Happy Monday

Well I saw this household tip a year or two ago and I’m not sure why I finally got around to trying it (maybe because I ran out of dryer sheets?) but it completely works like a charm.

Instead of dryer sheets, crumple a bit of aluminum foil into a four-inch ball and toss it in with your laundry to control static.  You have my word that I tested it myself just this week and it really does work.

Of course it doesn’t give you that wonderful fake-flower, manufactured-perfumy, sickly-heavy, synthetic smell like a dryer sheet does which is a down-side for those of you who love that scent (can you tell where I stand on the issue?) but then nothing is perfect.

And the best part is that it’s reusable. 

No need to send me flowers in appreciation, just knowing that your laundry is static-free and economical is thanks enough. Though I’ve always thought it would be nice to have someone name a child in my honor. . . .

And in unrelated news, this weekend Andrew and I saw The Eagle (mostly because it was the only thing that looked remotely interesting–there is so much junk in the theaters right now I don’t know how the industry stays afloat) and it wasn’t a bad movie at all–quite fun in fact.

We hadn’t heard a thing about it before going to see it but it turns out that it’s a movie version of the famous historical novel The Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutliffe that I coincidentally had just checked out of the library in an effort to interest the boys in manly fiction. They weren’t interested because it was an “old-looking book” (sigh) but maybe after they see the movie they’ll be more interested.

Taking place in 140 AD during the Roman conquest of Britain, it’s the story of a young man (at least in the book he was young, this guy in the movie is closer to 35 than not which is practically at death’s doorstep in Roman years) who arrives to avenge his family’s honor. His father had lead a regiment of 5,000 men into the north 20 years before, never to be seen again (true story) and now Marcus Flavius Aquila is going to find out what happened and bring back the preciously symbolic brass eagle that the company had carried as a standard, because “It’s not just a piece of metal, darn it, that eagle is Rome!”

Think of it as the greatest game of capture-the-flag ever played.  Of course he needs a faithful sidekick so Jamie Bell plays Esca, his British slave with a definite chip on his shoulder and a lot of modern philosophical tripe about how evil expansionism and imperialism are (though as for myself, I’m pretty grateful for the Roman Empire which really did civilize a lot of the world and allow us to enjoy the fruits of all sorts of great things from our democratic republic to Christianity to pizza).  Still, it’s fun.  Probably because it’s one of the few movies I’ve seen lately that seems to realize that CGI and blue screens have their place in the movie industry but shouldn’t be a replacement for actual drama.

See it for the heroic feats, see it for the beautiful scenery (please tell me it wasn’t filmed in Toronto or Vancouver–I want to believe that it really was Scotland) or see it for the ferociously savage blue men that make you grateful the Romans were the victors in that little neighborhood skirmish.  It’s like Gladiator meets Braveheart, only cleaner (yes there are lots of battle scenes and talk of brutality but the actual blood and gore is done mostly out-of-shot) and I’d give it a solid B+.

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