My Own Little Brush with Celebrity — November 4, 2014

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I was lucky enough recently to rub elbows with some of the staff from CinemaTour!  That was really exciting to me.

CinemaTour is a website that documents history of theaters around the world.  I have been a huge fan of this website for many years.  (I have even talked about them on my blog before!)  They get the opportunity to go all over and take pictures of cinemas.  That is such a neat idea to me.  I would love to do something like that!  (It would combine two of my curiosities:  cinemas, and urban exploration — since they often photograph old, abandoned cinemas whose glory years are long forgotten.)

I’ve said this before, but I really admire people who have a real passion for what they do in life.  (Exactly the reason why a Bigfoot Conference would be enthralling to me!) CinemaTour definitely represents a life of immersion into one’s work, and I like that.

Cinematour came to visit us at Marshall Cinema once before, back in 2005.  I was working there then, but I didn’t come in that day until after they had already left.  I was really let down that I had missed them!  So I sent them some pictures and got them posted on their site.  :)

Fast forward several years to the present.  We finished our cinema remodel in early summer, and I had been trying desperately to remember to send some of our new pictures to Cinematour.  It was one of those mental note kind of things that would occur to me only at the least opportune moments.  :)  I wouldn’t be anywhere near a computer, and I’d suddenly think, “Oh, I need to send those pictures!”

So a few Saturday nights ago I had just gotten to work at the cinema.  I had settled in at my usual register behind concession.  It was unfolding as any other typical night, we were telling corny jokes to each other (my favorite) and we were waiting for customers to start coming in.

A group of three people came to the door and the usher pointed them towards me.  The woman walked up and shook my hand and said, “I’m Emma from CinemaTour!”

OOoooooh yay!!!!!!  I was so excited!  I got to talk to them all about what they do, and where they go, and they were just as enthusiastic about their work as I hoped.  Our manager showed them my photobook!  He loves to show the book to everyone, and they really liked all the construction pictures.

So I finally got to meet my own version of celebrities, AND my memory became permanently etched to get those pictures sent in!  All my pics and their new pics are up on their site!  Feeling:  accomplished.  :)




That Awkward Moment When…..You Realize That You’re Not Anonymous — January 12, 2014

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There are few things more cringe-worthy to me than hearing my own voice on a recording.  I think a lot of people are that way, but it’s been my own phobia for years.  Remember the days of answering machines?  I remember recording and re-recording that outgoing message a million times trying to get it to sound just right.  Actually, the worst part was the replaying of the recording and having to listen to it, oh goodness.

Well, life at the cinema means that there’s always a movie time phone line people can call to get the showtimes.  Our manager loves to do this recording. He’s been recording the showtimes for, I don’t know, decades now and he’s just about famous for it.  I can’t tell you how many new employees have come to work at the cinema and say, “I just met the guy who does the movie times on the phone!” hehe.

There have been a few times in my tenure there where I have had to do the recording.  Cue the cold sweat and rapid heartbeat!  It’s not really the recording part (although holding a microphone and talking into it is a phobia all its own), it’s the listening to the playback that gets me every time.

I always soothe myself with these thoughts: “It’s a digital age we live in.  Everyone uses apps now instead of calling the phone.”  “Who really notices who is doing the talking?  They just care about the movie titles and the time.”  “No one even knows it’s you!”


So this past week I had to do the recording.  It was a hurry-up-we-have-to-get-this-done-immediately kind of thing, so I didn’t really have time to mentally prepare!  I just had to grab the mic and start reading, and there wasn’t really any time for backsies, so I just did it and went on.  (Again, giving myself my soothing inner messages to make it through.)

I thought I had nearly escaped all notice, but no.

I was working at the bank a couple of days after the recording went into effect.  A customer drove up who I’ve been waiting on for years….simple transaction…..told her thank you….very routine.  Then she says,

“Hey, I have a question…”

Me: “Okay.”

Her: “Was that you reading the movie times when I called the recording?”

