Sunday, November 30, 2008

My 10 Favorite Movies of All-Time

Ever since I was in high school my 3 favorite movies have been Princess Bride, Dead Poet's Society, and The Truman show.  Since then, that list has been as secure for me as my 3 favorite candies: Sour Patch Kids, Dots, and Mike and Ikes.  However, deep down I knew that someday that list might have to change.  Well, along came Lord of the Rings, and the security I had built upon the surety of my favorite movies was shaken forever.  Instead of reevaluating my list, I've simply wallowed in uncertainty ever since.  But today, I have changed that!  Since I've been making lists lately, I figured it was time to tackle this one.

1. The Lord of the Rings
Yes, this is my favorite movie of all time.  I include all three; The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King.  I love them!  I think part of my love for them comes from Fellowship being the first movie I saw in the theatre after my mission.  I had seen advertisements at burger king for the movie, and I remember thinking, "This looks so cool."  I had never read the books, and I hadn't seen a movie in 2 years!  It was only a short while after I came home that my family took me to see it.  We went to an Edwards theatre in Boise, Idaho, which is stadium seating with larger than normal screens.  We arrived a little late, and I walked in as Cate Blanchett's narration plays over the opening sequence.  I get chills thinking about it!  I saw Fellowship in the theatre 7 more times.  Do the math.  That's 24 hours in the theatre.  I saw Two Towers in Logan with Grandma and Grandpa Call and my cousins.  Grandma was passing tissue out to all of us to put in our ears.  She also kept covering Skye's eyes during the battle sequences.  For those of you who don't know, that's just about the entire movie.  When it was over, Skye said, "That was the most boring movie I've ever seen."  I also saw Return of the King in Logan, and while people around me were complaining about the multiple endings, I was bawling.  I just didn't want it to end!  For the next 3 years, the extended editions of each movie were my big present for my birthday or Christmas from Chrislynn.  I love the cast, Peter Jackson, and I think they changed the way movies are made (particularly the way they were filmed all together).

2. Amelie
Chrislynn introduced me to this movie shortly after we were married.  It's rated R, so on our first Christmas I had it edited for her at Flicks in Logan.  Yeah, yeah, I know how some of you are reacting to that.  Anyway, it took me a while to realize it, but this is totally my second favorite movie!  I can't watch it without smiling.  And when it ends, I can't stop smiling for a long time, and I have an incredible urge to do something nice for someone!  That feeling always stays with me for a while, and for that reason I have bumped it up to number 2 on my list.  That and I love watching it with Chrislynn and seeing her smile when Amelie eats the raspberries and breaks the top of the creme brulee.

3. The Princess Bride
It was number 1 for so long that it couldn't drop too far down the list.  I love this movie!  I have a vague memory of watching this movie in the theatre when I was about 7 in Twin Falls, Idaho.  I remember watching it in the conference room across from the costume shop at Utah State with Tristan and Doug Hills when I was about 10 or 11 and the Hills boys were 2 or 3.  I remember quoting all the lines and giggling when Inigo Montoya says a "bad word" right before he kills the 6 fingered man.  I love this movie!

4. Dead Poet's Society
"I went to the woods because I wanted to live deliberately.  I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life.  To put to rout all that was not life; and not, when I had come to die, discover that I had not lived."  Henry David Thoreau
I think this movie may have had a larger impact on me than even I realize.  I remember watching this movie with my cousins in Grandma Call's house when I was pretty young.  I think I was sitting next to Denise, and she was very concerned about me watching Robert Sean Leonard's final scene.  I also remember watching it with Tyler Fenstermaker thousands of times all through high school.
"Carpe Diem.  Seize the day boys.  Make your lives extraordinary."
"That the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse.  What will your verse be?"

5. A River Runs Through It
I watched this movie in the theatre when we were living in McAllen, Texas.  Grandpa Call had just recently taught me how to fly fish, the location reminded me so much of Logan Canyon, and the fisherman at the end reminded me of Grandpa Call.  I think this is a beautiful movie.

