Matthew Perry and apples & peanut butter

Talking to Becky has inspired me to update my blog!  She consistently reminds me that a few people really do read this, so I’m not just ranting away to myself.  Although, we both said that if that were the case, that’s okay, because basically I’m just venting most of the time.  Writing about it is just as effective whether someone reads it or not…

First of all, I have to comment on another blog that I read.  Today on the Girltalk blog, the Mahaney women shared a very sweet dinnertime tradition that their family has:

My favorite dinnertime activity was when Dad read aloud to us after dinner. Sometimes he would read one chapter and we’d all scoot off to various meetings or activities. Other days we would sit with unwashed dishes late into the evening–all engrossed in the story. Predictably, when we’d come to the end of an especially moving book, Dad would be overcome with emotion and unable to finish. Someone else would have to volunteer.Dad used breakfast (when everyone was fresh) for Bible study and theological teaching. After dinner reading was amusement with a purpose. Over the years, Dad read us numerous biographies, history books, and works of literature.

Particularly vivid in my memory are the many books we read on the African-American experience: Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Help Me Remember, Help Me Forget, and Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry to name a few. Dad wanted to be sure we understood—as best as white suburban children can—the tragic history of slavery and racism in our country.

The Chronicles of Narnia were a favorite and so was The Hiding Place, Through Gates of Splendor, Deadline and Dominion by Randy Alcorn and Our Town. Most recently, Dad, Mom and Chad have been enjoying The Complete Calvin and Hobbes and Letters From A Nut.

It has been said that books can take you places you’ve never been. By reading together after dinner, our family shared many experiences and went many places—together.

You don’t hear of too many families that actually do something like that.  I suppose if I had to choose, my favorite dinnertime tradition is apples and peanut butter.  Dessert was a rare and special event in our house.  We would have cake on birthdays.  Good Friday would be warm vanilla pudding with chocolate chips.  And in the summer, there would be lots of rhubarb crisp and rhubarb bars.  But day in and day out, not too many sweets passed through our kitchen.  But for some reason, as children we constantly asked what was for dessert, even when we knew the answer.  So my dad would cut up an apple and put peanut butter on the slices, and everyone would get a slice or two of apples and peanut butter.  Apples and peanut butter is still one of my very favorite foods.

Did anyone watch Studio 60 last night?  (Does anyone else watch Studio 60, period?)  You know, I started watching it because it was made by the people who made The West Wing, which I loved.  I kept watching it because I love the same things about Studio 60 as I did about The West Wing.  The style of humor and drama is the same.  The pace of the show is the same.  You have to pay attention from beginning to end to really appreciate the humor and understand the story line.  But I think it’s happened, the thing that will keep me watching it even if the writers change, the comedy stinks and the story line goes flat–I’ve become attached to the characters!  Jordan admitted she had feelings for Danny, which floored me.  I was so sure Danny was going to end up losing out on that situation.  I watched what happened between Harriet and Matt, and it brought me to tears.  I want everything to turn out well for them, but I don’t think it’s going to turn out with them being together.  (Despite what it sounds like, this is mostly not a romantic show.  It just has been the past couple of weeks!)  I don’t know why Matthew Perry is known for his goofy comedy roles–he is AWESOME at the deep stuff.  He should do more of that.

I find Matthew Perry interesting.  He’s one of those people, if I see him on the cover of a magazine, I’ll pick it up.  But it’s because I want to read the article, not just look at the pictures or catch up on the gossip.  I want to know what he says about the role he’s playing.  Sometimes I will read an interview with an actor, and it makes the movie or show worse for me.  Maybe it ruins the illusion or something.  But I find myself thinking more about the real-life person playing the character than about the character.  When I read what Matthew Perry says, I find myself more interested in the character than I was before!  He always seems to be truly interested in this character he’s portraying.  I’ve read interviews where he talked about playing Chandler on Friends, or playing Oz in The Whole Nine Yards and The Whole Ten Yards, and it has made those shows better for me.  What he says brings depth to the character, it points out things that I didn’t notice before.  It makes me want to watch again and learn more about Chandler, or about Oz.  And Chandler, Oz, and Matt Albie are three very different characters in my mind.  They’re not all just Matthew Perry in a new situation.  I wonder what he would say about Matt Albie. 

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