Oh my goodness.

Fear = Realized.


Me: “Yes!  It was me!  I can’t believe anyone would know!”

Her: “Oh, I knew it was you from the moment you started talking!  It sounded really good!”

I was a puddle on the floor.  Never so glad for a new movie week to start so we could change that recording!

Less Butter?? Since When? — December 11, 2013


I always read the weekly newsletters from the cinema chains that surround Marshall. (Namely, Carmike and Cinemark.)   I think it’s good to know what everyone else is doing, and it’s interesting to see which movies others are heavily promoting.  (Plus, it’s nice to see when the others start pre-selling for a big upcoming movie so we know when we should get started.)

This past week’s Cinemark newsletter was touting their new “Lite Bites”  movie meal.  It’s a lighter option to the usual concession sizes and calorie count.  You get a smaller popcorn, a snack of some sort (trail mix was mentioned), and a smaller drink that you would (presumably) fill with a diet soda.

I was going along with this thinking, “What a neat idea!”, because I like new/different when it comes to food options.  However, then I watched this news story:

Healthy Ideas Popping Up at the Movies

….and I laughed.  Who are these people who are asking for the least amount of butter and least amount of salt??  I need to go find these people!  This story was reported in Plano, which is where Cinemark is based.  Maybe Plano is on a major health kick because this is not the tune of the people of Marshall TX.  I am telling you, we cannot give these people enough butter!  Most of the time they want, “extra, extra, extra butter”, or “butter it until it starts to drown”, or “I want the butter to pool at the bottom of the container.”  Or, they’ll just say “layer it”, which of course requires an extra trip to the butter machine as you drown half the tub on the first trip and then drown it again after filling it up the rest of the way.

Hardly anyone refuses butter; most ask for extra.  Tons of them ask for extra salt too, and then walk away with fluorescent orange popcorn (our salt is colored to add yellow color to the popcorn) from putting way too much on.

I would say, take that article with a grain of salt.  (ha ha.)  It’s just propaganda.  If you think everyone else is cutting back, maybe you’ll cut back too!

Still an interesting idea though.  I just wonder…if the people buying the “Lite Bites” ask for butter….do you tell them no?


Coming to the movies this week-  The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, and Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug – I really hope this movie is good.  I have never watched any of the LOTR movies, nor the first Hobbit movie, so I am sure I won’t mind missing this one too.  It’s just going to be really long.  I hope we’re busy for this one!  The poster and the upcoming midnight show don’t seem to be gathering much attention.

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas –  Madea movies always go crazy here.  Plus, this is really like our only Christmas movie this year, unless you count “Best Man Holiday” or maybe “Black Nativity.”  It’s funny how Madea movies just sell out and sell out, but the other works by Tyler Perry just barely do anything.  But we’ll be busy for this one for sure.

The Conundrum of eBooks — December 3, 2013


I am on a rant right now about eBooks.  Specifically, Kindle, because that is the format with which I have the most experience.

I was really late to the eBook party.  I admit to this!  David was reading via Kindle on his iphone long before I ever ventured into the electronic book world.  I liked the idea of it, but I didn’t really get into it until I got my ipad a few years ago.  I love not having to cram more books into our tiny house and onto our already full bookshelves. But I have a massive problem: why are the prices so unfair?

It just doesn’t make any sense.  Take my latest problem as an example.  I wanted to download “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” by James Thurber as an eBook.  The movie is coming out at Christmas and I thought it would be fun to read the book first.  I knew it was a short story, so I figured the eBook pricing people would take that into account for their pricing.  UG! and NO!  Guess how much the eBook is?  $9.99!!  For a short story?!

So I looked for it at our Marshall library and they had it!  Yay!  It was a YA title, but even at that, I did not expect the book to be as tiny as it was.  It was literally the thickness of a Berenstain Bear book.   Surely this couldn’t be the entire book? (for $9.99?!)  And, no, actually, it WAS the entire book, plus a section about the author, and a section about the book’s relevance to the culture of the day.  So, the story itself was like a 5 minute or fewer read.  I had barely even gotten comfortable and it was over.

