Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Crazy Dream

I had the craziest dream last night that after school, Penelope and I (who were in school together) stopped by Aimee and Adam's house. For some reason, both boys were now redheads. When I pointed that out to Aimee, she got really mad and told me, "Never mention the color red within these walls."

They still had three dogs, but I'd never met the middle one before. He was shaggy with brown and white spots, and his name was Muhgiggles.

Adam told me, "Watch this. Who's the bestest doggie in the world?"

And Muhgiggles said, "I am."

I was amazed. I said, "Wow! He can talk."

Adam said, "Yes, but it's really just a trick because he can only make sounds. He can't pronounce initial consonants."

I replied, "That's still really impressive."

Adam said, "Yes, I think so," and I suddenly realized he was really proud of the amazing dog. I was really glad I'd said something complimentary.

For some reason, we watched a slideshow that was just pictures of me in the seventh grade. I was kind of embarrassed about it. After that, I realized that Penelope's bottle had lost the nipple. It was now floating around down in the milk. I didn't want to fish it out because I'd been petting the dogs. I asked if I could wash my hands.

They were living in a completely different house. I remember it very well, but I don't know how to describe it. I walked into the kitchen and tried to wash my hands. But I kept falling asleep in the sink. Then I realized it was 10:00, and I was really embarrassed I'd stayed so long on a school night.

As I was falling asleep in the sink, I kept thinking, "I have to remember to tell them they've both lost so much weight." I was also hoping no one would find out what had happened at school, but that was an earlier dream.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Fall Movie Diary: J. Edgar

Date: November 22, 2011
Time: 7:15 pm
Place: Tinsel Town
Company: Derrick
Food: Large Icee, mixed blue and red, large popcorn, Raisinettes
Trivia: As soon as I saw Naomi Watts on screen, I started trying to figure out who she was. For some reason, I recognized her face but couldn’t place it. So here is what my brain kept suggesting, “Toni Collette is Australian,” and I’m like, “That’s not Toni Collette,” and my brain was like, “Yes, but Toni Collette is Australian.” I was like, “Why does that matter?” And then my brain said, “Toni Collette really has nothing to do with Nicole Kidman.” This is how my mind likes to torment me.
Running Time: 2 hours, 17 minutes
Rating: R
Director: Clint Eastwood

Quick Impressions:
As a fan of Leonardo DiCaprio’s acting, Clint Eastwood’s directing, I’ve been very excited to see this movie. As I watched the film, I thought, The pacing is very strange, and the story seems a little unfocused. By the time the movie was over, I had to admit that it has serious flaws. Nevertheless, I am still thinking about this movie several days later.

What sticks with me most about the film is the notion that J. Edgar Hoover remained in a position of such incredible power for nearly fifty years despite the fact that nobody particularly liked him and several people probably hated him. That puzzle alone is quite compelling enough to capture the imagination.

The Good:
Leonardo DiCaprio gives a magnificent performance as J. Edgar Hoover. By the end of the movie, you accept him as Hoover and forget that he’s acting. Possibly this success comes in part because Hoover himself is a figure more often talked about than seen by the public. It’s not like DiCaprio has lots of news footage and other people’s performances to compete with. Still, the performance is incredible.

DiCaprio plays Hoover as an unsympathetic odd-ball who is easy to dislike yet manages to make the audience like him and trust him enough to continue to side with him even though the film reveals on several occasions that he often lies.

DiCaprio also has wonderful chemistry with Armie Hammer, who himself gives a nomination worthy performance as Agent Clyde Tolson. Every second the two of them share the screen is riveting, regardless of what else is (or, more often, isn’t) happening.

As someone who’s fascinated by the Lindbergh kidnapping, I also appreciated the story’s focus on that incident. Even though I’ve read a lot about the crime, I never realized just how much the kidnapping and subsequent Lindbergh Law did to strengthen the FBI until watching J. Edgar.

The four central characters are strong and well-acted. DiCaprio and Hammer are brilliant and should both get Oscar nominations. Naomi Watts makes Edgar’s loyal, long-term private secretary Helen Gandy easily the most sympathetic character in the movie. (At least, the script suggests no motive for disliking her. She’s the least complicated person in the story but still feels three-dimensional.) And Judi Dench plays Edgar’s gracefully overbearing mother as a well-meaning but enormously flawed matriarch who’s more than a little creepy in her disturbingly possessive and controlling love for her successful son.

