Because it's been a while, not only since we last saw a movie, but a horror movie at that, Friday afternoon Richard and I went to see The Ring.
It's actually rather good. Like most horror films, there were a few glaring inconsistencies in the plot, but even despite those the movie managed to impart a creepy, eerie tone, all with a minimum of cheesy special effects. It's a fun movie to watch, but it might make you think twice about popping a video into your VCR if it's not labeled. And I rather like the amusing pretext of the next step in chain letters - the chain videotape. I won't say more than that, since I don't want to spoil the fun for any of you who intend to go see it.
********Since I've started tagging along with Richard when he makes his frequent trips to the two local libraries, I've been having fun discovering 'new' books lately…or at least, new to me. Jennifer Weiner's Good in Bed had me tearing up by the end of it, although it was hard to explain to Richard exactly why. I think it's simply that she writes her character so well, and that the pain the main character goes through is something that most women can empathize with, even if they've never had quite the same experiences. I've got In Her Shoes reserved at the library so hopefully I'll be able to read her next book soon.
I've also recently become a devoted fan of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum novels. I know, I know, there's eight books out there so it took me a while, but my reading material usually is more science fiction/fantasy based instead of mystery (hence my current trend of checking out stacks of every Terry Pratchett book the library has in stock each time we go in to look). However I've been broadening my horizons lately. In the past few weeks I've managed to breeze through a few dozen of the The Cat Who… books, and after two of our Benthic Creatures coworkers gushed excitedly about the Stephanie Plum novels, I finally broke down and bought the first two. When we returned from Chicago, one of my coworkers lent me the next four in the series this week, and now that I've giggled my way through those, I need to get my hands on the final two so I can then wait impatiently for the author to get busy cranking out more.
It being fall, and thus apple season, Richard and I decided to make our yearly trip up to Apple Hill. This year my older sister and gang came with us, my oldest nephew rather excited about the trip because he'd been promised the chance to pick his very own apples.
Apple Hill is actually a conglomeration of several individually-owned apple farms. You can drive from place to place and buy anything apple related as you go. Depending on the farm there will be baked goods, a few dozen different varieties of apples, crafts, and other fall-related items like pumpkins and gourds and fudge. Driving down the twisty little roads through the forests and apple farms you can smell the cinnamon and apples in the air around every curve. My family has been going to Apple Hill each year for as long as I can remember (or rather, at least as long as we've lived in California). In early fall, we would head up there for caramel apples and pie, and once winter rolled around, we would return to choose and chop down our Christmas tree. Once all the family members moved further away it hasn't been a regular tradition, especially since we found a Christmas tree farm in our very own town, but occasionally I get a whim for those caramel apples.
Note to self: Never, never go to Apple Hill this early in the season, ever again, if you value your sanity. It was a madhouse at every place we stopped. I think we all felt like we spent more time in traffic or in line than actually wandering the farms and admiring the crafts and tasting the goodies. We did get the requisite caramel apples and pie with cider sauce and ice cream, but there were just too many people - too many overtired kids and too many annoyed parents. Thankfully my nephews seemed to enjoy themselves. The oldest got to pick his apple (and treated it as if it was made of spun glass the instant it touched his hand), and was completely fascinated by the cider mill. If it were up to him, we could have driven off and left him there and he wouldn't have cared at all, as long as he could stay and watch the apples move up the ramp to where they got smashed into apple mush which was then squeezed until every last drop of juice was released.
We may go again this year, if we have a free weekend. Next time though, we'll make sure to wait until the weather's a bit less lovely and there'll be less people around.