Wednesday, February 25, 2009


I was doing SO well keeping up with my posts...and then...the internet connection went wrong. We're still in the middle of computer glitches. I'll post regularly as soon as I can. I may have to visit the local coffee shop for a 'hot spot' connection. Issues!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


I’m watching ‘The View’ this morning. They are talking about the new Facebook ‘terms’ in which Facebook takes every right from each of their members who have an account with them—now and forever more (even when you remove your page). ‘The View’ ladies said Facebook now has the right to use your photos, words, ANYTHING you post belongs to them. As in, it’s their property to do with whatever they wish…sell, use for their purposes, reproduce, etc.

I’ve been reading blogs where ladies are upset their work is being copied, infringed upon, etc. However, in this instance, you are basically GIVING FB everything you post. It’s in the legal fine print. So even if your friend posts a picture of you (you don’t post it yourself) it belongs to FB. If you post a poem, it belongs to FB if they so choose….on and on…

The scary thing is: As of their posting, Facebook is creating their own internet law, and enforcing it to each of their members—who by the way, are most likely under the age of 18. Parents beware!! Especially if they are planning on running for political office, or planning any sort of media related profession.

Is it better for them to tell us they own everything, or is it better to post and take your chances of someone taking your posted items without permission? Either way, legal proceedings to protect your rights will be costly.

I’ll say this—When you are deciding what to post, keep the cherished items close to your heart. Otherwise, you may lose them to someone you don’t know.

Duchess note: I haven’t personally read the new terms. I only heard what ‘The View’ read from the documents they had printed for the segment this morning. If you have more information, please share! I will modify my post accordingly.

Monday, February 16, 2009


“CHIIIICCCKK FLIIIICCCKK” most definitely. Ladies, no need to let any man you know see this one. He will most likely think it’s cheesy, predictable, and will most certainly tease you about it for days. Men don’t understand why women like these films---it’s that Mars and Venus thing. He may enjoy it, but I wouldn’t chance it—just enjoy the film.

It’s a fairly common story about accidental love. There’s a sweet peek inside a great relationship shared between two long time friends. You’ll also gaze into the difficult work of healing relationships. Critics complained that Gere and Lane don’t quite heat up the screen on this one. Well, they’re right, maybe 20 and 30 somethings won’t be very excited about the simple love scenes between ‘older’ stars. Still, they create a charming, sweet, romantic relationship together. Despite what the critics had to say, Gere and Lane are two of my favorites, so I wasn’t going to miss it. And—who doesn’t like a love story by the beach??

It’s a great movie for those nights when you’re looking to watch something simple (as in no brainer, not simple subject matter). It’s the perfect film for that spontaneous ladies night with your friends---when the men aren’t around---and you get to share a few glasses of wine or tea, a little gossip and a low-maintenance movie. Definitely have the Kleenex box out for all to share!


Saturday, February 14, 2009


Happy Valentine's Day.
This is a photo I took in front of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts last summer while I was visiting the unique city. I saw the Yves Saint Laurent exhibit while I was there. Great fashion!
There's something I love about the shape of hearts. It makes me smile.
Celebrate love today!

Friday, February 13, 2009


We’re experiencing quite a fog here in Texas this morning. It’s burned off a bit, but still gloomy. Funny thing is, I’m feeling a little gloomy myself. I have a heavy heart today. Yes, the day before Valentine’s Day. There are many reasons for the gloomy feeling which perhaps I’ll post about another time, but most heavy on my heart is that my mother-in-law just called from the nursing home. She is terribly lonely. I hate that she is feeling this way--for weeks now. She is practically bed ridden due to her Parkinson’s Disease. She hates being trapped in her body. I could go on, but being that this blog belongs to the world, I shouldn’t.
Pray for those feeling lonely this Valentine’s Day!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


The Wall Street Journal called it “A soaring, crowd pleasing fantasy that’s a tale of unswerving love.” Rolling Stone magazine said, “What I feel for this movie isn’t just admiration, it’s mad love.” What?!? I don't get paid by anyone I don't want to offend, so I'm going to be a little more honest in my review.

I’m not sure what I was expecting when I walked into the theatre. What I know for sure is I walked out thinking, “WHAT?!?” (I saw the movie on Saturday and just now had the words to talk about it.) The reviews lead me to believe I was going to see a “crowd pleaser.” The interviews with the stars always showed them teaching the interviewer a dance, so I thought maybe I’d see a little Bollywood. I don’t know...that part sounded fun and colorful. What I completely forgot was that it has been nominated for Academy Awards which meant we were headed to the ‘dark side.’ Slumdog is no exception to their ever-present unwritten rule. Ack! Deep down, I kept reminding myself of this, but I wanted to believe just one picture of the year didn’t have to go dark…I’ll have to keep wishing.

I’ll give it this….the music was quite moving. The love story between the protagonist and his leading lady was unquestionably unswerving. It was absolutely an original story! When they finally warmed up a bit and got into the heart of the story (which took about 30 minutes), it was captivating. I was taken away to another world (albeit one I didn’t want to be in).

