Monday, August 18, 2014

Holy Cop Premiere


Last night was the world premiere of Magoo's first film: Holy Cop.  Hand-delivered tickets went out that morning.  Donuts were served that evening to guests in formal attire.


Magoo thanked this guests for coming.  Then, without further ado, we showed the film.


I think it went very well.  The audience laughed where they were supposed to and they asked interesting questions in the Q&A that followed.  Then they wanted to watch it again.  (It's only 3 1/2 minutes long.)  Magoo handled himself like a professional: very courteous and informative.  Then he ran outside to play with his friends.

Now, please allow me to share with you, HOLY COP.


Hope you all enjoyed it!
Have a great week!
Julie

Sunday, August 17, 2014

More S'mores, Please


Magoo had never had a s'more.

We don't camp and even if we did, his dietary restrictions make almost everything in a s'more a food-don't.  But I recently found a recipe for sugar-free marshmallows and we decided to give it a go.  (I already knew how to make gluten-free graham crackers.)

I went out and found some sticks, Mike lit a fire, and Magoo roasted his first "marshmallow."


My graham crackers are a little cakier than regular graham crackers, but they still held the gooey "marshmallow" and melted carob chips altogether.  Mmmmmm.


It was a whopper of a mouthful, but it was a big thumbs up for Magoo!


Magoo milestones:
Roasting marshmallows over a fire - check
Eating s'more - check.

(And he got his first cell phone, too.  It was a good day for Magoo.)

Hope you had a wonderful day involving melted chocolate (or something similar) too!


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Holy Cop

A few months ago, Magoo was joking around in the back of the car and he came up with an idea for a cop show parody.  He used to be a priest, then he became a cop.  Now he's ... Holy Cop!

We joked around about it for awhile, then I thought This could be a summer project.

Magoo was into it, so he wrote a script.  In the beginning he made the "actors" and I made the sets, then, when it became too much work, I made the "actors" too.  See, we're using paper puppets and you have to make new ones for each scene, so it can get a bit tedious.

We're recently wrapped principal photography ...

Holy Cop questions a suspect at Toilets R Us.

Magoo works the Holy Cop puppet.

... and Magoo just finished editing the first cut on iMovie.


Tomorrow we hope to do the voice overs and find some background sounds.  Then, next week, perhaps we'll have a premiere party.  Once we have the VIP Premiere I can share it here on the blog.

So far it's been a good project for lazy days when it's too cool for the pool and there are no buddies around.  I figure this helps him learn a bit about writing, do some art, and learn some new computer skills.  Not bad for a summer project, right?

Hope you're all having a productive summer as well!
Take care!
Julie

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Kayak Attack


We enjoy kayaking - not to the point where we own our own, but when we're on vacation, it's a nice thing to do.  It's lovely to coast down a river - enjoy the scenery - feel the cool water on your hand - see nature - and, occasionally, navigate a turn or two.


That's what it used to be - but kayaker, BEWARE THE RIVER THAT ALLOWS TUBING!

You see, in the first part of the river, it wasn't so bad.  There were a few tubers to navigate around, but it was manageable.   But then we got to the fishing gate (below.)  Once we past this point, the river was infested with tubers!  (They must have had a launch around there or something.)


 The thing about tubers is that it's a completely different pace and experience than kayaking, and therefore the two should not share the same space.  Pedestrians walk on the sidewalk, cars drive in the street, right?  Tubes are slow.  Kayaks are faster.  Tubers like to cluster together like little islands.  Kayaks may travel together, but they don't huddle up.  Tubers drink, smoke, and apparently blast '80's music from a radio as they leisurely float down a river.  Ok - fine - if that's your jam.  But this is what that means for a kayaker in the same waterspace.  (See below.)


It's hell on us.

Navigating a fallen tree is one thing.  Navigating a floating cluster of twelve tipsy people is another.

As I passed by one such cluster, a lady said to me, "You should join our group!  It's less stressful!"  I stared at her and sneered.  I did.  I sneered.  I wasn't trying to sneer.  I was trying to give a good polite Michigan smile, but I couldn't help it.  I was so irritated I wanted to scream, "YOU'RE what's causing my stress!"  But I didn't.  I just sneered.

So, it was sorta a nice kayak trip, but it could have been better.

Ok, I'm off to the dentist.  Gotta run!  Thanks so taking some time to visit!
Julie

Monday, August 4, 2014

Climbing the Bear


One of my favorite parts of our Michigan trip was visiting the Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes.   I had been once before, when I was like eight or nine - younger than Magoo.  I remember them being massive - which my young mind did not exaggerate at all - they're huge.  In face, they're even bigger than I remembered. 