6. That Thing You Do
We had just moved to Burley, Idaho, Molly Anderson and Aislinn Crane (who worked at Century Cinemas) got me into the movie for free, and they brought me free snacks.  The movie was so much fun!  It's when I decided I wanted to be a drummer instead of an actor... then I decided that would be really hard so I would just play a drummer on TV.  I got the soundtrack to the movie and played it over and over again.  I remember Anson dancing to it on my bed when he was just little.

7. Once
This is the newest movie on my top 10 list.  Chrislynn and I saw it for the first time on DVD last year, and we fell in love with it.  The music is beautiful!  In fact, that's how we were made aware of the movie.  It won the oscar for best song in a movie, and their performance at the awards was really moving.  I was also preparing for Stones in his Pockets so I wanted to watch it for research on an Irish dialect.  It was one of those movie / date nights when we weren't expecting too much, and we were pleasantly surprised.

8. The Shawshank Redemption
If That Thing You Do made me want to be a drummer, Shawshank made me want to be an actor.  I think if Forrest Gump (another one of my favorites) hadn't come out that year, Shawshank would have cleaned up at the Oscars.  Including a best actor for Tim Robbins.  This is another movie I remember watching a lot with Tyler Fenstermaker.

9. The Truman Show
So this had the most drastic drop from number 3 to 9, and it's still funny to me that it's on my list at all.  I don't really know why, I just love this movie!  I think Jim Carrey is excellent in it, and I think Peter Weir (who also directed Dead Poet's Society) did an incredible job of handling the potentially hokey moments and instead made them moving and touching.

10. With Honors
This probably has a lot to do with the enormous crush I had on Moira Kelly ever since The Cutting Edge.  I also really like Patrick Dempsey in his pre McDreamy days, and I was a fan of Brendan Frasier.  I love this movie, and I have a vague memory of my cousin Erica Vest having something to do with it.

Honorable Mentions:
The Dresser.
Tom Courtney gives the best performance I've ever seen in a movie.
Star Wars.
All 6 of them.  Yes, even the 3 new ones.
Indiana Jones.
The 1st 3.  While I don't feel as strongly against the 4th movie as some, I don't know if I'm ready to include it on this list.
Oceans 11, 12, and 13.
If Shawshank Redemption makes me want to be an actor, these movies make me want to be a movie star.  They look like they're having so much fun!
Bourne Identity, Supremacy, and Ultimatum.
I think this is the best acting in an action movie.
Back to the Future 1, 2, and 3.
Hello McFly!  Gotta love Christopher Lloyd, Michael J. Fox, and Crispin Glover.
Comic Book Movies.
My favorites are Spiderman 2, The Dark Night, and Transformers.  I know Transformers wasn't a comic book, but I put it in this category anyway.  I have yet to see an entire comic book trilogy that I love.  Spiderman 3 let me down.
Al Pacino Movies.
I love Al Pacino.  My favorites are Scent of a Woman, the first Godfather, and Dick Tracy.
Johnny Depp Movies.
I really love Johnny Depp.  My favorites are Edward Scissorhands, What's Eating Gilbert Grape, and yes, the Pirrates of the Caribbean movies.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving in New York!

When we first decided that we would be moving to New Jersey, one of the things that comforted us about the big move was that we would be close to Drew and Eryka who were living in New York. Well, as we were driving across the country with all of our stuff, Drew and Eryka were in the middle of a move to Spain. Now, two years later, they're back, and we got to spend a Thanksgiving with them. It was wonderful! We slept over on Wednesday night, the kids had a blast playing with each other, Drew took me to the new James Bond movie, and we had a fantastic Thanksgiving dinner thanks to Eryka, Chrislynn, and some neighbors who let Eryka use their ovens. Thanks Drew and Eryka for having us over!

The kids playing with trains.

Isaac teaching Richie how to play Wii.