The supporting cast is markedly less good, with the exception of Josh Lucas who plays Charles Lindbergh with subtle strength. I also liked Stephen Root and Damon Herriman as Arthur Koehler and Bruno Hauptmann, respectively.

What the movie is trying to say is a bit up in the air, as far as I’m concerned. Possibly, too, Eastwood and screenwriter Dustin Lance Black are trying to convey two entirely distinct messages. Regardless of intent, however, the movie does say a great deal and certainly provides thought-provoking material enough to yield any number of post viewing discussions.

Most Oscar-worthy Moment (Leonardo DiCaprio):
Anyone who knows anything about J. Edgar Hoover is probably watching this movie waiting to see if he appear in drag. But DiCaprio’s Hoover seems to pride himself on dressing and behaving in a manly fashion. When he finally does put on a dress, the moment is powerful and not a bit prurient.

Granted, the film in general seems a bit heavy handed, beating viewers over the head with the Freudian notion that Edgar’s overbearing mother acts as his hypervigilant superego, constantly watching him and scrutinizing his morals, while Edgar himself internalizes this force and in a somewhat tortured way watches and scrutinizes he morals of others.

But the scene in which the grieving Edgar puts on his mother’s dress and beads works in spite of this somewhat heavy-handed groundwork. It doesn’t feel contrived. When Edgar feebly imitates his mother, then breaks her beads and falls to the ground sobbing, he doesn’t seem like someone following the dictates of a movie determined to present this Freudian take on Hoover. He is a person in pain, and we believe that pain. DiCaprio’s performance brings a realism to the moment that makes the scene transcend the movie’s less elegant set-up.

This moment of raw emotion from DiCaprio works particularly well because his Hoover has shown such drastic restraint up to that point. The character isn’t outwardly emotional, but the moment is. One of DiCaprio’s strengths as an actor is in expressing vulnerability and strong emotion, but here his emotional intensity has a difference quality than what he has shown in much of his previous work.

Most Oscar Worthy Moment (Armie Hammer):
Clyde Tolson spends most of the movie smiling knowingly. He’s very pretty, and pretty smug, and the chemistry between him and DiCaprio’s Hoover is immediately apparent though the nature of the relationship remains constantly in question, generating a tension that surpasses any suspense built by the events in the film.

Even when he’s just hanging around smiling, Armie Hammer gives a pretty compelling performance. But when Tolson breaks down during a weekend at the races, the performance becomes great. Hammer makes Tolson’s pain palpable. The fact that he articulates it through violence rather than language only strengthens the intensity of the scene. His struggle with DiCaprio in their hotel room quickly becomes both the most exciting and most memorable part of the movie.

Hammer also does a lovely job as the older Tolson. His make-up is a little strange. Instead of simply looking older, he appears to have been embalmed in very-liver spotted human skin. But his performance is marvelous, particularly at the moment when he discovers Hoover’s body.

Best Action Sequence:
Don’t go to this movie expecting an action blockbuster. For a film about the growing power of the FBI (including the right to carry weapons and the power to make arrests), this film features staggeringly little action. Still, the early scenes focusing on the bombing of Mitchell Palmer’s house are beyond exciting. Judging by the gasps in the theater, I’d say the execution of the bombing made some people jump.

Best Scene:
One of the most interesting moments in the movie occurs early on when Edgar proposes to Helen Gandy in the Library of Congress. Besides reminding me eerily of an ex-boyfriend, this strange choice reveals much about Edgar’s character and also lends insight to the motives behind Helen’s unflagging loyalty.

Best Surprise:
Something Clyde says to Edgar near the very end of the movie comes as a slight surprise, one that forces viewers to reevaluate some of the things they have seen earlier. This moment also causes us to remember that we’ve been watching a movie the entire time and that even this revelatory scene has been manufactured for our benefit. Like Hoover himself, we don’t know whom to trust and begin to feel that we can’t trust anyone.

