Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving ... Seemed Longer This Year

I mean that in a good way. A very good way.

It was almost like taking a vacation.

We were worried about transporting Tom's mother after her amputation. She's been moved to a skilled nursing section where she lives but hasn't been to our house since all that happened.

We went to visit her on Thanksgiving morning and she was so mournful (not in words, but attitude) that we made renewed efforts to figure out how to get her home for Thanksgiving dinner. It wasn't easy, but it was do-able so Mom came home for a couple of hours, which was all she could manage.

She was so happy to get out and watch the cooking and have a home cooked meal. I haven't seen her eat so much for a long, long time. It made us very happy just to see her face at the table. We will definitely be bringing her home again soon for a visit.

On other fronts, all went quite well. The Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Crumble was simply amazing. Rose loved the ginger. I loved the nutmeg. We may be working on adapting it to pie form soon.

I got tons of reading done. It helped that my pal, DJ, had just lent me Midshipman's Hope and Challenger's Hope by David Feintuch (my comments at links). I like military science fiction and, although the first book began slowly, I was soon caught up in the adventures of a young midshipman when a fatal accident thrusts him into leadership.

I didn't get to listen to Patient Zero as much as I'd hoped (my comments here), which left me eking out bits and pieces of the final showdown as I washed dishes or swept the floor. I'm still eking ... this feels like the longest, slow motion finale in history. One of the things I love about this book is the hands-down patriotism of the main character, Joe Ledger. That made it perfect for Thanksgiving weekend when all-American seemed the way to be.

That all-American bent was reinforced when we watched Captain America. Loved it! Solidly old school patriotism, the way it would have been in the original comic books, and a straight forward story line. In many ways, it made us think of another family favorite, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow.

Rose and I also watched Tokyo Godfathers, both as a kick-off to the Christmas season and because Scott and I will be discussing it this week on A Good Story is Hard to Find. I forgot just how many funny moments this anime has ...

Other movie watching included Monsters, which Rose had heard good things about and which I had on my list for some time. Sadly it struck us much like Schultze Gets the Blues ... potential and story idea were good but it needed other input (or something) because the story just meandered and nothing much really happened. The one thing that seemed quite clear was that it was an allegory about illegal immigration. Turns out that wasn't the intention of the British writer and director, but that doesn't matter because anyone living in Mexico or the southern U.S. is going to see it loud and clear. I did like the monsters. They were creative and fascinating. Hannah says that the way their life cycle was discussed was exactly the way something like that would happen and she also pointed out that it was a typical "invasive species" story. That's what happens when you watch things with Wildlife Management Sciences majors.

The best movie of the weekend, though, was Gone Baby Gone. This was everything that critics said. Ben Affleck's directing was superb and surprising considering that it is the first movie he's directed. Casey Affleck's acting was subtle and right on target. The supporting cast was wonderful as well. The story was morally grounded and made me want to look for Dennis Lehane's books, as this was based on one of his. All round a wonderful movie.

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