Eryka got the kids (and Chrislynn) kits to make Pilgrims.

Sophia decided to make a game out of how far she could get up the stairs... all day long.

The prettiest girls in town.

A post Turkey Dinner nap.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

50 Favorite TV Shows of All-Time

I love Thanksgiving Break! We had a great Thanksgiving today with Drew and Eryka, but we'll have a separate post about that later. For now I want to post another list: Favorite TV shows. Now this is a big list so I'll split it into categories. Keep in mind again, that the order is sometimes based more on nostalgia and the good memories associated with who I watched the show with. Also, I watched a lot of these shows in syndication.

1. The Wonder Years
2. Saved by the Bell
3. Friends
4. Seinfeld
5. Arrested Development
6. Lost
7. Growing Pains
8. Cheers
9. Full House
10. The Cosby Show
11. Charles in Charge
12. Family Ties
13. M*A*S*H
14. The Office
15. Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip
16. Heroes
17. House
18. How I Met Your Mother (The verdicts still out on this one for me, but I love watching it with Chrislynn)
19. Who's the Boss?
20. Night Court (I don't remember much about it, but I remember I really liked this show for some reason)
21. X-Files (I'm only now getting into this)
22. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
23. Grey's Anatomy (These 2 get higher marks than they deserve because I loved the 1st few seasons, but I don't watch them now)
24. My Name is Earl (These 2 get higher marks than they deserve because I loved the 1st few seasons, but I don't watch them now)
25. My Two Dads
26. Boy Meets World
27. George Lopez
28. Blossom
29. Pee-wee's Playhouse
30. Perfect Strangers
31. Happy Days
32. A Different World
33. Doogie Howser, M.D.
34. Out of this World (Remember, the girl who stops time by putting her fingers together!)
35. Head of the Class
36. Laverne & Shirley
37. The A-Team
38. Designing Women (I watched a surprising amount of this show)
39. Life Goes On
40. Magnum, P.I.
41. Family Matters
42. Quantum Leap
43. Three's Company
44. Punky Brewster
45. Gilligan's Island
46. The Brady Bunch
47. Home Improvement
48. Mad About You
49. Northern Exposure
50. Wings

Shows I have fond memories of watching with Sissy and Bri (which pretty much includes all of the favorites as well):
Hey Dude
Salute Your Shorts
Double Dare
Wild and Crazy Kids
What would you do?
Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?
Clarissa Explains it All
Pop-up Video
Today's Special (It took place in a mall and there was a male mannequin that would come to life when his hat was on)
Are You Afraid of the Dark?
Welcome Freshman
Kids Incorporated
California Dreams (Remember this was a cheesy show about a band)
Guys Next Door (A cheesy show about a boy band)
The Mickey Mouse Club (The Party!)
Reading Rainbow
You Can't Do That on Television (They got slimed every time they did something they weren't supposed to.)
Wake, Rattle, and Roll (A boy and his robot and they would play cartoons on the robots TV screen)

Shows I have memories of watching with Mom and Dad (sometimes without them knowing):
Late Night with David Letterman
Married... with Children
Knots Landing
The Arsenio Hall Show
The Gong Show
Knight Rider
Kate & Allie
The Equalizer
Beauty and the Beast
Max Headroom
Miami Vice

Special Category Shows:
Saturday Night Live
Unsolved Mysteries
So You Think You Can Dance
Welcome to Pooh Corner
Press Your Luck
Family Feud
The Academy Awards
Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve (I've always loved watching the ball drop!!!)
The Price is Right
The Oprah Winfrey Show (She just makes me cry sometimes)
American Gladiators (I absolutely loved this show!)
Star Search
America's Funniest Home Videos
Card Sharks
Sesame Street
Mister Rodgers' Neighborhood
Monday Night Football
Remote Control

Wow, I suppose I should go read a lot of books now to make up for all the time I've spent watching TV. However, I wouldn't trade that time watching Saved by the Bell with Siss and Bri for anything.

