Crazy Random Happenstance

Billy: So good... Hey, this is weird. I ordered one frozen yogurt and they gave me two. You don't happen to like frozen yogurt, do you?
Penny: I love it!
Billy: You're kidding? What a crazy random happenstance!
-Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog

Monday, April 14, 2014

Monday Snark

Forewarning: It's Monday. My head is pounding. I'm a little cranky.  I apologize in advance if this post contains more snark than others.

Let's talk about spoilers, guys.

Your favorite show is on tonight and for whatever reason, you can't watch it the second it airs. Maybe because you have a small child whom you have to get ready for bed or you have prior commitments that evening. Whatever the reason, you aren't able to watch along with the rest of the world so you set your DVR to watch it later, maybe tomorrow... only to have a major plot point completely spoiled for you by some super awesome person on your Facebook feed... or your Twitter feed... or by just browsing some news site and they blatantly put the spoiler right there in the headline.

I always think to myself, "how is this still happening??" Haven't we all collectively reached an agreement in this Social Media driven age not to be a hole and spoil a television show for the rest of our fellow couch potatoes by stating exactly what happened in our status updates? I know it's not a law. I know it's not set in stone but isn't it like, some unspoken nod to each other that we will keep really important facts and exciting occurrences from the episode that evening to ourselves? At least for a little while?

I'm not saying you shouldn't talk about TV shows at all. Look at me, for crying out loud. I have an entire blog based on my love for pop culture. I have no qualms with discussing a particularly thrilling event from one of my favorite shows. Here's the thing, though... I input those thoughts into a controlled area on this here blog. You won't just stumble upon a crazy spoiler here. Also, and here's the big thing... I give freaking SPOILER WARNINGS! I am always shocked and amazed by how quickly people are to spoil a huge, significant event from a TV show on social media. I get it. If I choose not to watch a show live (or the evening it airs), I am basically asking to have the plot ruined for me. It's my own fault, right?

Just stay off the internet for 12 hours until I am able to watch the episode.

Sure.

That'll happen.

If I go on Twitter and cast members from say, The Following are live tweeting tonight's episode but I am not watching it, then hello?? My dumbass should stay off Twitter. If I am 4 episodes behind with The Following and I end up getting spoiled by a picture that some pop culture site posted two weeks after an important episode aired, well then, of course that's my fault. But if I am unable to watch say, oh, last night's Game Of Thrones live because I have to work and the second it ends, people are posting status updates about what happened? THAT SUCKS! I use last night's GOT as an example because my lybf decided not to watch it live. As soon as the credits started, I texted her and told her to either watch the episode last night or stay off the internet all day today, otherwise she would absolutely get spoiled. Five minutes later, people on her newsfeed were posting about the crazy thing that happened in the episode. No worries, my warning saved her. She watched the episode before seeing the spoilers. But still.

STOP. IT.

I get the excitement. I know you want to talk about it. No one loves talking about pop culture more than me but please, please, please have some consideration for your fellow TV watchers. Wait a couple days or for crying out loud, if you feel compelled to post something, be general. Be vague. Don't flat out say exactly what happened. Being surprised by a plot twist is exciting. It's one of my most favorite things EVER. Having it ruined for you absolutely blows and can completely wreck a person's day. Sure, it's insignificant in the grand scheme of things but if you spent all day looking forward to finally watching an episode that you weren't able to catch live and you just happen to go on FB out of habit, and someone posts word for word what happened in the episode, you are going to be devastated.

I know I sound like the spoiler police. "Who is she to tell us what we can and cannot post??" I'm just asking that we not post major plot points the second after they air. Can't we just wait a bit?? Let's just have an unspoken agreement between social media buddies not to ruin a show for the next person. Watching, experiencing, discussing TV shows is one of my most favorite things in the whole world but I would feel absolutely horrible if I ruined the end of a really great episode for someone else. Everyone should experience that feeling of being shocked by their favorite characters. I almost miss the olden days when we had no chance of finding out any information of any kind about the shows and movies and books  that we love, but that's not the world we live in anymore. Just take a second before you post that major spoiler and think to yourself "am I going to completely ruin the show for someone else if I post this?" if the answer is yes, then dude, don't do it.

I'll get off my high horse now and move on...

