Friday, May 12, 2023

7 Quick Takes about Why I'm Not an Action Movie Buff, Refusing to Pay for Rocks, and the Difference Between Spenders and Savers

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?


Even though action movies are the last genre of movies I'd ever want to watch, my 14-year-old recently saw the movie Tenet and insisted we all had to see it. So I reserved it from the library to watch with him and the other teenagers in the family.

I ended up falling asleep shortly after the opening scene. It's not my fault; I blame Christopher Nolan. After about 10 consecutive seconds of explosions/gunshots/glass breaking, my brain just get bored and checks out. (I spent most of Inception in a coma, only to be briefly awakened by the foghorn noises.)

My kids, however, love action movies, superhero movies, and the like. They're highly disappointed in me and perhaps a little offended that their entertainment makes me lose consciousness.


Later that week, I mentioned to someone how Phillip and I once watched Honey, I Shrunk the Kids with our children and they ruined it by poking holes in the logic (Take #3 here.)

My 17-year-old heard that and jumped in saying, "That's how I feel when we watch action movies with you!"

I was shocked. I mean, they all know what I think about action movies, but I keep my mouth shut during their movies so I don't squash their obvious enjoyment. "What do you mean? I don't say anything!"

"Yes, but I can feel feel your lack of suspension of disbelief," she explained. "It emanates from you like a fart cloud."

Okay, I definitely offended her by falling asleep during the last one.


Right now I've got an inside project and an outside project for myself, which is nice because I can pick which one I'm going to work on based on the weather and how much I want to be outside.

My inside project is priming and painting the basement. I just finished the second coat of primer on the walls, and the next step is painting the ceiling. Then choosing a paint color for the walls and doing a few coats of paint. Then brushing 3 coats of polyurethane on the stair treads. Then painting the doors and molding. Basically I'll be painting until I get tendinitis.

My outside project is landscaping around the mailbox. Here's a before picture, which isn't really even a before picture because there used to be a super-ugly metal pole next to it to keep cars from running into it:

For the 13 years we've lived here, I wasn't aware of anyone actually running into that eyesore of a pole, so this fall we removed it. The mailbox has since been knocked over twice by cars sliding off the road when it's icy.

So my new plan is to landscape the area by getting fill dirt and making kind of a bank with a low retaining wall where the pole used to be. I hope it will serve the same function as the pole, but look a lot nicer.


I've been sourcing biggish landscaping rocks this week to make my retaining wall. I get so close to buying some, and then I just can't. I am unable to buy rocks, sheerly on principle that they are rocks, and we live in New England.

The ground here is so rocky, people are drowning in them here. It's so normal to see a ton of big rocks and boulders in yards around here, sometimes in a rock wall, sometimes incorporated into the landscaping, sometimes arranged artfully by the side of the road. Sometimes they're randomly pushed to the edge of the property when a house is built and just stay there forever.  How can I justify buying rocks when I drive past a million of them every day?

My 19-year-old jokes that I should just take one from every yard, and no one will ever notice but I'll still end up with enough rocks to build my retaining wall.


My 11-year-old is becoming a shopaholic, and I'm not sure what to do about it. I've always been a saver and so are my older children. When they earn money, they're required to save 60% of it and can spend the other 40% on whatever they want, and more often than not they're like, "I don't know what to do with this extra money so I'll just put it in my college savings, I guess."

On the other hand, my 11-year-old has an "I want" list a mile long and I have to regularly deny her loan applications because in this house, she's got to make the money before she spends it. I don't quite know what normal kid behavior is, but I suspect it falls somewhere between those two extremes.

We're making progress, though. She doesn't ask to borrow money very much anymore, and instead begs me to give her allowance chores so she can earn it. And whenever we pass a "Help Wanted" sign, she moans, "I want a JOB!!"


The other day, I'd practically filled my cart at the grocery store when an announcement came over the loudspeaker: the computers were down, and they were only accepting cash at the register.

A collective grumble went through the store. Not many people carry cash anymore, and they weren't even accepting checks (not that anybody really writes checks anymore, either.) Lots of people had to leave without their groceries altogether.

But luckily, I had plenty of bills in my wallet, because my 11-year-old had recently paid me back in cash for a bunch of stuff she bought on Amazon.


We live on a moderately busy through street, where there's always a problem with roadside litter. So our family went out and did a little spring cleanup.

It looks a lot better now, and I also got to explain to my younger kids what the following were after they read discarded packaging and asked what it meant:
  • Budweiser
  • Marlboro
  • vodka
  • marijuana (legal in our state)
  • lottery tickets
We also found not one, not two, but three empty cans of Reddi-wip in the ditch, which I didn't have an explanation for.

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Anonymous said...

I still have more rocks!

Anonymous said...

I'm with you on the action movies. Fight scenes just make me fall asleep. Though the humor in Marvel, especially Guardians can keep me awake. Very intrigued by empty Reddi-wip cans.

Anonymous said...

They're getting high with the reddi-wip 😬