"I'm so excited! I'm so excited! I'm so... so... scared!"

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

My 76 Favorite Cartoons of All-Time

Thanksgiving Break is here! That means five days in a row off! I'm so excited to be with Chrislynn, Richie, and Sophia, go visit Drew and Eryka, find a way to see Sissy, read for fun, and watch some movies. Sophia woke up early this morning, which woke Richie up, and I got up with them. Normally, I would go lay down for a little while before I leave for class after Chrislynn wakes up, but there's something about a day off that gives me energy. So instead of a nap, I decided to make a list of my favorite cartoons from as far back as I can remember to when I grew up (hasn't happened yet). I know the order will seem strange to some, but it has more to do with nostalgia than anything else.

1. Thunder Cats

2. Duck Tales
3. Chip n' Dale Rescue Rangers
4. He-Man and the Masters of the Universe
5. BraveStarr

6. The Ren and Stimpy Show
7. Tiny Toon Adventures
8. Pinky and the Brain
9. Inspector Gadget
10. Heathcliff
11. Jim Henson's Muppet Babies
12. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
13. Doug
14. The Real Ghostbusters
15. Tale Spin
16. Danger Mouse

17. Scooby's All Star Laff-A-Lympics
18. Winnie the Pooh
19. Hulk Hogan's Rock 'n' Wrestling
20. The Get Along Gang

21. Garfield and Friends
22. Bobby's World
23. The Jetsons
24. The Flinstones
25. Yogi Bear
26. The Scooby Doo Show
27. Scooby Doo and Scrappy Doo
28. The Smurfs
29. G.I. Joe
30. Dinosaucers

31. Captain Planet and the Planeteers
32. Mighty Mouse
33. Batman
34. Super Friends
35. Spiderman and his Amazing Friends
36. Space Ghost Coast to Coast
37. The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show
38. The Bugs Bunny and Tweety Show
39. The Tom and Jerry Comedy Show
40. The New Woody Wood Pecker Show
41. Felix the Cat
42. The All New Popeye Hour
43. Pink Panther
44. George of the Jungle
45. The Simpsons
46. Jem
47. Josie and the Pussycats
48. Fraggle Rock
49. She-Ra: Princess of Power
50. The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show
51. Dennis the Menace
52. Super Mario Bros. Super Show
53. Richie Rich
54. Alvin and the Chipmunks
55. Pound Puppies
56. The Littles

57. Goof Troop
58. The Addams Family
59. Beetlejuice
60. Animaniacs
61. Hammerman
62. Pro Stars
63. Harlem Globetrotters
64. New Kids on the Block
65. Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears
66. Rainbow Bright
67. Schoolhouse Rock!
68. Rugrats
69. Rocko's Modern Life
70. Johnny Bravo
71. Underdog
72. My Little Pony
73. The Care Bears
74. Speed Racer
75. Super Dave: Daredevil for Hire
76. Transformers

Okay, I know it's strange to have Transformers at the end of the list, especially following shows like Rainbow Bright and My Little Pony, but honestly, I don't remember watching Transformers very much. I also feel like I should include some honorable mentions.

1. X-men (I've never seen an episode, but I think my brothers-in-law would be upset if this didn't make the list.)
2. Voltron (Any time there's a conversation about great cartoons Voltron comes up. I remember it vaguely, but I don't think I ever really got into it. Number 30 on my list, Dinosaucers is the show I often mistake for Voltron.)
3. Darkwing Duck (This was a show I watched a lot with my cousins in Texas, but I don't remember liking it that much.)