The Negatives:
Some of the supporting performances in this film feel strange, inadequate, and even hammy. Jeffrey Donovan is conspicuously awful as Robert Kennedy. (He also turned in a strange performance in Changeling, leading me to wonder just what it is about him that Eastwood likes so much.) The notable world leaders always come across best when they remain unseen or are played by themselves in news footage.

The main problem with this movie is the pacing, and it’s a rather large problem. The film progresses slowly, and it feels even slower than it is because we’re not given a clear idea of the movie’s scope, focus, or overall intent. The material about the Lindbergh kidnapping ultimately takes up the most significant chunk of screentime, and Edgar’s strange, strained relationship with this mother and subsequently frustrated love affair with Tolson dominate the entire film, although Hoover’s personal problems get no real resolution or closure.

What is this movie about? I think many viewers begin the movie with that question in mind and leave the theater still asking the same question. Perhaps the movie forces us to imitate Hoover. We’re given so much information, some of it highly personal, and then left on our own to make sense of it all without any allies we can trust for feedback.

We think we’re watching a movie about Hoover’s political career, but at the end, we’re left with a moment curiously evocative of the final scene of Brokeback Mountain. Has this been a love story the entire time? If we’ve seen the film based on Hoover’s embroidered and altered reflections of his career (as Tolson’s remarks suggest), then have we also seen a version of the Hoover/Tolson relationship censored by the tormented Hoover?

Why have we been sitting in this movie theater for almost two and a half hours? The movie gives us all a lot to talk about, but what exactly is it trying to say? What does J. Edgar Hoover’s personal life have to do with the gruesome skeleton of a dead, kidnapped child? The over-the-top mother/child relationship dominating the film strongly suggests, “Something!”

Eastwood has made better films. So has DiCaprio. But I’ve never seen a better film about J. Edgar Hoover. History buffs in particular should find this film fascinating, and even though it isn’t perfect, it’s worth watching for the powerful performances by both Leonardo DiCaprio and Armie Hammer. I haven’t stopped thinking about it since I saw it.

Fall Movie Diary: Happy Feet 2

Date: November 19, 2011
Time: 3:05 pm
Place: Tinsel Town
Company: Derrick, Penelope, Grandma, Grandpa
Food: Large blue Icee, popcorn
Running Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes
Rating: PG
Director: George Miller

Quick Impressions:
I’m probably the only person in the world who hated the original Happy Feet. I thought it had a rambling plot, and that it presented its message in a far too heavy handed way without any charm or artistry. I also felt baffled by the implication that it’s perfectly acceptable to plunder the resources of a continent and exploit the indigenous people—unless, of course, they can tap dance.

The first Happy Feet to me seemed like a glacially paced, narratively confused piece of eye candy that was made less sweet by its badly delivered message. (I agree that we should stop destroying the environment, but disagree that movies should make their point by beating you over the head with it repeatedly.)

With all of that in mind, you can imagine that I didn’t expect much from Happy Feet 2. Why did I even go? Because it was there. (And my two-year-old was excited about it. She loves to go to the movies, but you can’t exactly take a two-year-old to see Tower Heist or A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas.)

I have to say that Happy Feet 2 pleasantly surprised me. I thought the plot progressed far more quickly (which isn’t saying much) and had a greater sense of urgency. This time around, the overall message was delivered with slightly increased subtlety, more artistry, and considerably enhanced clarity.

The Good:
As always, the animation is stellar. The fluffy penguins are adorable. The sparkly ice is breathtaking. The elephant seal’s nose is a masterpiece of realism. The glowing krill are quite a sight.

The story also progresses much more quickly than in the first movie (which is not to say quickly, necessarily), and, more importantly, the level of urgency in the movie rose quickly and increased until the resolution. Overall, this movie had a greater sense of urgency than the first Happy Feet.

This time around, the high profile celebrity performers get more of a chance to perform. Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman didn’t have much to say in the first movie, but Matt Damon and Brat Pitt have some great lines as Bill and Will, the krill, providing some of the most amusing moments in the movie. All of the new characters light up the screen, Beach Master Bryan, the krill, and especially the young penguins and young seals. And Pink does a very nice job of stepping into the role of Gloria, left vacant by the untimely death of Brittany Murphy.

