Saturday, July 31, 2010

The hazards of geekdom.... 

Got the link to this amusing video from Robert. This should end the argument once and for all....or will it?

Star Wars vs. Star Trek

In other news, I have written a new article for But You Don't Look Sick, which is partly why I am up so doggone late. The other reason is an unplanned two and a half hour nap that had me eating my 5pm meal at 8pm, which means I had my 9pm meal at 11pm and have to stay up at least three hours past when I finished, which was 11:40. Luckily, that means I can go to sleep right about now. So good night.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Rave of the Day for July 30, 2010: 

Got this funny in an e-mail from my seester. Since I wasn't able to convert any of the accompanying artwork to this post, I'll clarify by stating that the "Maxine" they are referring to is the greeting card character....


Here we are, already discussing the future President of the United States, beginning with the year 2012.   

For those of you who would like THE VERY BEST choice for President, we have a solution: It is probably time we have a woman as President. One choice is a very special lady who has just about every answer to assist in helping us to solve our problems.

PLEASE give this a thought when you have a moment...


"If you must burn our flag, please wrap yourself in it first."                        
Very eloquently put...........don't you think?

Maxine on "Driver Safety": "I can't use the cell phone in the car. I have to keep my hands free for making gestures."  

Maxine on "Lawn Care": "The key to a nice-looking lawn is a good mower. I recommend one who is muscular and shirtless."  

Maxine on "The Perfect Man": "All I'm looking for is a guy who'll do what I want, when I want, for as long as I want, and then go away. Or wait nearby, like a Dust Buster, charged up and ready when needed."  

Maxine on "Technology Revolution": "My idea of rebooting is kicking somebody in the butt twice." 

Maxine on "Aging": "Take every birthday with a grain of salt. This works much better if the salt accompanies a margarita."    

"Don't let aging get you down. It's too hard to get back up."             

I'm telling you ... she's the perfect candidate.  

"If you woke up breathing, congratulations! You have another chance."                      
Other Maxine comments:
"The only two things we do with greater frequency in middle age is urinate and attend funerals." 

"The trouble with bucket seats is that not everybody has the same size bucket." 

"To err is human; to forgive, highly unlikely." 

"Do you realize that in about forty years, we'll have millions of old ladies running around with tattoos and pierced navels?" (Now that's scary!) 

"Money can't buy happiness--but somehow it's more comfortable to cry in a Porsche than a Kia." 

"After a certain age, if you don't wake up aching somewhere...you may be dead."  

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Rave of the Day for July 28, 2010: 

Okay, this was actually in an e-mail from one of the nutritional newsletters I subscribe to, but the only real connection to health that I can see is a great workout from laughing! WARNING: somewhat crude humor follows:

Calling In Sick

We've all had trouble with our animals, but I don't think anyone can top this one:

Calling in sick to work makes me uncomfortable. No matter how legitimate my excuse, I always get the feeling that my boss thinks I'm lying.

On one recent occasion, I had a valid reason but lied anyway, because the truth was just too darned humiliating. I simply mentioned that I had sustained a head injury, and I hoped I would feel up to coming in the next day. By then, I reasoned, I could think up a doozy to explain the bandage on the top of my head. The accident occurred mainly because I had given in to my wife's wishes to adopt a cute little kitty. Initially, the new acquisition was no problem.

Then one morning, I was taking my shower after breakfast when I heard my wife, Deb, call out to me from the kitchen, "Honey! The garbage disposal is dead again. Please come reset it."

"You know where the button is," I protested through the shower pitter-patter and steam. "Reset it yourself!"

"But I'm scared!" she persisted. "What if it starts going and sucks me in?" There was a meaningful pause and then, "C'mon, it'll only take you a second."

So out I came, dripping wet and butt naked, hoping that my silent outraged nudity would make a statement about how I perceived her behavior as extremely cowardly. Sighing loudly, I squatted down and stuck my head under the sink to find the button.

It is the last action I remember performing.

It struck without warning, and without any respect to my circumstances. No, it wasn't the hexed disposal, drawing me into its gnashing metal teeth. It was our new kitty, who discovered the fascinating dangling objects she spied hanging between my legs.

She had been poised around the corner and stalked me as I reached under the sink. And, at the precise moment when I was most vulnerable, she leapt at the toys I unwittingly offered and snagged them with her needle-like claws. I lost all rational thought to control orderly bodily movements, blindly rising at a violent rate of speed, with the full weight of a kitten hanging from my masculine region.

