Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Completely addicted to...

Yep, I'm addicted to Junior Mints. I love the creamy minty middle that bursts into my mouth. The dark chocolate shell surrounds the hidden treasure perfectly. Whether purchased at the movie theater or smuggled in by purse, no movie is complete with out a box of Junior Mints at my side.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Hubbard Family Olympics

I don't know how many of you out there are aware that the Olympics are not just in Beijing this year. True, it doesn't have the coverage that Beijing does, but we have high hopes for future years. I bring to you, Olympic grade slip-n-slide... sure to be the next new event to join the Olympic venue.

Here we have the athletes lining up to try their skills

There sheer determination is evident on many an athlete's face.
It takes a lot of skill and muscle strength to stay on the actual slide.
Clearly this is not a sport for men only, just look at the joy on her face.
As the athletes progress, an element of style is introduced into the games.

And of course, there are the upcoming Olympic hopefuls.
And the smooth slide into the pond.
On other news, here's little Wesley with his grandma.

And another new addition, here is Kierstin Tennant, a new niece.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Breaking Dawn (Spoiler Alert!)

As many of you know, I recently finished reading Breaking Dawn the anxiously awaited final book in Stephanie Meyer's Twilight series. I picked up the book with anticipation and curiosity. I am well aware that this is not the greatest series ever written and in fact can be compared to great literature the same way that "American Idol" could be compared to great television. It's just not in the same class. But I do enjoy a good story. I'm a rather forgiving reader actually. If the story manages to catch my attention and keep me interested, then I don't consider it a waste of my time.

My personal preferences in "literature" vary greatly. Sometimes I'm in the mood for a book that changes my outlook on life, expands my horizons and almost forces me to look at the world through different eyes. Those are the books that get into my soul.

Then there are the books that help me run away from my own life and transport me into a different world. A world where magic exists and the impossible is possible. These are the books that I turn to for a good escape from reality. It is this second category that Breaking Dawn falls into. I wasn't looking for deep meaning or literary greatness, just a "take me away" book.

When I picked it up last Sunday it started out much the same as the other three. It felt repetitious in some ways, ie. beautiful Edward, awkward Bella, excited Alice and a big wedding. It moved the plot along but it was nothing new. As the book progressed, it became evident that this would be different. In fact, I found the story rather intriguing and always read much more at a sitting than intended. I felt a progression in Meyer's writing that I was sure would make some of the teenage infatuation of the first three books worth every page. More of the vampire world was opened up just begging to be looked at. In the last 100-150 pages we are introduced to new characters as conflict between the ruling Volturi and the Cullen family heat up. Preparations begin for a defining conflict where true justice would be served. Forces were gathered and the battlefield set and then... well it doesn't happen.

So much time is spent preparing to defend and fight for the rights of free will and agency and it is stopped with a word trap. My first reaction was disbelief followed closely with thoughts that Meyer was being incredibly self-indulgent. Bella doesn't have to loose anything in her life, she gets Edward, she gets Jacob (that's a plot twist that I certainly won't give away), she gets her vampire family as well as Charlie in her life. And she gets immortality. We all like a happy ending, but I felt that this ending was too happy. Too happy to be believable. I can only suspend reality so far. I felt that the characters were denied a chance to learn something of life themselves. Perhaps I just rather crave violence but I longed for a more conclusive ending for the Volturi. Too may loose ends were left loose. The book could have been great, it certainly had the components, it just ended poorly. There were questions left unanswered and mysteries left unexplained about Bella herself.

Did I enjoy the book? Yes. Was it great literature? No. Am I glad I read it? Sure, why not. It did keep my attention. It will still hold a place on my bookshelf (and look great because I like the cover art) though not as deeply in my heart. Perhaps someday I will read them again and come to a new appreciation for the ending that so disappoints me now. So, take that for what you will. Finish the series and enjoy it for what it is, just don't expect greatness.

I'm back!

K, so it's been awhile since I've updated, but I have very good reasons. We recently had a death in the family. Our little old laptop finally gave up the ghost. The powercord no longer plugs in to the computer, and since the battery lasts of all 20 minutes or so, well... yeah. It was a good little "puter" while it lasted though. And with death comes new life. We recently purchased a HP Pavilion laptop that is quickly becoming my friend. It's so quiet! It took a while to get everything situated but it is complete at last. You'll be hearing more from me, whether you like it or not... whaa ha ha haaa.

So, I finished the most recent book in the Stephanie Meyers Twighlight series. I'm dying to discuss it with someone. Has anyone else read it yet? There's so much I want to say but I'm afraid I would ruin an ending/middle for you, not that it wasn't ruined by the author already. (Did I give away too much?) Oh yeah, now you're interested. I'm afraid I'm not having the happy-joyous-everythingisohsowonderful opinion that I was sure I would have. So, if you would like to hear my opinion, let me know I'd be glad to share. Of course I may just share it anyway sometime in the future with a big "Spoiler" warning on it.

So... stay tuned and keep checking! More is sure to come!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Vampires and Primary Songs

Have you ever had one of those days where you are just off? The kind where all the functions that you never really had to think about become almost more than you can handle? Like deciding what to eat and how to put one foot in front of another? Today was one of those days.

It started with the inability to get up and get to church on time. We live 1/2 a block from the church house and it has always burned on my consciousness that the majority of our Sundays we are unable to make it in time to find a good seat and listen to the prelude. Instead we are running through the door as a member of the bishopric starts making the announcements. They see us, smile knowingly, and keep going. Truly it brings more notice to us that I am comfortable with. One day our "high visibility" is going to catch up with us and we are going to be asked to speak. Of course they will take bets on whether we show up on time. (So far our only safety net is that the first counselor is our landlord and we made it clear that the new carpet in our house is safe as long as we don't have to speak in church. He laughed then but I'm pretty sure the "idle threat" worked. We have nothing on the other two though... so far.)
Still, it's more annoying that we can't seem to make it on time for Fast Sunday when we have a whole meal taken out of the routine.

Next on the list was Primary. For some reason all of the songs that I know backwards and forwards became foreign to my fingers. Was it the presence of a new primary presidency? The new teachers we seem to have every week? Or just my brain letting me know that I can never relax for even five minutes or it will sabotage me unmercifully. I fumbled through Keep the Commandments like I had never played it before and a book fell and hit the keys twice. The kids laughed and I'm sure the Presidency wondered how I got the job. "Clearly it's a 'growing' position for her," they'll say as they consider my replacement.

Last but not least, I gave in to my not-so-secret desire to read 'mindless drivel', as some would term it, and I started reading the new Stephanie Meyer's book "Breaking Dawn". After a couple of chapters I opted to take a nap and found myself in one of those naps where all sorts of weird things happen and even make sense as long as I'm asleep. I dreamed of vampire children fraternizing with characters from the Lion King intermingled with my parents back yard swimming pool. I slept for an hour and a half and had to use all of my will power and reserve strength to get back out of bed lest I sleep too long rendering a good nights sleep later on tonight impossible. I am still in the funk and thought I would share.

This just proves that I too can write mindless drivel, I will just never get paid for it. Perhaps I need an oh-so-mysterious character to tie things together and incite a twisted kind of love interest. hmm... I wonder what my husband would think if he suddenly became a misunderstood zombie who just needed more affection to break the spell. Would I help him or would he trap me into joining his nights of endless wandering... dun dun dun dun.
Hope you all have a better Sunday.