Tag Archive: ocotopus


Family Movie Night

By Karyn Bowman

Cooling off sometimes means hitting a wonderfully cool movie theater.

Besides a library, one of my favorite places to hang is a nice cool and dark movie theater. Plus the kids wanted to see Finding Dory so it was one of those win-win situations.

Finding DoryAll of us liked the movie. It was fun, bright and colorful most of the time. Dory, as ever, is fearless despite or because of her memory problems.

In this movie, Dory has a memory come back to her while helping Mr. Ray lead class. In it, she remembers her parents. Suddenly, Dory realizes she has to go home to California. And like all of Dory’s ideas, they have to happen now.

Thankfully, Marlin knows a guy who can help them.

Soon, they have found their way to California, to a marine life rescue and release center. Dory pieces together bits of memories, figuring out how to find her family.

Like all good adventure movies, there are close calls and separations and reunions and companions who seem unreliable but are the best friends you’re going to ever have. We have chase scenes and close calls and the impossible solution to a problem.

Are you going to love this movie?

Probably, especially if you liked the first one. But things are different. First off, the annoying part of Dory’s memory problem is made clear. There is no rest for Marlin, he and other adults, are always on the watch out for Dory because she is easily distracted and forgets two seconds after you tell her something. Marlin can be snappy and irritable.

Secondly, there are some scary scenes, especially for those of us who might be claustrophobic. The pipe scene got to me, had me running for more popcorn when I didn’t need more popcorn. Thankfully by the time I go back to my seat, that scene was over. And I don’t feel like I missed much much or a big clue.

Lastly, this movie has a more California vibe to it, especially with the music. It is more laid back, less ethnic than the first movie.

Finding Dory HankWhat is the same as Finding Nemo are the great side characters. There are the ferocious sea lions defending their rock while helping Marlin and Nemo. We meet Becky, the slightly deranged bird. Then there is Hank the seven tentacled octopus. His only goal in life is to get to Cleveland and never return to the ocean, if he can help it. Ed O’Neil has fun with this character and makes him almost more important than Dory.

What I didn’t like was the slow opening, the heavy handedness of fair treatment to disabilities. And I think about the world as it was in the days of the first movie. Autism had not come to the great rates as it is today. ABA therapies and GFCF diets were being developed for a population that started growing like crazy. And the aging population was on the verge of a great Alzheimer’s epidemic. Life has changed in those 13 years. We look at our parents and our children, wondering how to cope with it all.

The adults may never be allowed to forget these issues. But the kids do, they just see Dory as Dory. She is strong and brave and funny and believable as she goes on an adventure of rediscovery. Pixar has done what they do best, put together a strong story with great animation. And this movie never lets us down in the process.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.`

Winnowing the Reading Pile

In a new fit of trying to keep the house neat and tidy, I decided to clean out the book pile by my bed.

I realized this had to be done as there was barely a foot of walking space between the pretty yellow bookcase and my bed. Honestly, I need to learn how to make pretty vignettes in my house as opposed to the piles of stuff that fill it now.

I swear I am going to wind up on an episode of Hoarders. Perhaps I will only make it to Clean House with Niecy Nash. I could use some styling tips from Mark Burnett. But my house is not that bad – yet.

So this morning, my reflection time (lying in bed or reading a silly novel) was spent going through the 20 or so books besides my bed and re-allocating them.  Books belonging to the kids (Scary Stories, Kipper’s A to Z Adventure, Fairy Godmother Academy, Madeline) went back to their rooms.

The remaining seven were taken to a paperback store that gives you credit for each book. SCORE! I can use the credit for half of the purchase price for whatever book(s) I want to buy. It is a win-win.

So here is what I ended up giving to the universe.

Shoes Addicts Anonymous by Beth Harbison

I really like this light and breezy tale of four women going through various types of crisis. The one thing that connects them all is shoes. Size 71/2 designer shoes to be specific. It was a fun read. BTW, this is getting movie buzz and could, could, star Halle Berry.

Swapping Lives by Jane Green

I thought I would like this one better than I did. It is the tale of a British singleton magazine editor and fairly wealthy American Housewife who trade places for an article. For whatever reasons, the book really focused on the American. I know her story but wanted more of the Brit’s.

An Instance of the Fingerpost by Iain Pears

How I got this book I do not know; it might have come from my mother’s collection. It is long and some passages are wonderfully written. Despite all that it is not something I am going to read again and again and again. It is a mystery set in Restoration England when being a Catholic could destroy your political career.

When Did My Life Become a Game of Twister by Mary Pierce

The author is not the tennis star with the mis-guided father but a mom with better sense of humor than most of us. It was an ‘ok’ book but I ended up not connecting with it.

After All These Years by Susan Issacs

This is an interesting mystery about a woman whose soon-to-be ex-husband is found dead in her home. Over the years of their marriage they built a business that reaped in lots of money. It is a fun read as she roams Manhattan trying to find the real killer which is more than O.J. did.

Happiness Sold Separately by Lolly Winston

Perhaps it is me but Winston lost her way in this book. It starts out promising about a couple who have tried to have a baby and it just doesn’t happen. He has an affair and she finds out. They still love each other but the balance of the relationship has changed. When the story begins to go into predictable routes, I tuned out. Perhaps I am wrong and someone wants to tell me why.

My Two Year Old Eats Octopus by Nancy Tringali Piho

I was sent this book during my editor days. I found it interesting in how Piho suggests getting kids to eat different foods. But what is scary is her listings of how much sugar and gunk is in all that processed food we eat.  Perhaps our kids would be better off eating octopus more often.

What books surround your reading area?

Karyn Bowman lives in Kankakee County with her husband and children. Become friends with Karyn on Facebook.