Wild animals are sometimes faced with a 'fight or flight' syndrome. Men, in this predicament, choose only the 'flight' option. I know this from experience. I was fleeing straight up into the air when the sink and cabinet bluntly and forcefully impeded my ascent.

The impact knocked me out cold. When I awoke, my wife and the paramedics stood over me.

Now there are not many things in this life worse than finding oneself lying on the kitchen floor butt naked in front of a group of 'been-there, done-that' paramedics. Even worse, having been fully briefed by my wife, the paramedics were all snorting loudly as they tried to conduct their work, all the while trying to suppress their hysterical laughter......and not succeeding.

Somehow I lived through it all. A few days later I finally made it back in to the office, where colleagues tried to coax an explanation out of me about my head injury. I kept silent, claiming it was too painful to talk about, which it was.

'What's the matter?' They all asked, 'Cat got your tongue?'

If they only knew!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

See the country and be back in time for dinner! 

This is an innovative and amusing video. Link courtesy of a Facebook friend....

Stop-Motion Time-Lapse Video of Guy Walking Across America

Wish traveling really were that easy. I would definitely be doing a lot more of it then, heh heh.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The personal interaction dilemma.... 

This also was culled from The Hummingbird's Guide. This blog post from Australia details how devastating it is when one is so sick as to not be able to handle in-person visits from family members:

It's not personal

Although to a much lesser extent, I too struggle with this. While getting to visit in person is emotionally buoying, it can be disastrous to my energy levels, brain function, etc. I have actually suffered permanent exacerbation of my illness from pushing too hard to fulfill a social obligation I shouldn't have made.

One more from the Hummingbird's Guide.... 

M.E. is often said to be caused by depression. But it is more likely that it is the other way around, that the experience of having M.E. can cause feelings of situational sadness and emotional trauma rather than true clinical depression.

Sadness, grief, depression, anxiety and M.E. (A nutritional approach)

Like the author, I have had HORRIBLE experiences with anti-depressants, some effects which were permanent. I have had much better luck with supplementation, both in terms of effectiveness and lack of side effects. But my caveat is always to check with your doctor first before taking any supplements to see if they might be contraindicated in your case.

Jodi Bassett is on a roll! 

ANOTHER excellent article on supplementation from the Hummingbird's Guide. This one covers three of the "awesome foursome" of cardiovascular health....

L Carnitine, Coenzyme Q10, D Ribose and M.E.

I can vouch for the effectiveness of Coenzyme Q10 and acetyl-L carnitine. These unfortunately were discontinued due to their high expense. If my financial situation ever improves, I would like to resume taking them. I have never tried D ribose but have heard good things about it from friends who do take it.

Speaking of supplements, I did acquire a powdered magnesium supplement to take in addition to my usual calcium citrate/magnesium glycinate. For some reason, as soon as summer hit, my muscles all went into super-twitch mode, which is quite exhausting to me. I am hoping some extra magnesium will get me back to what passes for normal for me.

The lowdown on busy "B"s.... 

The latest issue of The Hummingbird's Guide newsletter has many new articles, including this lengthy but extremely informative one about B vitamins. It details each vitamin, its functions and how best to take it, and it addresses multi-vitamin supplements such as the famous Myers' cocktail....

B Vitamins and M.E.

I have taken a good quality B-complex multi-vitamin for several years. It does make a difference in how I feel. I also used to take sub-lingual B12, which was helpful, but I discontinued it when I could no longer afford the long list of supplements and had to simplify.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Raving about my own raves.... 

New and improved! I went onto my Raves page on my fibromyalgia website and weeded out the dead links, updated some of the descriptions, and added a new site.


And yes, I did copy all the updated text. And like the Laughs page, I want to add a lot more material at some point. But I also have many other projects going, so I'll just have to see when I get around to it.

A good day to learn more about Sjogren's syndrome.... 

Today is World Sjogren's Day! Even though I post about it from time to time, here a link to the best place to start if you want to know more about this autoimmune disease:

Sjogren's Syndrome Foundation

I have had Sjogren's syndrome for 13 years but wasn't diagnosed until seven years ago. Even though the literature says it is an ailment that occurs primarily in the elderly, I was 32 when I got it, and I know college-age women with it. And if you talk to older women who have it, many of them will tell you their symptoms started in their 30's.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

How about "into every life rain must fall"? 