I am so glad I did not buy this book online.  It just doesn’t make any sense to me how they come up with the prices for these books.  This is not the first time this has happened.  I had the same problem with “The Great Gatsby“, back when it was about to debut in theatres.  Of course, now it is a super cheap download, but at the time, I ended up going to the library for the paper book.

It would seem most logical for eBooks to be priced at a far cheaper rate than paper books.  No one has to pay for all the printing supplies, there is no shipping cost for a physical product, no shelf space on a store shelf, very few humans to pay for the process…..why are we paying so much for what amounts to so little?

If you know, please feel free to share.  I truly only want to buy eBooks, but it’s just hard to justify it when the prices are out of control.


Coming to the movies this week:  Nothing!

We are not getting anything new this week.  It’s strange for that to happen at this point in the year when we are so close to the holidays.  It’s just the calm before the storm though.  We’ll be jam-packed full of good movies after this weekend!

Cashew, the Ninja Turtle — November 26, 2013


Cashew gets to take little field trips outside every once in awhile.  He loves being outside!  He zooms around all over the yard – super fast – and climbs over leaves and tall grass without any fear.  He also chases bugs and once ate a slug he found on the side of the house.  He is full of energy and you have to watch him every second because his speed and his camouflage only add to his ninja skills.

Here is one of his little adventures:

He gets so tired outside that he comes in and wants to cuddle up and take a nap in our hands as soon as he gets back inside.

(Peanut, on the other hand, is strictly an indoor turtle.  He hates going outside!  We finally just quit taking him out because it seems traumatic to him.  He will stand frozen and stiff-legged in the grass, just staring ahead until someone finally has mercy on him and picks him back up. Poor little guy!  He just would rather enjoy the good life inside the house.)


Coming to the movies this week:  Frozen, and Black Nativity.

Frozen – This movie is going to be crazy busy.  The previews at first made it look more like a comedy, but the more recent ones I’ve seen try to make it seem like it’s going to be more like a musical on the level with “The Lion King.”  We are getting phone call after phone call for this movie, so it’s going to be big.

Black Nativity – This one is going to be crazy busy too.  I didn’t know what it was until just recently, but it has a ton of stars in it and looks like it’s going to have a huge crowd.  Predictions are really high for this one.  Churches are wanting to bring groups to come see it!  And, surprisingly, we don’t really have much in the way of holiday-themed movies this year.  That’s unusual.  This year it looks like it’s just this one, and then the Madea Christmas movie starts pretty soon.  That alone will help this movie do well.


The GoGo Pillow Solves First-World Problems — November 20, 2013


I knew I needed a GoGo Pillow from the first moment I saw it!  I was looking through a Bed Bath and Beyond mailer one day at work and there it was – the answer I was looking for!  I immediately showed the GoGo Pillow to everyone around me.  This is a really cool tablet holder with a smart design.

GoGo Pillow

GoGo Pillow

Luckily, CVS got the GoGo Pillows in before I was able to make a trip to BB&B, so I got to use my discount and some extrabucks for my pillow.

It’s really cool!  So far I have only used the tablet holder function, but it can be many other things as well.  It has elastic straps across the back that allow the pillow to be used as a backpack or to hang over the headrest in a car.  You can also take the tablet out and form it into a neck pillow/travel pillow.  But I think the best function is its original design – as a pillow holding a tablet.

Here’s the thing, I use my ipad a lot, but I mostly use it to check email, facebook, etc., while laying in bed just before going to sleep.  Holding the ipad up (and at an angle) to be able to read it while reclining was kind of annoying.  Then my wrist would get fatigued from being at an odd angle from holding the tablet.  (first world problems, yes.)

GoGo Pillow to the rescue.  The pillow part is actually like a bean bag, This works nicely because you can make the ipad sit at any angle you want.

