ample room underneath to play cave.
The TV has been neglected like nothing I have seen since we had snow.
Not that my kids ever watch TV, or recite the Frosty the Snowman movie or anything.

No pictures again today.
Please send me findy vibes over here.
I went through the mountains of mess in the craft area, and was unsuccessful in locating the camera.
It's probably better for us all that I don't have it right now, so you don't have to be subjected to views of the squalor in here.
I guess I will just have to go through every room one by one and look behind every piece of furniture and other stuff you do when you look for lost things.

I can tell that my mind is starting to wind down.
Perhaps I can get a couple of hours sleep before today really starts.

Have a Happy New Year,
if I don't see you,

Friday, December 21, 2007

no pictures

I feel a little like I have lost a limb... I can't find my camera.
No pictures today.
I have been busy, really-
I made scarves for three friends.
I baked dozens of cookies today for my craft club's cookie exchange.
I finished all of the needed-to-be-done-before-christmas stockings for my clients.
And beyond my busy-ness there have been some fantastic views off the bridge that I would have loved to share.
stupid messy house.
who can I blame for that that isn't me? really no one.
I hope that those of you out there that celebrate christmas have a happy one.
I will scrub my house from tip to top -(rolie polie olie fans out there? anyone?)- and search for my camera.
Hopefully the holiday season will bring happiness and found objects at the fifth lamp house.
See you all in the new year!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Hug-a-bug birthday part 2

Today is my darling little daughter's 4th birthday.

It has gone so fast.

I know people always say that, but it feels like she was just this tiny little person .
My favorite two moments today:

She runs into the kitchen for breakfast and says

"I am 4 years old today, and look, I still fit in my pajamas!"

I got up to leave her in her bed tonight,

"Can you stay in here and sleep?"

"No, sorry honey, I have work downstairs"

"I have some sleeping work to do."
Have a pleasant wednesday.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Hug-a-bug birthday part 1

Our elder Hug-a-bug turns 4 on wednesday.

We had the family party today.

It went pretty well considering my total and complete lack of planning.

We had intended, long ago, to make this a kid-ful party with games, crafts, something...

Anyway, we decided that we had left it too long to invite anyone.

This morning H-a-b asked if her friends were coming to her party.

I made some last-minute calls, to no avail.

Luckily our friend who just had a baby sent herhusband and daughter anyway so H-a-b had one friend here.

The big present from us was a bookshelf turned puppet theater.

I found a bookshelf with two shelves and no back at my favorite junk/antique mall and removed the upper shelf.

I then reattached the shelf vertically and added some curtains and trim. The whole thing took about a whole day with paint drying.

I think it came out pretty cute.

I lost my camera, so I don't have any pictures of the process, but it was pretty easy.

have a great sunday,

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Hello December

Here is a hello from the Fifth Lamp Down after two blizzards.

Sunday, December 2, 2007


I believe that I have found the secret to easy shoveling.
We were really lazy about our leaves this year, and as a floured cake pan will yield its contents more easily, a sidewalk covered in leaves is really easy to shovel.
No pictures today.
As some of you may know, we here in Minnesota had our first blizzard of the season this weekend and I have yet to brave the 6 block walk to the fifth lamp.
Have a snowy day,