Family Innings

Weird title? Well, I originally wanted to call this “Family Outings” to describe the first movie adventure we had with the girls last Monday, watching Transformers: Dark of the Moon. But it seems like the greatest lesson we learned that night was that it would probably be cheaper in the long run to set up a home theater and buy original DVDs.

Yeah, I found the movie disappointing, but as I have no intention of turning this blog into a review, I will say no more than “there were not enough action scenes with Optimus Prime and Bumblebee, but there was that awesome stunt by NEST forces, so it kinda makes up for it  . . . KINDA.”

Besides, looking at what we have now, all we really need for a good home theater system is a bigger, wider TV. Our sound system may only have the auxiliary function left (cd player and double-cassette deck have retired), but it still sounds good! And we may not have a blu-ray player, but there are free downloadable software for blu-ray playing on your computer, and the laptops have HDMI sockets.

Oh, that’s the second thing we need: HDMI cable.


Yeah, it was almost a painful lesson. Paying that much for a movie that didn’t meet my expectations. Suddenly one understands why pirated movies proliferate like mushrooms: less of a pain in the pocket. Imagine being able to buy 10 movies you can watch over and over on your home theater for less than the price of one 2D theater ticket. And if you have enough conscience to not buy bootleg copies, even an original DVD at original release price would be cheaper!

I guess we just chose the wrong movie. I had totally forgotten about Kung Fu Panda 2, and so planned on Transformers 3.


Family innings. As opposed to family outings.

Movies are now permanently on the family innings’ list. That’s how we’ve been doing it since the girls were about a year old, when we were being charged FULL PAY for two toddlers Irl and I had strapped to ourselves because we knew they’d just fall asleep in the air-conditioned theater anyway…

So we just went to a nearby resto and ate.

We decided early on to take movie ratings seriously. And it seems to have worked, because when we found and bought the Street Fighter dvd (Jean Claude Van Damme and Raul Julia), the girls refused to watch it because “Mommy, it says PG-13.” Irl and I, who had seen it in our 20s (yes, we’re that old. Am 43, remember?) had to watch it again to figure out what the PG-13 was about. Profanity, mostly, and we were able to explain to the girls why Col. Guile was “being very rude” to Gen. Bison. For us, when we had seen it, Guile’s language was mild. I’d cussed worse. But then, after almost 11 years of motherhood, I have to admit, I got shocked by the language too…

hehehehe : )

I think we had more fun during the Starbucks time after the movie last Monday.

The girls were talking about their “latest scripts” (they talk about movies they’ve watched, recasting people they know to play the characters), but not once referring to the movie they just watched (yup, even my 10-year olds were disappointed). They asked to smell my Chai Latte, asked why Irl’s Mocha looked the way it did, and eventually asked for extra sugar for their Signature Hot Chocolate — it’s always been too strong for them, so we’d been ordering one, dividing it between two cups, then adding some water. We enjoyed Classic Chocolate Cake — they were out of the Butterscotch, my favorite.

For some reason, our best family outings have been about food: whether going to a restaurant or visiting friends’ houses and sharing a meal. Typical Asian culture, I guess: bonding over a meal. From cracklings and vinegar to Thanksgiving feasts, it’s always been a greater way to spend time together.

And that’s the important thing, right? Spending time together. Specially with the family.

Specially with your children.

Most specially with each other.

So. . . Irl and I still need to screen Prince of Persia and City Hunter; we are saving up for Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Princess and the Frog, Rapunzel, and a wide-screen TV. Definitely, the discs will come first, one at a time, depending on which goes on sale first. In the meantime, we continue to just sit together at home whenever we can, and the girls teach me how to play on the PS2, and I help them work on their math, while Irl sets up the video streaming for the anime shows we watch online.

Family innings can be just as fun as family outings. AND be a lot cheaper. And that helps a lot in making it more enjoyable, too. : )


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