If you have a favorite that I didn't put on the list please let me know. I may be forgetting some obvious ones, or I may have left some off the list on purpose.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

My Wife, The 16 Year Old Girl

First, let me say that this is in no way an attempt to tease or make fun of my wife. I am, after all, an enormous Harry Potter fan, New Kids On The Block aficionado, and Top 40 junkie. This is simply a post to let everyone know how adorable my wife is. A few months ago I got Chrislynn Twilight. A lot of people had recommended she read it, I thought she might like it, and truth be told, I thought I'd like to read it eventually myself. Well, she just didn't get into it. Then, only a few days ago, I saw her crack it open for the first time. For the next couple of days, every time I came into the room she was reading in, I would inevitably find her grinning from ear to ear, sometimes even giddy. Now, only a few days after starting Twilight, she's already well into New Moon, the second book in the series.

Chrislynn's smile and seeing her happy is the source of some of the greatest joy in my life. I'm glad Stephenie Meyer can make her feel like that. Morgan, I think Chrislynn has joined your Twilight fan club.

Monday, November 24, 2008


We closed our show, BLUE/ORANGE, a couple weeks ago, and these pictures were just made available to us on line. So I thought I'd share a few with you. It was a good show. It was great to work with Joe again, and we really enjoyed working with Chris, the third member of the cast.

Now we're in the middle of another round of auditions. The department is casting for the first half of next semester which includes Merry Wives of Windsor and Sea Marks. We'll see what happens, and I'll keep you posted. Just a couple more days before Thanksgiving Break! That means Christmas break is just around the corner!!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Happy Birthday!

Today is Richie Call II's birthday. I am so blessed to have this man as my husband, he is a wonderful husband and father. 

We love him very much! 

This is from the summer.  We are up Logan Canyon on "singing rock" where Richie intended to propose to me.  He ended up proposing to me on the way to a rehearsal, across the street from the temple, he just couldn't wait until we had some free time to go up the canyon.  We stopped there last summer after spending time up the canyon with Richie's family and took this family picture.  
Hiking down to singing rock.
Snuggling with Sophia.
Watching a movie with Richie.

Happy 28th birthday, Babe!  I love you!

p.s. Happy birthday Kim :)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Then I say...

Richie had an audition for a movie yesterday, not big Richie/Daddy, little Richie! How crazy is that? One of big Richie's teachers has a daughter who is a casting agent and she is working on a movie directed by Nancy Meyers with Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin and they are looking for a little hispanic boy between 4 and 6 that can be a little terror. Somehow little Richie came up and they asked if we would be interested in having him audition. They looked at our blog and eventually gave us a call to set up an appointment, but initially decided against seeing him because he is only three, but a few hours after the first phone call, we got another call saying they wanted to see him after all. We got a side (a short scene) for him to prepare and we did our best to get him to try and learn it.

Yesterday, the coldest day of the season so far, we bundled up and went into the city. The audition was in a building in Times Square and we went early enough that we could have spent some time walking around, but it was bitter cold and Sophia was miserable during the short time we did walk around. We found the office and let ourselves warm up before we went inside. There were other little boys there and Richie quickly made friends with one named Jhett. The boys were going into a room with a woman who was kind of interviewing them and then having them do the side. We were not sure Richie would go in alone, but when it was his turn, he didn't even pause for a second, and he was very cute and charming, of course. We did not go in the room with him, but I could sort of hear through the door. This is what I heard of the conversation:

  • Meagan: How old are you, Richie ?

  • Richie: Free.

  • Wow, that's a lot of fingers. Do you go to school?

  • No.

  • You get to stay home with mommy?

  • Yeah.

  • Does your mom teach you things?

  • No.

  • M: (amused)...

  • What were you for Halloween?

  • A pola bear.

  • Oh. Did you wear that on Halloween? (he was wearing a jack-o-lantern shirt)

  • For a little while.

  • Oh, yeah? What else did you wear?

  • Uhhhh, played trains.

  • Oh, you like trains?

  • Yeah, Thomas.

  • What about James?

  • Yeah.

  • He's Thomas's best friend, right?

  • Yeah.

  • Who are his other friends?

  • Uhhh, Emily, Percy, Gordon...

  • ...Can you say your first line? Do you remember it?

  • (pause)

  • Say, "What were you doing in there?"

  • What you were doin' in there?

