Happy Anniversary, Elder Swarrs!!

Happy Anniversary!!!

Another year down and still going strong!!

Way to go, Mom and Dad!

Wii got it!

I finally got my grubby little hands on this bad boy:

I'll let you know how it is as soon as I can.



So Wall-E comes out this weekend. I'm looking forward to going to see it because I haven't been let down by Pixar yet. Ratatouille was so-so the first time I saw it, but after rewatching it 2 or 3 times, it's growing on me. I really do like watching it and I think they did do a great job.

Now...back to Wall-E. It's a story (from what i can gather) about a single robot who is cleaning up the Earth after all of the humans have moved on. Another robot being comes to Earth and Wall-E gets pulled into an other worldly adventure by his cybernetic heartstrings. What more could draw a robot into the depths of space?

I'm really excited to see what Pixar developed for all of the other life forms. They are a creative bunch who seem to have fun doing what they do. Also, Pixar is known to insert Pixar-geekisms into their movie. I'm curious to know how many I can find. Also, the other thing that has piqued my interest is the fact that Wall-E doesn't talk (at least I don't think he does aside from the "Wall-Eeee" I've heard in the trailers). I think it's a great move and really pushes the limit of what one can actually do with just CGI as opposed to real actors.

After all, communication is 70% body language.

And Wine for All

By: Mrs. Swarr

Mt. Gretna is our favorite place in the world. Its quiet, serene, family friendly, has the best ice cream parlor for miles around, and all in all is the perfect place to spend one's life. Thanks to Zach's parents, we get to visit Mt. Gretna often and actually feel that we kind of sort of have the right to be there. We're actually beginning to feel a bit like insiders of this cottage clique. Almost.

As wonderful as Mt. Gretna is, there is one particular event that gets us keyed up unlike any other. The event just happens to be big trash night. This is the night that Mt. Gretnians get the opportunity to throw away, you guessed it, big trash items. Couches, commodes, tables, exercise equipment... you get the idea. You may think we get excited by the prospect of ridding ourselves of our own 'big' trash through sneaky drop-offs, but you would be wrong. Oh how you would be wrong.

Here's how these special, once a year evenings progress:

Zach, Declan and I have a nice relaxing dinner at the elder Swarr household. We drink a little wine (or apple juice), and try in vain to distract ourselves from the excitement of the impending adventure. Then, around 7 or 8 o'clock, we all pile into the largest vehicle we can find, and begin our rounds.

What a site we must be! Windows down, greedy gleam in our eyes, phrases such as, "Don't let that car get ahead of us!" and "You're driving too fast past the trash piles!" escaping from our car. Yes, I believe you are getting the idea. This is not just a night of trash, but a night of new found treasures!

Two years ago we picked ourselves up a new dryer. Not that it was top notch, but it was certainly better than the POS left to us by our home's former owners. Last year we hit a dry spell and found only a vase and a broken laptop. I was rather let down. This year more than made up for my disappointment though. This year... this year we hit gold.

I found a bizarre carved candle that I won't even begin to describe, several Psychology text books set out by a retired teacher, an old, black leather chair, and a very snazzy stained glass candle holder. The elder Swarrs found quite a few treasures of their own as well. Zach, however, was the real winner of the night. He won major points by being the gopher of the night. I may be thrilled by the hunt, but that doesn't mean I'm not mortified to be seen digging through someone else's trash. So Zach hopped in and out of the car while the rest of us threw stage whispers out the window: "Hold that up," "Let me see that," "Hey what's that blue thing?" "Does that treadmill look like it works?!".

It was one of these moments when the luck struck. I noticed two boxes of outdoor lamps and asked if that's what was really in the boxes. Zach obligingly went to check. Oh the excitement in his eyes! He held up, not a rusted light fixture, but a bottle of wine! A chilled, unopened bottle of 1997 Nissley wine. Squeals of excitement erupted as the reality of the situation hit us. FREE ALCOHOL!! The Kreider in me knew I should be eager to take the rusted light fixtures and 'spruce them up', but the Swarr in me screamed 'Alcohol!!!!'

Ah the memory warms my heart. We finally gave up when it became too dark to see and Declan started begging us to take him home, but the night ended with a toast to Mt. Gretna and big trash night. A toast with our very own, very special, free alcohol. Thank you Mt. Gretna. Thank you.

Tales From the Darkside

Alright. Let me preface this by saying that I absolutely do not like little closet doors. I haven't since I was a child. This is why:

In the early-mid 80s there was an amazing show on called Tales From the Darkside. It was a sci-fi/horror show that was along the lines of (but predating) Tales From the Crypt. Various writers/directors would try their hand at tales of horror, suspense and just plain scariness. Make note that I did say mid-late 80s. 1984, in fact. And to be more specific, the particular episode I am going to discuss came out in November of 1984. So, if you do your math (and you happen to know my birthday), that would put me right at 5 yrs and 7 mos old-ish. Why my parents let me watch this, I have no idea. It may be because I was a whiny, little, stubborn child. Or it could be the same reason that they let me watch Watership Down. Although the more I think about it, I really appreciate watching things like that. That way, I have already tasted raw fear, so everything else that should scare me, seems fairly mundane.

Regardless, I have graciously added the intro here for your viewing pleasure.

There's one episode of this show that stands out in my mind (2 actually, if you include the horrid Christmas episode, I'll post on that one near the holidays). The episode that scarred me for life is called 'In the Closet'. In it, a college student needs a room to rent off campus because all of the available rooms on campus are taken. So naturally, she ends up boarding at a creepy old mansion from a creepy old doctor. Through the days (or rather nights), she comes to realize that there is something living in her closet. That something tries to lure her into the little closet by putting enticing little objects in it from time to time, i.e. a necklace, a china doll, etc... Eventually, the creature goes into her room and hides under her bed. You see red eyes under the bed as she sits down, then the thing swipes at her feet as she brings them up to lay down (just in time). Giving up, it goes back in the closet. Then, the next night, the girls decides to sleep with a flashlight. Idiot. This is what happens:

See? That's why I hate little closet doors.