Best Scene:
I had been tolerating the movie until the scene when the elephant seal confronted Mumble and ended up in a desperate situation, requiring aid. With that scene, I was hooked. If the rest of the movie had focused on that situation, I probably never would have taken my eyes off the screen.

As it is, the elephant seal’s entrapment nicely foreshadows the film’s final and greatest crisis.

Funniest Scene:
The krill definitely have the funniest lines, particularly for adults (not because they’re crude). The scenes with Will and Bill are a welcome addition to the movie, in part because of their humor, and in part because they show that the world is bigger than the drama the penguins face. The movie wants us to understand that we must work together to save the world and think of others instead of merely ourselves, and the scenes with the krill emphasize this message to the audience with amazing subtlety (for a Happy Feet movie).

The intercalary krill scenes made the movie more enjoyable for me by providing pleasant moments of free-floating philosophical reflection.

Best Scene Visually:
In the Happy Feet tradition, the entire movie is beautiful, but I particularly like the part with all the krill at the end.

The Negatives:
Much as I love Hank Azaria, the Sven storyline is by far the weakest, and no one in the theater seemed enchanted by Sven’s recurrent beak bubble. As with the first Happy Feet, this installment also suffers from a less than focused narrative trajectory, even though the plot of Happy Feet 2 is less scattershot. Honestly, the story could have progressed beautifully and worked just fine if the Sven character had been completely left out. I realize that as the penguins learn, in life you might need to take a step back to move forward, but I’m not sure that rule holds up in regard to movie plots. Yes, the penguins realize they will never fly and regroup to come up with another solution, but was it necessary to introduce an entire character and meandering storyline to come to that realization?

The one element of the Sven story I liked was that he comes from a faraway place—also affected by environmental destruction. But in general, Sven feels like a big distraction to me. I wish the movie had lingered longer over the first scene with the elephant seal and left out the supposed flying penguin and the aliens. Of course, that’s really just a personal preference, and nobody making the movie asked me.

The Performances:
Elijah Wood is still very solid as Mumble. Wood’s kind voice makes the character easy to sympathize with.

Robin Williams (the only highlight of the previous film for me) is still very good as Ramon, the penguin who got the most laughs, and Lovelace, the charismatic seer of aliens.

As the sweet-singing Gloria, Pink makes an excellent replacement for the late Brittany Murphy. Casting a singer makes sense because the character has few spoken lines. Sophia Vergara doesn't have much to say as Carmen, but she perfectly plays the beautiful conclusion of her love story with Ramon.

Richard Carter is great as Bryan the Beachmaster, a character who provides the best moment in the movie. Some of the best performances come from the young penguins and young elephant seals, but I can only find the names of Ava Acker as Eric and Benjamin Flores Jr. as Atticus.

If you ask me, Happy Feet 2 is world’s better than Happy Feet, but take that with a grain of salt because I hated Happy Feet. If the entire movie had focused on freeing the trapped elephant seal, Happy Feet 2 could have been great. It didn’t, but the movie is still okay. My two-year-old thought the penguins were adorable but found the movie boring and sometimes distressing. Still, she sat through the whole thing. Would I watch it again? Only if you forced me. Am I sorry I saw it? No.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Penelope Says on Facebook

Penelope (at the top of the stairs, chomping the air): Mommy...
Me: Yes?
Penelope: I need two cookies!
Penelope: Mommy! The cookies are missing!
Me: What?
Penelope: I ate them! I need two more!
Me: I think you've had enough cookies.
Penelope: (disappointed) Ohhhhh....
November 8 at 10:18 pm

Me (to Derrick): Sometimes I feel like a bad mother.
Penelope (outraged): You're NOT a bad mother! (Brightly) And Grandma is a my granddaughter! (Getting her stuffed snake) Aww! Orangey licked me! He gives the best hugs!
November 9 at 1:14 am

Penelope: Orangey was bad. Somebody's going to cut him. Bad people will come in the night and stab him and lock him up until he's all dead! He won't even breathe!
Me: Why would they do that?
Penelope: When stab guys come, they always stab him!

