Sunday, February 21, 2010

Maybe I will. GOSH!

I came down with a cold this weekend. When I get a cold, I nearly always lose my voice. It's so annoying. Cause I love the sound of my own voice. I mean, who doesn't? When I get laryngitis, it always sort of freaks the kids out. Cause then Mom's voice, an ever-present fixture in their young lives, is absent. Gone are my shrill reprimands from upstairs when they fight over the rocking chair. Gone are my promises of Popsicles once we get home. (Though thankfully the Popsicles are still here.) Gone is my slightly antagonistic singing of "The Patience Song" when they get, well, impatient. Would you like to add it to your repertoire? I learned it in college, on a trip to Kenya. In rural Africa, patience is more than a virtue. It is a necessity.

Have patience, have patience.
Don't be in such a hurry.
If you don't have patience,
You'll only start to worry.
Remember, remember,
That God is patient, too.
And don't forget the times when others
Have to wait on you!

Can't you just sense my children rolling their eyes at that one? But they secretly like it, I think.

Speaking of things I find myself saying, I discovered a new phrase to get Grace to eat this week. I'm not really sure how it all happened. She wasn't opening her mouth for her pureed apple and pumpkin. (Can't imagine why not.) And that line from Napoleon Dynamite came to mind. "I caught you a delicious bass." So I said it in my best Napoleon voice and offered the spoonful. She chortled and opened her mouth. Down the hatch! And, as you do when you find something that works for babies, I did it again and again till the jar was finished.

Who knew my girl was a Napoleon Dynamite fan? She's just like her mama! This whole experience reminded me of an old article in the New York Times Magazine that Becky told me about. Netflix offered a million dollar prize to the computer programmer who could refine and perfect their "recommendation engine". Kind of a "if you liked The Notebook, you'll love Dear John" kind of thing. Well as the article details, all these programmers and hackers could not work out why people liked Napoleon Dynamite. And there seemed to be no middle ground--people either loved it or hated it. Even people who normally liked the same movies had widely diverging opinions on Napoleon.

Here's an excerpt from the article that I think is interesting (And sorry for the screwy formatting.):
Worse, close friends who normally share similar film aesthetics often heatedly disagree about whether “Napoleon Dynamite” is a masterpiece or an annoying bit of hipster self-indulgence. When Bertoni saw the movie himself with a group of friends, they argued for hours over it. “Half of them loved it, and half of them hated it,” he told me. “And they couldn’t really say why. It’s just a difficult movie.”
Mathematically speaking, “Napoleon Dynamite” is a very significant problem for the Netflix Prize. Amazingly, Bertoni has deduced that this single movie is causing 15 percent of his remaining error rate; or to put it another way, if Bertoni could anticipate whether you’d like “Napoleon Dynamite” as accurately as he can for other movies, this feat alone would bring him 15 percent of the way to winning the $1 million prize.

What about you? You saw it, didn't you? Did you like it? The "problem" definitely holds true for Jason and I. He thought the movie was vaguely amusing but overall, kinda dumb. I thought it was achingly hilarious and evocative of so many people I knew in high school. Plus, it has a llama named Tina. If that's not comedy gold, I don't know what is.

So in honor of Napoleon, who got my daughter through most of her meals this week, I offer a sampling of some of the funniest lines, courtesy of IMDb. They have been making me laugh to myself all week, which has gotten me some strange looks while out and about.

Napoleon Dynamite: Stay home and eat all the freakin' chips, Kip.
Kip: Napoleon, don't be jealous that I've been chatting online with babes all day. Besides, we both know that I'm training to be a cage fighter.
Napoleon Dynamite: Since when, Kip? You have the worst reflexes of all time.
Kip: Try and hit me, Napoleon.
Napoleon Dynamite: What?
Kip: I said come down here and see what happens if you try and hit me

Trisha: I wanted to thank you for the beautiful drawing you did of me.
through gritted teeth]
Trisha: It's hanging in my *bedroom*.
Napoleon Dynamite: Really? It took me like three hours to finish the shading on your upper lip. It's probably the best drawing I've ever done.
Trisha: Yeah... it's really... neat.

Napoleon Dynamite: [referring to Deb's milk] I see you're drinking 1%. Is that 'cause you think you're fat? 'Cause you're not. You could be drinking whole if you wanted to.

[Napoleon answers the door and Deb is standing out there]
Deb: Um, hello. Would you like to look like this?
holds out a photo]
Napoleon Dynamite: [Napoleon takes the photo and looks at it] This is a girl.
Deb: [Deb continues nervously] Because for a limited time only, Glamour Shots by Deb are 75% off.
Napoleon Dynamite: I already get my hair cut at the Cuttin' Corral.
Deb: Well, maybe you'd be interested in some home-woven handicrafts?
Scene continues after Rex Kwon Do TV ad Kip's watching]
Deb: ... And here we have some boondoggle key chains. A must-have for this season's fashion.
Napoleon Dynamite: I already made like infinity of those at scout camp.

Napoleon Dynamite: So, we're pretty much friends by now, right?
Pedro: Yes.
Napoleon Dynamite: So, you got my back and everything, right?
Pedro: What?
Napoleon Dynamite: Never mind

Kid on Bus: What are you gonna do today, Napoleon?
Napoleon Dynamite: Whatever I feel like I wanna do. Gosh!

Comedy. Gold. Get if from Netflix if you don't believe me. Clearly I have no voice and too much time on my hands. At least Grace understands me. Have a great weekend, everybody!


  1. Very funny, Amy! Now I grant you,a llama named Tina is pretty funny, but I'm with Jason on the merits of Napoleon Dynamite. I just didn't get it. But I laughed out loud at the thought of you quoting it to get Gracie to eat. Good stuff-the post, not the apples and pumpkin. Sorry about your cold. Hot toddy, anyone?

  2. I have not seen Napoleon Dynamite, but I sure do know about the patience song. There are probably a few people who'd probably still like to sing that to me. And to them I'd say, "whatever dude, we're not on Africa time anymore!"

  3. Unsurprisingly, I loved Napoleon Dynamite. I also liked Step Brothers, which put me in a small segment of the population. The latest movie that cracked me up like that was Youth in Revolt, but I don't know if I could safely recommend it unless you already liked Napoleon Dynamite and Step Brothers, and further believe that Pieces of April is not only Katie Holmes' finest work, but a holiday tradition that should be enjoyed every year at Thanksgiving.

  4. That's awesome about Grace. I do think that movie is hilarious.

    But it is no Anchorman.

  5. Can't comment on Napoleon Dynamite as I haven't watched it!
    However, you will be very pleased to hear that Ava taught Rebekah the Patience song and she has now in turn taught me and I in turn sing it to her now and then! There you have great influence!

  6. Napolean Dynamite = the best movie ever made. Just thinking about it cracks me up. Maybe it is because I like tater tots?

  7. We're still quoting Napoleon all. the. time. around these parts.
    and Anchorman, and Elf, and Step Brothers, and Ricky Bobbie, and The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack, fact, we have no original conversation whatsoever. All movie quotes, all the time. ;-)
    That is pretty impressive that Grace can already appreciate a good movie quote. I can't wait til she talks. Gonna be some funny stuff coming from that girl!

    Well, I gotta go. Uncle Rico's got a sale to finalize in Bonita in five minutes...

  8. Uncle Rico rules.

    "How much you wanna bet I could throw this football clear over them mountains? ...Yeah.. Coach woulda put me in fourth quarter, we would've been stage champions. No doubt. No doubt in my mind."