Every so often there is a holiday where Heath gets the day off and the kids still have to go to school. Happy Columbus Day! I don’t understand why schools in some places take this day off and others don’t. This was a standard Utah holiday. All growing up I got the day off and it was still the case when I was teaching. Of course I have to remember that I live in the land of fruits and nuts. No surprise that the news reported that many California cities are lobbying to change the name of the holiday from Columbus Day to Indigenous People Day. Apparently it reflects the history that the Vikings discovered America centuries before Columbus did. Whatever. Call it whatever makes you happy. It doesn’t change the fact that only the kindergarten teachers ever say anything about the day.

We got a few things done while the kids were at school. My closet now has space to hide Christmas presents after we got rid of the ever growing donation pile. This is good because I’m already planning Christmas gifts. We wandered around the mall for a little bit looking for something that would work as a TV dinner tray. No luck. Heath has been working from home a lot more lately. Normally we use those days as free date days and we go out for lunch together. Lately he is on the phone all day long with no breaks for lunch. That’s the problem with managing a team where half the members are in a different time zone. They never seem to remember Heath is in the Pacific Time Zone and will schedule 7:00 am meetings or noon meetings. Those times are very convenient for other people. Not so much for Heath. Anyway, we end up eating lunch together in our bedroom while he is on a call. Gwen is getting tired of us stealing her table every time.

After the mall provided no solutions we headed off to lunch. It took some walking up and down the street before we could find the Italian restaurant we wanted to go to. Must write the name down somewhere! And we found the theater Gavin’s Cross Country Awards Night will be held at. Then we hit Costco. So romantic I know. Although Costco without kids is a dream. Parker was so annoyed that we would take him and Gwen directly from school to the office supply store. Why couldn’t we get all our boring errands done while they were at school? How much time were we wasting while they slaved away at a desk working their pencils to nubs?

What he doesn’t understand is there really isn’t time to get much done without kids. Let’s pretend I was ready early. First of all, that would mean I woke up early. Ha ha ha! But for the sake of argument let’s say I did. We can’t even drop Gwen off at school until 9:00 am! It’s all a conspiracy. Schools are deliberately making it impossible for anyone to get anything done while their children are being babysat for “free” all day. I’m not complaining about my day though. I got to spend the whole day with Heath. No phone calls. No instant message bing bongs on the computer from co-workers. No data tables or graphs. It was lovely.

It was a lovely weekend too. On Friday we went on an official date. We do these unofficial opportunity dates all the time and we both love it! Gavin hates it when we leave him in charge though. He claims his brother and sister turn into the devil’s spawn the second the door shuts behind us. It is a very annoying problem. I remember being a brat the first couple times my parents left my brother in charge. I guess there’s a learning curve to sibling respect. What I don’t remember is acting like that as often as my children seem to. We were latchkey kids. We learned how to get along pretty quick.

To ease Gavin’s conscience and limit the window of bratty opportunity for the other two, we all went out to eat together. It seemed counterintuitive to eat right next to the movie theater we were going to after taking the kids home first. It worked though. Kudos to Gavin for coming up with a creative solution to sibling rivalry. He suggested that Parker and Gwen watch movies in separate rooms. Normally I wouldn’t advocate that but in this situation it did seem like a great idea. Gwen watched Frozen on our bed while Parker watched Ender’s Game downstairs. Gavin probably watched his virtual football team on his phone the whole time.

At some point the kids all ended up together downstairs. Gavin texted around 10:00 wondering when we would come home. The movie had just ended. I thought he was desperate for us to do our magic on his siblings. He said they fell asleep on the couch. Sure enough, when we got home Heath had to fireman carry both of them to their rooms. Their eyes opened but nobody was home.

We didn’t make it back to the theater in time for popcorn and drinks. It was just as well. The Martian was definitely interesting enough to keep me awake. I’m so glad it was sold out the weekend before when we tried to go. I was still not feeling great. I had another stubborn low where my blood sugar refused to come up to a safe range despite the mountain of carbs and calories I was stuffing down my throat. The last thing I wanted to do then was sit in a movie theater for a late showing.