Penelope (after picking out Kung Fu Panda and watching it for about half an hour): I don't like this! I want to watch Mickey Mouse! I don't like this!
Me: Why not? I thought you wanted to watch Kung Fu Panda.
Penelope: Well, I don't like that kitty. She's very mean and rude. He's trying his best.
November 9 at 3:02 pm

Penelope: Oh Grandma! Look what I did now! I messed it up again!
November 9 at 10:20 pm

Penelope: I thought you were a (muffled) daddy!
Derrick: A real daddy? I am. What do you mean?
Penelope: I mean a big, large Daddy who swims!
Me (realizing): Ohhh! A whale daddy!
(Penelope begins to make whale noises.)
November10 at 1:35 am

Me: Where did the pilgrims come from?
P: Africa.
Me: Hmm. What was their boat called?
P: I don't remember, but they landed on a rock.
Me: And who was there waiting for them?
P: God.
Me: Yes, but who are these guys?
P: Wampanoags.
November 10 at 1:43 am

Penelope: Let's play that pickle game.
(I get down In a Pickle, a game that involves putting smaller items inside bigger ones, but with words on cards, not actual objects.)
Penelope: (disappointed) Oh! Where's the pickle?
Me: Well, I don't think there's a pickle in these cards. But which is bigger? A boy or a tooth?
Penelope (immediately): A boy. A boy has tooths.
Me (thinking maybe she can play after all): How about noodles or China?
Penelope (immediately): Noodles!
Me: Are you sure? I think China is bigger.
Penelope: There are a lot of noodles!
Me: Okay. How about a desk or a garage?
Penelope: A desk!
Me: But you can put a desk inside a garage.
Penelope: NO! MY DESK! It's BIG!
I think she may have exposed a weakness of this game!
November 10 at 1:18 pm

Penelope (helping me pick up trash in the master bedroom and bathroom): How about your old shirts? They're very stinky.
Me: After we take this down, we'll fill up that laundry basket with dirty clothes. Will you help me pick up all the dirty clothes?
Penelope (looking around at the messy room): Well, that could take quite a while...
November 10 at 1:25 pm

Me: Who celebrated the first Thanksgiving?
Penelope: Noah.
Me: (intrigued by this response) What did he say?
Penelope: (slowly, wickedly) Ho. Ho. Ho. (smile)
November 10 at 2:53 pm

Me (trying to teach Penelope about Thanksgiving): Will you watch the parade with me.
Penelope (throws a broom and dustpan across her stomach) Blahhh!
Me: Blahh?
Penelope: Grandma's broom killed me. But if I lay real still my heart is still beating a little bit. Now I have a question for you.
Me: Yes?
Penelope: Who killed Snoopy?
Me: Who killed Snoopy!!
Penelope: Grandma's black cat did it. (whispers, pointing at the doorstop cat) He's evil.
November 10 at 3:10 pm

Penelope (as I type on Facebook): Now hold still Mommy and help me.
Me: What?
Penelope (climbs on top of me and starts brushing my hair--into my face): There! That looks better! (Brushes my face and pulls all my hair down into my eyes) Yes! That looks kind of good. (Giggles)
November 10 at 3:02 pm

Penelope (noticing an undershirt on the ground during our walk): What's this?
Me: Hmmm. How did that get there?
Penelope: Maybe somebody got killed.
Me: Somebody got killed!!? Who?
Penelope: Probably somebody dead. I think a doggie and a monster killed her. Then they cooked her and then they ate her. They ate and ate. They ate so much that now they're full and sick and have to go to bed!
November 10 at 4:31 pm

Me: Okay, I'll get you some more juice.
Penelope: (sweetly, inching closer to my face) Just a minute. Before you go. I have to tell you something.
Me: What do you have to tell me?
Penelope: (pushes her nose against mine and whispers) Cats don't eat dogs. Cats don't eat me. Cats don't eat socks. Cats don't eat napkins. Cats don't eat chairs. Cats eat cat food.
November 10 at 5:05 pm

Penelope (as Mom leaves for work): Wait! I forgot to tell you good bye! I have to blow kisses.
Me: (walking her out) Okay, we can go outside, but just for a minute because you don't have your shoes on.
Penelope (waving and blowing kisses): Good bye, Grandma! Good bye! (To me) Okay, that's enough kisses. (Continues waving) Good bye, Grandma! I wish I had a black car like you.
Me: Where would you go in your black car?
Penelope: To H-E-B.
Me: What would you do at H-E-B?
Penelope: Well, ants would come to visit me.
Me: Ants?!
Penelope: Not too many. Just little baby ones. They're very cute. They don't make trouble.
November 11 at 2:35 pm