From But You Don't Look Sick. Here is a list of platitudes and cliches practically guaranteed to drive a person with chronic illness crazy....

Sick Humor: "It's Always Darkest Before the Dawn" and Other Useless Crap

Now, I appreciate genuine attempts at help as much as the next person. But some of these things are said so often that if you don't have a sense of humor and/or massive amounts of patience, you'd better develop some right quick. Luckily, this author at least has the humor part down pat, heh heh.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Already love the title! 

This is the latest from the Celiac.com newsletter. One of the founders of the site has contributed, along with several others, to a new book fittingly titled "Cereal Killers":

New Book on Celiac Disease Explores the Health Hazards of Eating Gluten, the Diagnostic Process and Important Reasons to Be Gluten Free

I would LOVE to get a hold of this book, read and review it myself. But frankly, I am quite broke and can't afford any extras right now. So I will just have to read reviews by others.

How do some of us end up with the "buffet option" of autoimmune diseases? 

It has a lot to do with genetics. This article from Celiac.com tackles a complicated subject and breaks it down nicely.....

Study Shows Non-synonymous Variant (Gly3075Ser) in CD226 Confers Higher Risk for Multiple Autoimmune Diseases

I am reallllly hoping that tracking down these genetic variations will someday lead to a way to PREVENT these diseases. It would be much more effective than treating the symptoms afterward. Right now, standard treatment is like trying to put Pandora back into the box once it has been opened.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Questions about new medical coverage laws explained.... 

Got this in an e-mail. You might want to bookmark it and keep it handy for future reference.....

Health Care

I did a search on my specific situation and got a list of options that might apply. There are sections on prevention, understanding the new laws and care quality in addition to the coverage options. Funny, I didn't see anything on there regarding the death squads the Republicans were warning us about, heh heh.

Why doesn't this surprise me? 

Got this link via the Facebook cause "Keep the Arts in Public Schools". This appeared in Newsweek:

The Creativity Crisis

I particularly like their explanation for how the brain comes up with creative ideas. With my cognitive dysfunction, I still get the ideas, but am so slow at the process that the notion is often lost before it can be expressed.

One thing that concerns me about children becoming less creative is this begins even before they get into school. Many times, a baby is surrounded by a plethora of toys, each playing a little tune, and I think they become overloaded. Sometimes you just need to give a kid one or two simple items and let them pretend. Remember how much fun you had when you got your hands on an empty refrigerator box, and you could play house or grocery store or fort?

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Can never have too many Laughs.... 

Have finished updating (at least for now) the humor page of my fibromyalgia website. Replaced the dead links, added several new ones as well as more short reviews of movies, books and TV shows....


Oh, and YES, I did make a copy of all the material this time! I would like to add quite a bit more stuff to the site, but I had been planning to for about four years and never got around to it, so no promises. I do need go to my page of fibromyalgia-related links, though, and make sure they are all up to date before I copy that. Once I've done that, if the site goes down, I will still have something to show for all my hard work.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Signs, signs, everywhere signs..... 

Got this links from Stacy. There are HUNDREDS of hilarious signs here from all over the world....

Sign Language

The sign for today advertised "Baby Soup"? I'm hoping they meant food FOR babies, not made FROM babies, heh heh.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Sometimes getting lost in translation is fun! 

Stumbled across this while updating links on the "Laughs" page of my fibromyalgia site. This mis-spelling is intentional, heh heh....

Engrish Funny

I know I still need to update the Links list on THIS page. I know I get wayyyy too distracted with my various projects, but I will try to remember to do it.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Wish I had written this one myself.... 

Another article from the Celiac.com newsletter. Has some good links too....

Gluten Free Travel Tips

So far, I've been fortunate enough that TSA has allowed me to bring my own food through security even though they aren't happy about it. I'm not about to trust that I can find something safe to eat in the airport or on the plane. Been burned too many times.

When you call a company about their food products.... 

This is an EXCELLENT article by the author of "Living Gluten Free for Dummies". It details how best to find out by calling the manufacturer whether an item on a grocery store shelf is gluten free....

Learning to Decipher Customer Service Speak by Danna Korn

Certain brands have more reliable customer service than others. Kraft and Hormel, for example, have clear labeling and will verify with certainty whether their foods are safe for celiacs.

