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Practically Speaking

Kyle and her husband moved to Brookfield in 1986. She became active in local politics and started blogging in 2004. Her focus is primarily on local issues but often includes state and national topics, too. Kyle looks at things from the taxpayers' perspective in a creative, yet down to earth way, addressing them from a practical point of view.

Shades of Mr. Popper's Penguins, meet Lala

Just for fun!, Family, Movies & Books, Pets, Weather

On a snowy day like today, wouldn't it be nice to have someone go to the store for you? Check this out.
 



As a child, I enjoyed reading Mr. Popper's Penguins. As a mother, I enjoyed reading it again to my son. The story held up well over the years; he thought it was a real hit too. (It is available at the Brookfield Library.) But never in my wildest dreams did I think anyone would ever have a penguin for a house pet! Yet there he is on YouTube.

Unlike Mr. Popper, who kept Captain Cook (his pet penguin) in a freezer, the Japanese family seems to have an air conditioned porch for their pet. I hope you caught that the family gave Lala his freedom after they rescued him and nursed him back to health, but he chose to stay with them. Don't you love his backpack?

By the way, the story of Mr. Popper's Penguins makes it to the big screen this summer, starring Jim Carrey. (Though I am not a Jim Carrey fan, I do like penguins.) The story has been changed some in that this Mr. Popper is a single businessman who inherits several penguins. Hope the movie version maintains the charm of the book. The preview pictures look cute.

In the meantime, stay warm.


Mr. Popper's Penguins book review
 

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The "Cheap Date" - dinner & movie under $14

Family, Brookfield, Living well on less $, Just for fun!, Movies & Books

Last Friday night, my husband and I went on a cheap date. We had had a busy week getting our kitchen emptied out for the floor re-finishers, so cooking was out of the question. We were both too tired to go out for dinner at one of our favorite places like Singha Thai,* but we did need to eat dinner.

How about going to that new Asian place at Brookfield Marketplace?, I asked.  That seemed to click. The Asian Chef, the latest addition to Brookfield Marketplace on Greenfield Ave, east of Moorland Rd., just moved in a few weeks ago and so far, is getting rave reviews--at least from us and some of our neighbors.

Asian Chef offers a wide variety of choices and even lets you choose white or brown rice. The cost/value quotient seems right too. You can get a very adequate lunch or dinner for $4.75. (Some choices are more.) Since there really wasn't a good place to eat amid our chaos at home, we chose to dine in.

After our tasty dinner we went over to the Pick 'n Save to see if they had one of those Red Box movie rental for a $1 kiosks. Yes, they did. We picked out Invictus, starring Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon. That proved to be a winner too. It was a great story of South Africa during their early post apartheid days in 1995. Freeman plays President Nelson Mandela; Damon plays Francois Pienaar, the nation's Rugby star. Mandela uses the country's nearly all white Rugby team to unite the country.

The closeup shots of the Rugby games were reason enough to watch this movie. (Yikes, they make American football players look like wimps!) But watching a segregated nation come together was the real story. Invictus was inspiring.

Spoiler alert: My favorite scene was when the underdog South African team played New Zealand, the favorite, in the World Cup. New Zealand attributed their success to the Maori war dance that they did just prior to every game. It was very intimidating. In contrast, the South African team got on their knees on the field and thanked God for their win. It was one of those good vs. evil moments.

Rating: Invictus was rated PG-13. There was only 1 F-bomb that I heard, and it was said with a rather thick accent. There was one scene where Damon and his wife are shown in an embrace and they fall onto a bed in a hotel room. The audience doesn't see them on the bed though. So as movies go, it is pretty tame. Check out what Common Sense media has to say about the movie if you are unsure your teens should watch.

So that was our cheap date. Sometimes simple is simply perfect!

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Musing about the eve of Y2K and Y2K+10

Just for fun!, Musing, Holidays, Movies & Books

Ten years ago, New Year's Eve was celebrated with a bit of apprehension because of Y2K. I know I wondered if the lights would stay on, or more importantly, if the heat would stay on! Would the technological fabric of our lives would hold together or unravel?

My old Girl Scout motto, Be Prepared, prompted me to do just that: be prepared for what might come. We had our emergency light, heat, water, and food sources in the ready, just in case. Thankfully, nothing happened. Whether we went off grid for a national emergency or just a weather related reason, as we did a few weeks ago, we learned it is good to be ready.

Since our house had a fireplace, we invited my dad and sister to our house New Year's Eve 1999 for a movie marathon. (Well, at least until midnight, if the power went off.) We watched home movies that spanned 40 years, from our childhood days on up to my son's toddler days, and ate all manner of junk food. We had fun.

Thankfully, there was no technology failure and no need for concern. Our movie marathon continued past midnight.

This New Year's Eve, I find myself thinking concern over Y2K was the good ole days!

In 1999, our economy wasn't in the mess it is in today. We also weren't poised to take over the private health insurance industry with an unconstitutionally mandated government system. There was no war on terror, at least not on our soil, as most of us thought the World Trade Center bombing in 1993 was more of a fluke.

This New Year's Eve, one thing remains the same as New Year's Eve 1999: the movie marathon. We've done it every year since Y2K. We have upgraded to showing DVD's with a projector on a big screen in the living room though.

This year's picks: The latest Star Trek, the 4th Indiana Jones, G-Force, and maybe Night at the Museum 2. There might also be a home movie or 2 for nostalgia's sake.

Let the junk food and festivities begin!

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