Mom (as Penelope and I cuddle on the couch): I sure do love you. You're my sweetest baby.
Penelope (misunderstanding): NO! (gripping me tightly) Mommy is MY baby!
November 11 at 2:36 pm

Me: Today is Veterans Day.
Penelope: (Taking off her shirt and running around in circles) YAY! Veterans Day!!!! Hooray!

This explanation is not going well.
Me: Do you know what a war is?
Penelope: No. I don't know. What is it, Mom?
November 11 at 4:30 pm

AMAZING! Penelope told me this evening on our walk, "Let's have an adventure and find a park." I told her, "We can try to go a different way, but I don't think we'll find a park."

WE FOUND A PARK!!!!! It is like right across the street from our playground. You walk across the street and go on this walk that goes around the back fence, and suddenly you're in this huge park and if you go far enough, it even has a bridge and another playground. But we didn't see any farther because Penelope was getting wary of my enthusiasm. She was like, "It's getting dark out here. My Daddy is going to be worried about me."
November 11 at 5:53 pm

So last night Penelope tossed a frisbee into the air in the living room. She didn't throw it like a frisbee. She just kind of tossed it over her shoulder. It cracked the screen of the TV. We just bought it this fall. Totally broken. Not covered by the extended warranty. When Derrick called around, he found out it would cost as much to fix as to replace. Also, people can't seem to believe a two-year-old hitting it with a frisbee would do that. Just one random throw! Dad and Derrick both say that at just the right angle, a frisbee only makes one point of contact, so it's like hitting the TV with an ice pick at that spot.
November 12 at 2:20 pm

We're watching North by Northwest (on our new TV). Penelope has been laughing out loud during this whole scene with the crop dusting plane. She's yelling out, "He says, 'AAAAAAH!' "Oh no!" "He says, 'What's up there?'" "Run, run, run, run!" "It's coming again!" Apparently, this is the height of comedy. Earlier Mom and Dad were watching a movie about killer spiders on Syfy that had the worst special effects ever. Dad made some comment about how you could see it wasn't a real spider web. Penelope was like, "Grandpa, they are ICE spiders." She was really mad when we started watching something else.
November 12 at 7:55 pm

Penelope (watching North by Northwest, in alarm): OH! Now what?!
November 12 at 8:33 pm

Our new TV is broken.
November 13 at 12:51 pm

Penelope: We're getting another new TV! (Squeakily) That's great, Mom!

That's one thing to call it!
November 13 at 1:15 pm

Penelope: (staring at the TV) This is killing me! It was just brand new!
November 13 at 1:22 pm

Weeell, another day, another TV! Derrick is exhausted from moving TVs, and I am exhausted from taking Nellie for a 3 hr walk, exploring our new park.
November 13 at 5:57 pm

Me: Time for our walk.
Penelope: Ohhh! I'm so sad.
Me: Why are sad?
Penelope: Because Jimmy Graham didn't get any more catches.
Me: But the Steelers won.
Penelope: Go Pig Ben! (Puts a finger on her nose to make a snout. That's the cheer she made up.)
November 13 at 6:06 pm

Penelope's riding Mom's kitchen broom around the living room. I wasn't aware that broomsticks went "vroom vroom vroom."
November 13 at 11:03 pm

Penelope: I need pinkie.
Daddy: Is pinkie a boy or a girl?
Penelope: Pinkie is just a blanket!!
November 14 at 6:03 pm

Penelope (at random from the back seat): You know mouses eat cats?
(Long pause)
Penelope: I think I'm confused!
November 14 at 7:57 pm

Penelope: Let's play ball. (Picking up a ball) I don't have a hoop. What's happened? Oh! I dreamed I had a hoop! I've got to get a hoop!
November 15 at 10:01 pm

Derrick: What do you know about the Pilgrims?
Penelope: They're Plymouth Rockie.
November 16 at 12:59 pm