Printing this one out to try sometime! 

Here's a recipe featured in the Celiac.com newsletter. It sounds delicious and not as complicated to make as some Indian dishes....

Vegetarian Tikka Masala Gluten Free

Gotta try more Indian recipes now that the only Indian restaurant in town has closed down. Have one for Chicken Vindaloo that I haven't made yet, but I will probably have to tone it down a bit because I'm not supposed to eat anything excessively spicy. I do sneak in medium spicy from time to time, though, heh heh.

Importance of celiac testing for diabetes patients.... 

Got this from the Celiac.com newsletter. The correlation of celiac disease and Type 1 Diabetes is unmistakable....

Routine Celiac Disease Screening for Everyone with Type 1 Diabetes

What I found interesting was that even if an initial celiac test in a diabetic patient was negative, subsequent tests done up to 10 years later were positive. I wonder if it wouldn't be wiser to just put newly diagnosed diabetics on a gluten-free diet from the outset?

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Rave of the Day for July 10, 2010: 

Got an e-mail from Pete that was good for some giggles. Some I have actually seen before, but are worth a re-run....

Friends don't let friends 
take home ugly men. 

Women's restroom, 
Starboard, Dewey Beach, DE

Beauty is only a light switch away.

Perkins Library, Duke University, Durham, NC
If life is a waste of time, 
and time is a waste of life, 
then let's all get wasted together 
and have the time of our lives. 

Armand's Pizza, Washington, DC

Fighting for peace is like 
screwing for virginity.  

The Bayou, Baton Rouge, LO

No matter how good she looks, s
ome other guy is sick and tired 
of putting up with her shit.

Men's Room, 
Linda's Bar and Grill, Chapel Hill, NC
At the feast of ego 
everyone leaves hungry.  

Bentley's House of Coffee and Tea, Tucson, AZ

It's hard to make a comeback 
when you haven't been anywhere. 

Written in the dust on the back of a bus, 
Wickenburg, AZ

Make love, not war.
-Hell, do both. 

Women's restroom, 
The Filling Station, Bozeman, MT

If voting could really change things, 
it would be illegal.

Revolution Books, 
New York, New York

If pro is opposite of con, then what is the opposite of progress?  


Men's restroom, House of Representatives, 
Washington, DC

Express Lane: 
Five beers or less

Sign over one of the urinals, 
Ed Debevic's, Phoenix, AZ
You're too good for him. 

Sign over mirror in Women's restroom, 
Ed Debevic's, Beverly Hills, CA

No wonder you always go home alone. 