We'd clear a ridge and I'd say, "I think the next one is the top."  It wasn't.  We'd clear that one and there would be another ridge to clear.  "That one must be the top."  Nope.


We got high enough to see Lake Michigan, but it was a good ways yonder before we would have been able to set foot in it - so we settled for the view and considered it a success.



Of course, the rewards of climbing up that dune is the fun of coming back down!



It is fun to run down a dune!  Hey, that could be a new children's book: It's Fun to Run Down a Dune!

It's fun to run down a dune
and sing a jaunty tune
but don't fall in the pits
you'll get sand in your bits
and be cleaning them out until noon.

And on that bit of nonsense, I'll sign off!
Thanks for stopping in!  Have a lovely Monday!


Sunday, August 3, 2014

At the Cabin


Hi guys -  sorry I've been away but, well, I've been away.  My family and I just got back from a lovely week at the family cabin on the Northwest coast of Michigan.   (Not the Upper Penninsula, which is sort of it's own thing, but the north part of the mitten.  "Up North" to locals.)

It's difficult to see the front of the cabin b/c it's right on the Betsie River, so this shot (above) is taken more from the side.  (Below) Here's the view we wake up to every morning.  One morning there was a man fishing in the river and another morning it was fun to watch a parade of kayaks maneuver through.


I'll share some of our Michigan adventures throughout the course of the week, but most of the time was spent being leisurely.  Magoo snapped a pic of me painting on the deck.


Here's the end result:  A bowl of tiny plums.  (This is a photograph, not a scan, so it's a little dark on the corners.)


Hope you all had a lovely week!
Thanks for stopping in!


Thursday, July 24, 2014

At the Movies: X-Men and Begin Again


For Magoo and me, hot summers with with time to kill and no new TV means MOVIES.  We hit the movies A LOT.  So I thought I'd post a few reviews in case you were wondering what an adult woman and 11-yr-old boy thought of them.

IN THEATERS:

X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST





This is a comic book action movie.  If you don't know who Wolverine is - skip this one.  If you do know you Wolverine, Professor X, and Magneto are then this is the movie for you.  The basic plot is that a line of mutant-killing robots has taken over the Earth.  They're so bad-ass they even kill humans who carry the mutant gene.  The X-men send Wolverine back in time, with the goal of stopping the robots before they are ever made.  Problem is, he'll need the help of young Prof. X and young Magneto to help him - but in the past these two are on the outs.  Big time.

This movie is great for those following the X-men movies because it combine the present day cast with the younger cast from X-men First Class.  Double X-men - one price!  Magoo and I both thought the plot worked really well and we really enjoyed the movie and the special effects.  I particularly liked the scene where the group is breaking Magneto out of a high security cell and Quicksilver (who is so fast that time basically stops before him) speeds around a room full of guards disrupting their weapons and plans of attack.

Magoo was not scared in any way.  He followed the plot just fine.  To borrow from Siskel and Ebert (Who else are you gonna borrow from?) We give it TWO THUMBS UP. 






BEGIN AGAIN

BEGIN AGAIN is the story of two people who are down and out, who meet, and help each other pull themselves up.  Dan (Mark Ruffalo) is a music producer who was just fired from the recording label he helped to create.  He's also divorced and has a 14-yr-old daughter that he disappoints on a regular basis.  Gretta is a song writer who came to New York on the coattails of her musician boyfriend who is quickly rising to the top.  Along the way, he dumps her.  When Dan hears Gretta play a sweet song at an open mic night, he is inspired to create music again and the two set out to record their own album - on the cheap - int he streets of New York.

This movie is rated R - although I'm not sure why.  Most nights, there is racer stuff on The CW.  I took Magoo because he loves music and I thought he might enjoy a movie where music is being made, and where people have failed and have to learn from the failure and rise up again.  It's a nice message for a kid.

This is a very sweet movie.  I liked both characters a lot, and I also liked how they were able to help each other achieve their own individual goals.  Dan is trying to get the spark of his former life back.  He wants to be the man he once was.  Gretta is trying to find out who she wants to be and what's going to define her choices.

I read a review that criticized it for being too simple, not edgy enough.  And it's true, this is a very sincere movie.  No cynicism.  It's about making art in the purest sense - just to make art.

I don't think it would be for every kid.  There are no talking animals, car chases, or flying humans in it, but Magoo really enjoyed the music and we bought a couple tracks on iTunes when we got home.  Coming Up Roses is my personal favorite.

Magoo says that he liked it and he liked that "there were two stories that intersected."

TWO THUMBS UP for Begin Again.

I have more movies to review but I have to head out to Art Camp now.  Thanks so much for stopping in!