This cold is making communication interesting. Derrick can't here, and I can't talk.
November 17 at 5:17 pm

Penelope: I'm going to take my paint and paint the sky pink.
Me: That will take a lot of paint! Maybe you should just wait a few minutes until sunset.
Penelope: No, I'm going to need a lot of paint because I'm going to paint all the houses pink, too.
Me: You must like pink a lot.
Penelope: No, I'm going to do it so Grandma and Grandpa and Daddy will all say, "Wow! How did this happen??! Everything is pink now!"
November 17 at 5:20 pm

Penelope (using an adding toy): I'm going on my computer and getting on my dot com! Pretty soon I'm gonna be rich and we can go to H-E-B and buy all the pies!
Sunday at 12:37 am

Penelope: Daddy, what's life insurance?
Sunday at 11:38 am

Me: Do you want anything from Long John Silvers, Nellie?
Penelope: No my tummy is saying its hungry for macaroni and cheese. (Rubs it) That's okay, tummy. It's saying, "Feed me," again!
Sunday at 11:58 am

Penelope (who has been annoying us for two hours incessantly asking nonsense questions): Why does my foot hurt?
Derrick: I don't know. I was going to ask you.
P: Ask me.
D: Why does your foot hurt?
P: What's "why"?
Sunday at 6:57 pm

We should be heading to bed, but these Sylvester and Tweety cartoons are yielding such delightful giggles.
Monday at 12:15 am

Penelope: (waking up this morning) Is my new baby here yet?

Not unless she knows something I don't!
Monday at 12:55 pm

Me (trying to pick up monkeys with Penelope): Now get on my arm.
P: You've almost got him!
Me: You stupid monkey!
P: He's not stupid! (In horror) How could you say that?! They are just babies!!
Monday at 2:37 pm

Penelope (looking at her palms in dismay after crawling across the playscape): Ohhh. I have powdered sugar all over my hands from these rocks. Oh no! I messed up my pretty nails!
Monday at 4:51 pm

Penelope: What are you doing, Grandpa?
Dad: I'm making biscuits.
Penelope (jumping up and down): I love biscuits! Can I have some biscuits? I love dog biscuits.
Dad: Well, I'm making people biscuits. I don't have any dog biscuits.
Penelope (dismayed): Ohhh. I like dog biscuits.
Monday at 5:10 pm

Earlier, Penelope kicked me in the back on he playground. Later, when she pushed me in the same place, I got really mad and told her, "Don't push me!" Just now, she was tapping her feet into my legs on the couch.
Penelope: Okay if I push your legs? I'll push nice.
Me: Okay, you can push my legs gently.
Penelope: Okay, but don't get so maniac-y.
Monday at 10:01 pm

Penelope (coming up to me with fake tears): Somebody shot my blanket! We need to take him to the doctor. Give him some medicine. He likes orange medicine. And give him some Pinkie food. (She cuddles the blanket) Oh, I hope he gets well! I just love him. And he's just a baby. Did you know that he was just a baby?
Yesterday at 12:11 am

Me: I'm so sad.
Penelope: But what is wrong?
Me: (reaching for her) Come here.
Penelope: (climbing onto my lap and giving me a hug) Now you have a friend!
22 hours ago

Mom (playing The Legend of Zelda): There should be some place to get faeries.
Penelope: Go at the Faerie Pond, Grandma.
22 hours ago

Penelope (watching something falling on the screen): Tim-BER!!! (Giggles) That was kind of a corny joke. I'm sorry!
12 hours ago

Going for a walk in the wind the other day was much more fun because my companion kept running into the wind blowing with all her might.
Me: What are you doing?
Penelope: I'm blowing the wind away!

It must have worked. There doesn't seem to be much wind today.
40 minutes ago

Grandma: Did you get any ant bites today?
Penelope: No.
Grandma: But yesterday you did.
Penelope: Yeah.
Grandma: And what did Mommy do?
Penelope: Threw my shoe.
Grandma: She threw your shoe?
Penelope: (nonchalantly) Hit a bee.

I think the story is funnier when she tells it. (I thought throwing the shoe through the air onto the sidewalk was a good way to get the ants off. Turns out, it was a great way to get the bee's attention.)
34 minutes ago