Tuesday, March 25, 2014

It's official

It was determined we are not, in fact, criminals. So, it's official, we're moving to a new place! To rent still, of course. We're not that adult-like yet.

As I've mentioned, we really like our current rental house. A bit of a step up from our previous townhouse built in about the 1840s. It's just lacking the "location, location, location" bit. But there's apparently nothing to make you grateful like giving it up:

Wow, I'm going to miss my car being right out my front door. (You have to walk some stairs up to a parking pad in the new place.)
Aren't those "30 second" and "auto defrost" buttons on the microwave so convenient? 
Man, this water heater is so great, always hot...I really hope I don't have to miss that too much.
White frame windows,
High ceiling in the master bath,
Coat closet at the entry,
Big stainless steel refrigerator,
Auto ice maker in the freezer...

It makes me realize I must not appreciate the good on an everyday level enough. I definitely jump to the "Wouldn't it be nice if we had..." too often. It reminds me of this zinger quotation from one of my favorite people on the planet:
A grateful person is rich in contentment. An ungrateful person suffers in the poverty of endless discontentment.
So, I'm grateful for what we've had here. I'm grateful for doors opening up for us to be in this new place. And I'll continue to work on the grateful thing.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

12 Must-see Great Old Movies

Ben and I like finding great old films. I don't know how old "old" is, but these are some of my personal favorites we've enjoyed. So don't worry if there are still snowflakes in your forecast (*self-talk*); make it an excuse to cuddle up with hot chocolate and an old classic.

** = Winner of Academy Award for Best Picture
* = Nominated for Best Picture

Kind of intense and awesome
On the Waterfront** (1954)
Top notch acting by Marlon Brando and Eva Marie Saint, this film centers around the corruption/crime cycle on, you guessed it, the waterfront. Some romance to boot. It won 8 Academy Awards.

The Great Escape (1963)
How Allied prisoners of war escaped a highly guarded World War II German prison camp. Based on a true events. Completely enthralled with this. 

12 Angry Men* (1957) 
A drama of 12 jury men needing a unanimous vote to decide whether or not a man gets the death penalty. Incredible to see a whole film take place in one room. Brilliant.

All the King's Men** (1949)
Disturbing and effective, how even good, honest small-town politicians can become corrupted. Based on a Pulitzer Prize winning novel. A new film with same title made in 2006 with Sean Penn that I haven't seen.

Oliver!** (1968)
A most beloved film from my youth. Even if you think you don't like musicals I'd say this is a good place to start. (Or West Side Story, which I didn't list, but probably should have.) So well filmed. Won six Academy Awards.

The Fiddler on Roof* (1971)
If you don't love this film, or at least the music, you just don't have a heart. Or maybe I'm just unnaturally attached to fictional characters, such as Tevye, in certain Broadway musicals. But one things for sure, you can't peg cheesy on this film!  

The Sound of Music** (1965)
This is a must-see list. Two words: Julie Andrews. And three more: a complete classic.

Totally Inspiring
Gandhi** (1982)
It might be a stretch to call this an old classic film. But, seeing as it was produced before I was born I'm including it. I was very affected by this film. Probably the most inspiring film about one of the most inspiring people ever born. And Ben Kingsley doesn't just nail it, but I think he actually becomes Gandhi.  

Ben Hur** (1959)
I remember thinking while I watched that I could not believe what was possible in film before computer generated images! It's a big scale film, that is worth seeing just for that. 

Casablanca** (1943)
Play it again, Sam. Again, this is a must-see list. Showing the very real struggle between what you want to do and what you know is best (or even morally right)...surely not many like this anymore. And the one liners! The one liners!

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington* (1939)
*Tear* I've loved this film since American Heritage class. That Jimmy Stewart. And, really, I just can't believe these political issues here being highlighted pre-WWII! A great comparison against (above) All the King's Men.

What's Up Doc? (1972)
A zany comedy that highlights a young Barbra Streisand, who's, of course, pretty fantastic. Weird name, but you're pretty much guaranteed to laugh outloud. One of the funniest chase scenes--and court room scenes--ever.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Photo Friday

 30 years ago today, my wonderful mother gave birth--to me!

Good-bye 20s! Hello big, beautiful 30s! (But not too big...) 
So happy to be alive. 
So glad for what I've learned so far.
So grateful for so many fantastic people in my life.
Here I am: ready for a new decade of adventures!

1 year

10 years

 20 years 
When few self-selfies existed. Imagine!

30 years
Stay tuned.


And just because I had to show-off this great neon get-up...
Was neon ever really such a good idea? And now it's back just in time to bless the daughters of a new generation. 
...or maybe the real mistake were the high-waisted pink pleated pants. Guess I didn't seem too worried about it!

P.S. Can't wait to hear where our 4th year medicine friends match today!!!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

How to Find a New Home

So remember how I was just blaming my fruitless zillowing woes on all kinds of things? Well, we just found a new place to rent. And our application is in. And the landlord says it's ours. Thrilling? Relieving? Exciting? I think so.

Briefly, I have to pay homage to our current place. It's been fantastic. Like a loved firstborn child. It's the darn zooming cars and poor schools that are to blame for our parting. And the vagrant panhandlers on the corner. But I digress.

We have Ben to thank for this find. I thought I'd share the wisdom I've gleaned about house hunting:

How Not to Find a New Home---My way:
#1:  Consider every blessed house for sale, for rent and foreclosed in a 10-mile radius.
#2: Think you may have more money than you actually do. Maybe if I stop buying so many diapers...#3: Drive by houses that are for sale or rent, but don't call on any.
#4: Keep second guessing whether you should buy or rent. Don't stick to strong impressions.
#5: Go with a place that advertises 1400 square feet when it is simply way smaller; the landlady is so nice, the rent is so cheap.
#6: Check realty websites like they are social networks. Make yourself crazy.

How to Find a New Home----Ben's way:
#1. Listen to all your wives' thoughts and considerations.
#2. Decide together to rent, within a certain area, within certain price range.
#3. Look on craigslist.
#4. Call on the first house you see.
#5. Go see the house even if it says available March 1 and you're looking for June, and someone else is ready to sign for it.
#6. Pray the other family's interests wanes.

That's it. Simple. New home acquired. Now why didn't I think of that?

Other useful house hunting tips at super cute Habitual Homebody blog.
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