  • Going to the bathroom.

  • Then I say......Why you take a shower with your clothes on?

  • What, do you have x-ray ears?

  • Then I say....(I couldn't hear what he said here)

  • Pedro, darling.

  • I not Pedro, I Richie.

  • Oh, I'm sorry, I forgot.

He was so cute, but I am pretty sure that we will not hear back from them, he just isn't quite old enough yet. It was a fun experience, though, and Meagan was in love with Sophia, too. We shared an elevator with Jhett and his mom and Richie said to him, "You're my best friend," and put his arm around him and Jhett said, "You're my best friend, too." Richie didn't even understand what he had just been involved with, but he had fun talking to the lady and making a new friend. It was fun for all!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Splish Splash!

Recently Richie has started saying "I don't want to get my hands wet" when I tell him it is bath-time.  So I tell him he doesn't have to, he gets in the bathtub and eventually starts playing in the water.  The latest development is: "I don't want to get my hands and feet wet."  This takes some flexibility, but he manages to do it, and he manages to not get very clean.

Look how long Sophia's hair is getting!  (Sorry about the glare on the picture, but it is such a cute shot, I decided to use it anyway.)
She is my little unicorn.

Friday, November 14, 2008


This week I picked up a pencil and sketch book and drew for the first time in years. It is not easy to draw with the kids around, little Richie always wants to "help" me, so I have to take breaks and let him draw and I just can't draw with Sophia around. That limits the amount of time that I can actually do it, but it has been so nice to get back to drawing. I have been needing to do something other than just "mothering" lately, and I can do this and still be a mom. It was nice to see that I am still capable of doing it. Here is what I have been working on this week.

In other news, little R spent the entire day in big boy underwear and only had one accident! We are making great progress.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


Richie:  "I'm sorry I was cheeky." 

Stuffed cat:  "That's okay."

Do you think someone has been watching too much Thomas and Friends?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I Just Love This Girl!

When I say "Peekaboo" she holds up her hands like this. . .

. . . she usually doesn't actually cover her eyes, but that makes it that much cuter.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Don't Forget to Vote!

This may not be a popular campaign poster for some of our blog viewers, but I wanted to do my part to remind people to vote tomorrow. I always get so excited to watch the map of the United States turn red and blue on Election Day. So don't forget to vote!

See more Ron Howard videos at Funny or Die

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween Week in Review

(This is a long one.)

Last Saturday Richie's sister, Giselle, came up for a quick visit.  She was nice enough to babysit so we could go to the temple and them she stayed and went to our ward Halloween party with us.  

We were not sure we were going to get Richie to put on his polar bear costume, but moments before we walked out the door, he finally agreed.  We got the costume last year, but he didn't get a chance to wear it, with Sophia's arrival and his REFUSAL to put it on.  It seemed like this year would be a repeat (the refusal part), but he put it on and actually got really excited about it.  Sophia was a little elephant, so Mom and Dad went as the zoo keepers.

Sophia's birthday celebration was very low key.  I was going to make her a cupcake cake, or maybe a Tinkerbell cake, but I was not organized enough to get either done, so we ended up getting her a Carvel ice cream cake, just like little Richie had on his first birthday.  Richie was more excited than Sophia about the presents, so we got him something to open too, then he helped her open her gifts and blow out her candle.  
Sophia's little hand with a fistful of frosting.

Every day Sophia gets better and better at walking and is braver about how far she will go.

On Halloween we went to a neighborhood party at the playground to show off our costumes and then go trick or treating.
Group shot of everyone in costume.
Richie's costume made the slide extra slippery and fast!  He really enjoyed playing in his costume.
This was Richie's first year going trick or treating.  At first he was really into it, but after a couple houses when they opened the door and Dad would say, "What do you say, buddy?"  He would hold out his pumpkin and say, "I want to go home."  So he didn't get a lot of candy, but that is okay with me.  He really had fun and it was fun to see him enjoy the holiday for the first time.