Sign over mirror in Men's restroom, 
Ed Debevic's, Beverly Hills, CA

~~~ and perhaps the most realistic one ~~~
A Woman's Rule of Thumb: 
If it has tires or testicles, 
you're going to have trouble with it. 

Women's restroom, 
Dick's Last Resort, Dallas, TX


Smart man + smart woman = romance 

Smart man + dumb woman = affair 

Dumb man + smart woman = marriage  

Dumb man + dumb woman = pregnancy 



A man will pay $20 for a $10 item he needs. 

A woman will pay $10 for a $20 item that she doesn't need.  



A woman worries about the future until she gets a husband.  

A man never worries about the future until he gets a wife. 

A successful man is one who makes more money than his wife can spend. 

A successful woman is one who can find such a man. 



To be happy with a man, you must understand him a lot and love him a little.  

To be happy with a woman, you must love her a lot and not try to understand her at all.  



Single men live longer than married men do; married men are more willing to die (looks like I'm going to live forever).


A woman marries a man expecting he will change, but he doesn't.   

A man marries a woman expecting that she won't change, and she does.   



A woman has the last word in any argument. 

Anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument.   



Old aunts used to come up to me at weddings, poking me in the ribs and cackling, telling me, 'You're next.'
They stopped after I started doing the same thing to them at funerals.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Part of my spiritual website was found! 

Ducky saved the day again. Using this site, she found remnants of my site "Inspirations"....

Internet Archive Wayback Machine

The good news is that the text I created from 2004-2006 was on there, including a lengthy essay I composed on the keyboard (I was a total tard for not saving it elsewhere) on the subject of faith and chronic illness that was very important to me. I also managed to retrieve a couple of pieces of art. The bad news is that NONE of the material I added in the past four years is available, including text, art, backgrounds, headers, etc. There was a LOT of new text, mainly in the form of prayers and quotes, of which I kept no copies. Guess that will teach me to archive EVERYTHING that I do from now on, won't it?

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Bonus Raves of the Day for July 8, 2010: 

While I'm at it, here are the other highlights of the Lolcat Repertory Players. REALLLLY hoping the other seasons of "LOST" get the Lolcat treatment....

Twilight: New Moon


Lost: Season 1

Wayyy past my bedtime now. Got distracted. Will have to finish copying stuff from my fibromyalgia website tomorrow.

LOLz "Eclipse" = an instant classic! 

Thanks sooooo much to Stacy for digging up this gem! I laughed so hard when I saw it that I think I woke Dan up all the way from the basement!

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse: with Cats

Did not hear back from But You Don't Look Sick on the "Eclipse" review I sent, but I'm not sorry I wrote it. In fact, I should write an article a month even if the only place it ever gets seen is this blog.

Rave of the Day for July 8, 2010: 

The following is from "What's Funny about Fibro? Exploring the Healing Power of Humor" by Karen Lee Richards, appearing in the March-June 2004 edition of Fibromyalgia AWARE magazine. It is one of the items appearing on the "Laughs" page of my fibromyalgia website....

You know you have fibromyalgia when:

1. Everything hurts - and what doesn't hurt, doesn't work.

2. You feel like the morning after but you didn't have a night before.

3. Your little black book contains only names ending in M.D.

4. You get confused playing checkers.

5. You finally have all the answers but you forgot what the questions were.

6. You look forward to a dull evening.

7. You sit in a rocking chair and can't get it going.

8. After painting the town red, you have to take a nap before applying a second coat.

9. Your back goes out more often than you do.

10. You consider a discussion of bowel problems interesting conversation.

11. You know what is on TV at 3:00am.

12. Dialing long distance wears you out.

13. You stop to think and forget to start again.

14. You find yourself smiling at this list.

Laugh....it's good for you! 

Was copying all the material on my fibromyalgia site as a backup, and wanted to share this link from my "Laughs" page. Proof that humor is healthy!

Good Humor, Good Health

In less hilarious news, I went to edit my spiritual site tonight, and it is MISSING! I have no copies of any of the original text, backgrounds or banners that I spent YEARS putting on the site! Hence, I am copying all the fibromyalgia site material just in case it too goes poof.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Have a great Independence Day! 


An annual tradition.... 

This is simple and fun. Click on this link, and then click on the black screen at random to make fireworks appear....


I went to my sister-in-laws' tonight. Had to stay inside while they lit fireworks because of my asthma, but Dan graciously took photos so I could see what went on. And I did get outside while Dan, our brother-in-law and my niece and nephew played on the Slip and Slide and then had root beer floats.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Dealing with the self-appointed handicap police.... 

Found this on But You Don't Look Sick. I can sooo identify with this....

Handicap Parking and My Invisible Illness

Yeah, I know there are people who use others' placards or use their own when they don't need them, but just because a person isn't gray-haired doesn't mean they can't be disabled. Do people realize how rude they are when they tell you you're too young to be that sick?

At last, a NEW review! 

I submitted the following article for But You Don't Look Sick as the site recently resumed posting new material. But in case the review isn't accepted or someone else beat me to the punch, here it is in its entirety:

Movie Review: "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse"