Be sure you will see children who live off the garbage of others. You will see suicide, murder, and violence on orphan children. You will see abused servants and drug lord robots doing evil. (This film is not for everyone—positively not those under 18.) In the end, the film does redeem itself and you will also see the completion of ‘destiny’ and, of course, a millionaire. Until then, hold on tight. This is HEAVY (!) subject matter.

The film proves you can accomplish much on a low budget with unknown stars. That is a quality worth awarding!

If you want to see a nominated film, Benjamin Buttons is a better pick for those of us looking for a great story without all the gloom.

Friday, February 6, 2009


I have seen 3 films in two days. I would say 3 extremes. Here’s the short and sweet on them:

Yep, I snuck in today for the very first show of the weekend. I haven’t read the book but I know the general idea. Plus, I watched an episode of Greg Behrendt’s new relationship show (which is good). I’m thinking this film was loosely based on the book. The trailers are giveaways for what the film entails and each of the character’s dilemmas—so no surprises there. What I was surprised about was that we didn’t see enough of Drew Barrymore or Ben Affleck. I like them both, so that was disappointing. (I suppose that’s why they’re not doing the press junket. The other stars are great too, don’t get me wrong.)

Yes ladies, this one reeks of ‘chick flick.’ There were about 25 women in the audience and 1 man—but of course that could be because all the hubbies were at work. (wink) It was a cute movie, in the way that the ‘nice’ and ‘cute’ guy is someone you don't have a love connection with and you're not really interested in dating, but definitely like as a friend. It was worth seeing but I felt a little dissatisfied in the end. I was hoping for hip jargon, quick wit, inside jokes, tugged heartstrings, new trends, you know, all the hot young stuff. What we get is luke warm relationship dealings. *Am I becoming a cynical old lady? I’m finding SO many films slow these days. Has my self-given ‘Duchess’ title ruined my movie viewing satisfaction?* The producers are billing this as a ‘date movie’ but I think your date might find it a bit boring (except when Scarlett comes on screen). All his secrets being given away?! It definitely makes for great dinner conversation and debate.

All things considered, I’ll say this: it does make you analyze love and relationships, specifically your own. It reinforces the fact that we women stick together to console each other by making excuses for the guy who’s ‘just not into you.’ It’s funny to watch on film, and oh so true. My gut feeling is that this film will be enjoyed most by the twenty-something crowd.

I hope it doesn't seem like I'm bashing this Drew Barrymore production! I will always support her films! It was good and cute. You should see it.

I’m still thinking about what else to say about this one…let me know what you think.

I typically really like independent films. Was this one billed that way? It is an award winning film which put it on my ‘want to see’ list. I liked it, sort of. Let’s just say I’m glad I saw it, but probably wouldn’t recommend it to someone who doesn’t see many films. The slow paced story will not be favorable to them. There is lots of music to fill the voids of not so many words. I can certainly understand how some would consider it ‘powerful and moving.’ It’s a good heart wrenching story of forgiveness and hope. Expanded content would have done the trick to help me buy into it.

I think we’ll see more of the leading Mexican native (photo above).

Edward Norton and Colin Ferrell headlined, so I had to see it! I’m game to see a scandalous NYPD corruption film every now and then. Plus, this starred two of my favorites, right?? Well…I probably should have passed on this one.

The screenplay had much to be desired--mostly because ‘f-bombs’ were used as every other word to the degree of being very distracting and ineffective. Be prepared for excessive cussing in every sense, blood, shooting, suspense, corruption, greed and just plain old manly business dealings. It was WAY too much for me. It gave me a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach thinking there could actually be men (and their families) out in the USA dealing with this every day. YUK!

I ended up fast forwarding through the last 45 minutes because I wanted to see how everything was resolved. I forwarded because I couldn’t stand the almost slow-motion pace, not the bad language, etc.

Hopefully Ed and Colin will find another film to work on together. I vote they make it a ‘chick flick’ next time.

Duchess note: See Ed Norton in “The Illusionist.” I think that’s one of his bests. My favorite Colin film is still “S.W.A.T.”

Thursday, February 5, 2009


I’ve committed to volunteering at the boys school today. We sell Otis Spunkmeyer cookies at lunch time for the Athletic Association. I’ll be at the school, smelling chocolate, and *DREAMING* of Spain….

These are photos of Antoni Gaudi's fabulous architecture in Barcelona. Truly amazing!

