Netflix – Not What We Imagined

Kate and I signed up for Netflix in December. It hasn’t exactly been what we expected. I’m not referring to the selection of movies, how fast they send you movies, the ease of use of their Web site, or anything related to our satisfaction with the service itself. We have generally been very happy with all of those things. The problem, you see, is us.

Since we signed up for Netflix we have seen the following movies:

  • Pennies from Heaven
  • Raising Helen
  • Fantastic Four
  • The Brothers Grimm
  • Six Degrees of Separation
  • The Dukes of Hazard

These movies have one thing in common. They were all terrible. In fairness, The Brothers Grimm and Raising Helen could get a rating as high as mediocre, but that’s still not saying much. We’ve also seen a couple of good movies, so we’re only mostly inept when it comes to picking movies. We’re currently sitting on Schindler’s List, which I’ve never seen, and awaiting Mr. and Mrs. Smith (my pick – it might be another bad one). Maybe we should look at the movies with a little bit more of a critical eye before adding them to our queues.

In other (totally unrelated) news, Simon went to the doctor yesterday, and weighed in at a whopping 18lbs, 7ozs! He’s currently playing linebacker for the Viginia Tech Baby Hokies, and is terrorizing baby quarterbacks everywhere. Simon for Heisman!

Singing Simon to Sleep

Earlier this week, I was charged with the task of putting Simon to sleep. I, unlike Kate, cannot rely on certain tried-and-true methods. Rather, I have to resort to walking, rocking, singing, patting, and the like. On this particular night, I was giving singing a try. I’m no Pavarotti, but I’m not tone-deaf, either. So I busted out a couple of lullabye-esque songs and rocked Simon while I sang to him. I got the following result:

Sleepy dog

I guess music really does calm the savage beast. Simon, on the other hand, put up a valiant fight. The little guy was obviously tired, and it was really amusing to watch his eyes close most of the way, only to open again a moment later. Eventually he gave up and became a limp little puddle of baby in my lap. Nothing is cuter than a sleeping baby (sorry Casey).

Another Piece of my Childhood – Noah’s Ark, by Peter Spier

Noah's ArkHigh and long,
Thick and strong,
Wide and stark,
Was the Ark.

Another one of my favorite books is Noah’s Ark, by Peter Spier. Unlike Henry the Explorer, this book is not out of print. In fact, I highly recommend picking it up, whether or not you’re still a kid.

The byline of the story appropriately does not say “by Peter Spier”, but rather “illustrated by Peter Spier”. Noah’s ark is all about the illustrations. In fact, the majority of the book contains no words whatsoever. It’s part of the book’s charm. I remember my parents making up the story as they went along. Even better, they let me help. Not that we really needed to do so. The illustrations are so detailed and rich that they tell a story by themselves.

What are some of your favorite childhood books?

Henry the Explorer Wishes you Happy New Year!

Henry the ExplorerKate and I spent Christmas in New York with her family, and gathered with my family to exchange gifts and celebrate yesterday. Kate and my family did some great shopping this year, and came up with two items that I really wanted, both of which are children’s books. So really, they were like two-for-one presents, as Simon benefits too!

Henry the Explorer, by Mark Taylor is out of print, so is not easy to come by. However, through the wonder of the Internet, and more specifically, my mother was able to find a used (but in terrific shape!) copy of this childhood favorite of mine. The story centers around Henry and his dog (Laird Angus McAngus), and a day of exploring.

This children’s book provided beautiful illustrations and a simple, effective story. I can’t wait until Simon is old enough to read this book. Maybe someday he’ll strap a sack to Casey’s back, fill it with flags, and go adventuring himself!