This weekend I felt much better. The theater was packed. We ended up in the afterthought rows on the side where there are only two seats in each row. The angle wasn’t bad for watching the show. It was a little distracting to sit on the left when people kept getting up. There was a group of boys about Gavin’s age that ran up and down the stairs half a dozen times before the movie started. I figured whatever they were doing they would stop once the show got started. Wrong. Up and down and up and down. All movie long. Dude, you paid to watch the show. Sit down and watch it!

Then there was this group of people I wanted to slap. We had been sitting in our seats for a decent amount of time. From the top seats in the theater this group comes down craning their necks. They discuss among themselves in the aisle on the stairs for a bit. They walk up then back down. Then they climbed over this couple taking the last seats in that row. One of the guys got up at least three times before the movie started. He must have had a bladder infection with the number of times he climbed over that couple during the movie. What was wrong with their original seats? Why can’t people sit through movies? The Martian is a long movie but good heavens! Potty training toddlers can hold it longer than that.

A friend asked if the movie was believable. She asked in a tone of voice that led me to believe she has no desire to see a movie with a storyline so ridiculous as a man trapped on Mars. I told her the movie was so believable. Before the movie started Heath told me that the story is told so well that social media is exploding with questions as to whether or not it’s based on a true story! I found the story telling very believable too. It was very well done. I loved so much of it. His determination to survive as long as he could. The dogged determination for everyone else to find a way to get him off the planet. I loved the suspension of loyalty to country and race in an effort to support and save a fellow human being. It was very inspiring.

Heath listened to the audio book. He said it’s a great story but there is a ton of foul language. I went into the movie expecting some bad language. My jaw just dropped at the use of foul language. I say it all the time, I have a high tolerance for that type of thing. Swearing is one of my favorite sins. It’s one of those things I haven’t mastered in myself yet. Just when I think I have, something happens and the knee jerk reaction words come back to mind. My criteria for bad language is it has to make sense. The language in the movie didn’t. Apparently sentence one or two in the book drops the F-bomb. Heath told me about that. Mark Watney realizes his predicament and basically says I’m “out of options.” This is not what he said in the movie.

The movie audience watches his animal survival instincts take over. He is sweating and shaking and you can smell the adrenaline. He performs surgery on himself. It was a very intense scene. I had a firm grip on Heath’s arm but at the same time I felt like I was watching myself change an infusion set on my own. Something I only do when no one else is there to help me. Only when I finish the Herculean task of inserting that infusion set into my stomach I congratulate myself. Positive affirmations flood out of my mouth for several seconds while I catch my breath. Mark Watney said one word. It made no sense in that context. A different inappropriate one word would have made more sense. But no, he went straight for the top and said the first of two allowed F-bombs in the PG-13 rated film. About 30 seconds later the second one was used. There were other moments where that second word would have made more sense. Not where they put it though.

I was annoyed with the assault of big gun language choices in the beginning of the movie. I get that NASA was taken by surprise to learn that they lost an astronaut. But those words in that way? There was no build up. No development whatsoever to jump to those words in that way. It made NASA look like unprofessional potty mouthed high school students. For real. The language decelerated from there. I am not kidding. The filmmakers had their moment of shock value and then alluded to bad words more than they used them. It was very backwards. I really wasn’t okay with it. It was so stupid. I get that swearing just proves that you’re not smart enough to express yourself, blah blah blah. I get that. I get that not everyone has the same moral compass. I get that. But if you’re going to use foul language have it make sense. Don’t do it to raise eyebrows or get a few smothered snickers. It’s immature that way and does nothing to further the story or express emotion. Just saying. I will step off my soap box now.

Basically Heath and I are conflicted about buying the movie. The story is awesome. The language is irritatingly inappropriate and unnecessary. The previews for other movies alone are the reason why we won’t take our kids to The Martian. They don’t need to see that stuff. The boys are disappointed. Heath’s parents are sending us a self-edited version of the book. We may buy the movie and clean it up ourselves. The first ten minutes are the worst of it! It’s too bad. It’s a really cool story.

Gwen told me that I blog too much. She has said this before. It makes me laugh because I don’t blog very consistently anymore. Hence the really long update post! It makes me sad though because I never want her to think she comes second to a blog post. Apparently in her mind she does. So I need to find my inspiration sooner rather than later. Definitely in those few precious hours she’s at school. *sigh* Even less time to accomplish anything!