I don't quite fit the definition of a "Twihard", a person completely obsessed with all things "Twilight", but I have read all the books and have seen the first two movies multiple times apiece. "Eclipse" is the third film in the series so far. I saw it at the theatre with a friend and her mom the day after its premiere.

Caution: it is possible that those not familiar with the books may consider some of the material below to be spoilers.

Some background story: Bella is a teenager who has moved to the small town of Forks, Washington to live with her father, the local sheriff. In high school, Bella meets and falls for an intoxicating classmate named Edward Cullen, who is actually a vampire forever stuck at the age of 17. Edward has four teenaged "siblings" and foster "parents" who are also all vampires. They are able to co-exist with the townsfolk because they are "vegetarians", meaning they feed on wild animals rather than people. Unfortunately, other vampires, including a redhead named Victoria, remain "carnivores" and cause a great deal of trouble for the Cullen clan, Bella, and any human who frequents the woods alone. Jacob lives on a nearby reservation and is the son of a long-time friend of Bella's dad. Jacob becomes Bella's best friend and potential rival for her affection, and if this weren't complicated enough, Jacob is a werewolf, a natural enemy of vampires.

Female readers of the books and viewers of the movies tend to choose sides between Bella's love interests, thus we have "Team Edward" and "Team Jacob". My viewing companions were both Team Edward. Now, while I find the actor who portrays Jacob to be the most physically attractive, when it comes to the story line, I am Camp "Bella, Make Up Your Mind".

"Eclipse" opens with some grisly goings-on in Seattle. People are disappearing at a terrifying rate, causing the media and law enforcement to wonder if they are beset by gangs or an extremely prolific serial killer. The answer is Victoria, who is creating "newborn" vampires to form an army to wipe out the Cullen clan, who were responsible for the demise of her lover when he attacked Bella. She also has her sights set on killing Bella. Newborn vampires, for the first few months of their existence, have no control over their thirst for human blood and are faster and stronger than the average vampire.

Bella has her own problems on the home front. When the Volturi, an ancient group in Italy that are the equivalent of the royal family of the vampire world, found out that Edward had a human girlfriend who was immune to their powers of mind-reading and psychic torture, they decreed that Bella must be become a vampire, or they will destroy Edward. Bella is willing to make the transformation, a little too willing perhaps because she doesn't want to become an old woman in love with a perpetual teen, but Edward wants to postpone it as long as possible.

Also dead set against Bella becoming a vampire is Jacob. He appeals to Bella's deep friendship for him, arguing that she can remain mortal and live a nearly normal life if she chooses him. Normal, of course is a relative term when one has the ability to transform into a massive wolf.

And so the rivalry is on. Bella wants the friendship with Jacob AND the intense love affair with Edward, and it's all she can do to keep them from ripping each other to shreds. But a truce is called in the face of a common enemy: Victoria and her army.

What's at stake is not just Bella's life, but those of the people of Forks and surrounding areas such as the reservation. The Cullens are skilled fighters but are outnumbered, so Jacob gathers the others in his tribe who are part of his werewolf pack, and the two forces grudgingly work together to figure out how to destroy the newborn vampires.

"Eclipse" improves upon the previous two movies in a few ways. There is much more meaningful dialogue and fewer prolonged brooding stares. There is a lovely scene in which Edward explains how, when he was mortal in the early 1900's, he would have courted Bella in the manner considered proper at the time. Also, the fight sequences are more convincing in this film. When a vampire is vanquished, they break into pieces like crumbling marble. The wolves look so lifelike that Bella appears to be ruffling Jacob's fur when he is in wolf form.

One caution for those prone to motion sickness: you might want to sit at the back of the theatre. The vampire movements are so rapid that they are a blur at times. I was in the very back row and still found the vampire/wolf fight to be a bit disorienting.

A theme that runs deep in "Eclipse" is that of mortality and whether Bella is really mature enough (she is 18 in this story) to understand what she will give up if she becomes a vampire. Edward tries to nudge her into thinking more carefully about it by having her visit her mother in Florida. Bella realizes that once she is transformed, she won't be able to see her parents anymore. She also finds out from a couple of the Cullens (via some excellent flashbacks) what their experiences were with becoming a vampire and how neither of them would have chosen to become one.

Another issue that develops is the physical relationship between Bella and Edward. Bella is willing to throw herself at Edward, but he wants to wait until marriage. Bella's father senses that she may have become intimate with Edward and makes an extremely clumsy attempt at a "birds and the bees" talk, which is funny and sweet.

"Eclipse" is rated PG-13, which is appropriate. While it is not gory (vampires don't bleed), it is violent, and there is one scene involving a child vampire that some could find disturbing. There are no overt sex scenes, but there is a fair amount of kissing and some discussion of sex. Parents should consider their own child's maturity level if they are under age 13. If they read the book and were okay with it, the movie probably won't be too much for them.

While it is rare for a sequel to be better than the original, I did find this movie to be the best of the three so far. The actors seem to have improved, and the effects blend in more realistically. We are also more invested in the characters as Bella moves toward adulthood and toward irreversible life-altering, even life-ending, decisions.

Whether you're Team Edward, Team Jacob or just want Bella to decide already, go see "Eclipse".

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