Have an awesome day!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


So I put the DVD in the player…Scout and Pops are in the kitchen working on a snack for Scout (who is still in a cast). They see and hear the beginning of the film and Scout promptly says, “Mom, what?!?” then he sings (literally) “C.H.I.I.I.C.K F.L.L.I.I.C.K” followed by, “why do you always want to watch those movies?” To which I reply, “This one is nominated for an award, so I have to see it. I want to know what it’s all about.” I’m left in my bliss for a few moments….until the ensemble begins to belt out their first ABBA song, which immediately gets an “OMG! Mom! WHAT??” “Yes, it’s a musical.” “Okay, okay, I’ll watch this crazy movie with you, but only until I finish my snack.” That line was followed by lots of giggling and laughter on our parts, plus a few dance moves in the family room (not really, but could have been).

I wouldn’t put this film at the top of any list, but I have to say, it was GREAT entertainment! If you like musicals (with all the hokie quirkiness), and you’re looking for a sweet story with a few crazy giggles thrown in, ‘take a chance on’ this one. Be ready for comments from teenagers like “Did you really have to listen to this music when you were young?” and “Ohhhh no, here comes another song.” ...And have no doubt ladies, you'll likely watch this one alone--the men in your life will be moving to the next room...

Duchess notes: The vocals have much to be desired. Don’t look for perfection there. Meryl Streep’s wig was killing me. Why did they make her wear that? Perfect (!), beautiful location for the film’s background. Expect only entertainment from this light hearted film--which is quite refreshing among all the film topics we’re faced with these days. You'll find it hard not to smile while watching. Even Grandma will like this one.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


One of my complete and absolute favorite things this time of year – and almost year around here in Texas – is AVOCADO! The price has gone down drastically and I’ve been eating avocado at nearly every meal. I don’t even need a meal: alone and salted is fine for me. Avocado is a fruit (not a vegetable)—did you know that?

Facts: Avocados are thought to have originated in Mexico, though their exact genesis is unknown. Like corn, figs, sugar cane and other ancient crops, the avocado is a cultigen: a species domesticated so long ago (around 7,000 years in the case of avocados) and that has undergone such dramatic changes that its wild ancestor cannot be determined. Whatever the original source, most agree that cultivated avocados originate from three different regions: Mexico, Guatemala, and West India. The rich fruits were first introduced to California in the late 1800s and have steadily grown in popularity.

Health: The avocado is free of cholesterol and sodium. It only contains 5 grams fat in 30 grams avocado. This type of fat is a monounsaturated fat, known as "good fat". Avocado is the fruit that contains the most dietetic fiber, it has 60% more potassium than a medium banana.
(Information Courtesy of Healthy Eating)

Avocado has unquestionably been on my ‘must have’ list these days.


Monday, February 2, 2009


Our Disney trip was great fun!

I’ve planned DisneyWorld trips many times thinking, “Okay, I’ve got it down now. I know the best way to do this.” Well…I’m not even close. No trip is ever the same. The good news is each trip is more relaxing than the last because we’ve experienced most everything. We don’t over schedule during the short time we’re there. We pick our favorites and add a few we’ve never done (usually the ‘slow’ rides/shows). Here are the highlights:

1. We rode the newest Disney Pixar 3-D ride--once. The ‘fast passes’ were gone by 12 noon. The sign said there was a 60 minute wait, so we jumped in (typically my boys won’t wait for anything over 40 minutes). Not surprising, Disney developed a great ride! The new Pixar area at Disney Hollywood is small but wonderful. The boys thought it was great, but Expedition Everest is still their overall favorite ride.

Entrance at newest Pixar ride:

The absolute favorite ride for the boys:

2. We stayed on the “Concierge” level at the Wilderness Lodge. It was fantastic! The staff was friendly and helpful. Definitely worth the extra money especially if you’re not spending all day at the parks. This is something new I learned this trip. You might even want to pay the extra money to be on the ‘lake’ side of the Lodge to catch the Magic Kingdom fireworks show from your balcony. Bonus: We got in early one night and borrowed “Finding Neverland” (one of my all time favorites) from the desk—complimentary for concierge guests.

Pool view from the Concierge level: 3. If you’re staying at the Lodge, be sure to take a taxi to the Character Breakfasts at the Monorail resorts. $5 will get you to the front door in 5 minutes. Another something new I learned this trip. Yes, my big guys visit Character breakfasts with me. At their age, they think it's a bit silly, but they know I love it.

4. The new Kim Possible adventure at Epcot was great entertainment for my 12 year old. Apparently, this is part of the Verizon partnership with Disney. There’s no doubt creative minds think of this stuff! Epcot still needs work, but this shows Disney is at least trying to upgrade the entertainment there for the little ones. Now if they could just replace some of those old, totally dated ‘in the round’ films.

How do I apply to be on a Disney focus group??

Sunday, February 1, 2009


“Shop NAKED & Save” Hmmm. This shop sign definitely caught my eye! I was in small town Texas with Kooza for his Tumbling and Trampoline competition and this shop was next door to the gym…. I have to say—it brought a smile to my face. Won't people do anything to save a little money these days?!? Don’t worry--The shop was actually an unfinished pine furniture store. They also had great waxed and painted pine furniture plus some great Texan art and accessories. You never know what you'll see in small town Texas. Hee.