My only wish for improvement would be for the pillow to have some type of cover for the tablet.  It gets really dusty really fast without a cover.  They could easily stitch a soft cover (same fabric as the pillow) to one side where the tablet goes and then attach a little piece of velcro to the other side.  That would be a cool enhancement.

Nevertheless, I am happy with it!  Now I can sit on the couch, hold Peanut, and use my ipad hands free!  That’s pretty nifty.


Coming to the movies this week –  Delivery Man, and Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Delivery Man – It is such a waste to put any movie up against Hunger Games, but they really picked an odd choice with this one.  The premise is weird (a guy reunites with all the kids he created through sperm bank donations) and I have really felt sorry for Vince Vaughn for even having to go out and promote something that is completely not going to win against its competition right now.  Even though I don’t like Vince Vaughn and I think the movie looks stupid, still, they really should have picked a different release date for this one!

Hunger Games: Catching Fire –  YES!  I just finished reading an article called Four Reasons why “The Hunger Games” Is a Monumental Success.  Their points are really valid!  Why is Hunger Games so popular as a franchise while “Percy Jackson” and “Mortal Instruments” just make a blip on the radar?  Good ideas here, future mega-movie-makers.

Yeast Rolls…So Close, So Dangerous — October 29, 2013

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Our brand new Golden Chick (finally, finally) opened up yesterday!  Yay!  Finally!  I had stalked that building so hard that I bet I could tell you how many bricks they laid to build the thing.  They had put their grand opening date on their marquee about a week before the big event, but that was only an enticement because that got me circling the actual building instead of just driving past with my neck craned to get a good look.

David is so great about catering to my stalking that he was all for circling the building with me.  I was wanting them to get their drive up menu out so I could start making my food choices!  (Never mind the fact that they weren’t open…it just gave me hope.)  We were headed home after work on Saturday night in separate cars when I told him that we needed to circle Golden Chick on the way home.  The menu boards were up!  Success!  We sat in our cars with the windows down yelling exciting menu options to each other.  The menu board talks to you when you pull up, so we were having to yell over the robotic voice that kept repeating, “Our restaurant is now closed,” but that didn’t matter.  I only hope the owner caught us on camera and appreciated our enthusiasm.

Opening day finally came, and I may or may not have had three food encounters with Golden Chick that day.

1. I showed up for breakfast!  I wanted yeast rolls to take to work, but they weren’t quite ready, so I got monkey bread.  It was good!

2. A friend at work took compassion on me for missing out on my morning yeast roll mission and brought me a yeast roll back after lunch.

3. David and I went there for dinner!  We ordered a bunch of sides and yeast rolls and it was glorious.

So now I have yeast rolls at my disposal anytime.  The dangerous thing about this is that Golden Chick is really close to our house.  I can very nearly see the sign from my back porch, and I know I could definitely see the sign if someone would get all those pesky trees out of the way, hehe.

So yay!  Mission Yeast Roll is finally accomplished. Now I can go back to stalking the new Chase building full-time.


Coming to the movies this week:  Ender’s Game, Last Vegas, and Free Birds

Ender’s Game: I have never read this set of books (might be too sci-fi for me) but I know several people on facebook who reference the books all the time.  I think the books are popular enough that the movie will do well, but I have been surprised that more people haven’t shown excitement over the poster.  I think everyone just glances over that one to ooh and ahh over the Catching Fire poster instead.

Last Vegas: Looks like a guy-buddy movie about guys in Las Vegas for a bachelor party.  Meh.  Might be funny, but probably not for me!

Free Birds: I saw Owen Wilson and Woody Harrelson on Ellen when they were promoting this movie.  It was a very strange interview.  They did not seem excited about their movie to me.  I think this movie will only do well because of its timing.  Meatballs has been out long enough that kids/families are ready for something new to watch, and it’s still several weeks before any other kid-friendly movie comes out. (Frozen)  So, Free Birds is opening during a good lag time.

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