I'm going to talk about The Walking Dead now. SPOILER ALERT (see what I did there?) if you have not watched all of season 4... The first half of the season, I was pretty disappointed. I didn't care about everyone getting sick and watching people cough in the prison every episode. I was bored. I didn't care about Carol killing that Karen lady and that other boy because I was not invested in those characters. It almost felt like Nikki and Paolo from Lost the way they were trying to get us to care about them being murdered. I still don't really understand why Tyreese was so upset about it. She was his kind of girlfriend for like, a day. To still be as upset as he was about it 6 episodes later? I just wasn't buying it. As soon as The Governor came back though, I was totally invested again. I loved almost every episode of the second half of the season. I liked seeing the relationships between characters you wouldn't normally see (Daryl/Beth). I have never cared for Beth but Daryl is so great that I was able to tolerate her the longer they were together. Having Rick gone for so many episodes made me appreciate him so much more when he finally showed up again. Man, I love Rick. I don't know anything about those Terminus people. I have a few theories floating in my head but I loved how the season ended. I love Andrew Lincoln so much, I just long for the day that he is able to shave and put a clean shirt on.

As I alluded to earlier, I am way, way, way behind on The Following. I was super bummed with the first few episodes. They all just felt like they were trying shock viewers for the sake of shocking them. There was no real story or content going on. From the things I have seen in promos and on Twitter and other sites (yes, I was spoiled), it looks like it has gotten way better and that makes me happy. I'll get back to it again soon.

I love, love, love the new show About A Boy (Tuesdays at 9, on NBC) with Minnie Driver, David Walton and Benjamin Stockham. That show warms my heart so much. I absolutely adore it.

Chris Lowell from Veronica Mars and Private Practice fame, started his own Kickstarter campaign (I know. Again with the Kickstarter campaigns, Sarah??) about 3 weeks ago. He wrote and directed a movie; Beside Still Waters, with his friends and is using the Kickstarter fund to help distribute it. His goal was $63,021 in 30 days. He reached the goal in a day. He may even triple it when all is said and done. I'm fascinated by it. Anyway, he filmed some of it in up north, Michigan and there are some really cool people in the movie. Check out the campaign and the trailer (donate if you feel like it) when you have a second. Chris is a super, super funny dude. I love following him on Twitter and Instagram.
Beside Still Waters: A Chris Lowell Film 

Speaking of pop culture campaign funding... Zachary Levi launched his own campaign to try to keep Nerd HQ at the San Diego Comic Con. It's a completely free event FULL of panels with your favorite nerdtastic actors and actresses (Nathan Fillion, Alan Tudyk, Joss Whedon, Matt Smith etc.). You can have pictures taken with these guys if you donate to Operation Smile and you get to participate in a huge party as well. If you are unable to attend these events (like me), they put all the panels on youtube and you can even watch some of them live... for free. It makes my pop culture heart very happy to see things like this. They ran into some issues last year with sponsors and whatnot and they are asking for the general public (IE: us) to help with the funding of the event. Zac can explain it better. Here's the link to the campaign:
I Want My Nerd HQ

I heard they are splitting Allegiant by Veronica Roth into two films. I'm not too happy about this. I liked the Divergent movie. I had a few issues with it but for the most part, I was pretty happy with it. I'm just not sure they need to continue on with the rest of the books. Don't get me wrong, if they are going to make them, I will see them. If only because I would get to stare at Theo James for 3 more movies, but I just don't think two movies is necessary for that book. I can sum it up pretty quickly for you; -SPOILER ALERT- They leave the factions behind, find out they were being watched this whole time, genetically damaged talk, fighting, death, sadness. Lots of sadness. It's not like Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows... That one needed to be split into two. It was a 780 page book with a TON of content. They could very easily make Allegiant one movie. Easily. To be honest, I don't even think Mockingjay needs to be two movies. I guess it's just a way for producers to make a whole lot of money. If they are going to make it two movies and keep every single detail/dialogue from the original book and put it in the movie then heck yeah, I am all for it but that is never how it goes. And the difference  between two Allegiant movies and two Mockingjay movies, is that the two Mockingjay movies are going to make a ton of money. I don't think two Allegiant movies will do all that well. We'll see, though. I'm no expert. Just a pop culture enthusiast.

I will end this post with Ed Sheeran performing his new single on SNL this past weekend. I love this boy so much:


 




Sunday, March 16, 2014

A Long Time Ago... We Used To Be Friends

Veronica Mars premiered on September 22, 2004 on UPN. A little show starring a then unknown Kristen Bell, about a teenage sleuth trying to solve the mystery of her best friend's murder, had an extremely loyal cult following and lasted a much too short 3 seasons. Rob Thomas (the writer, not the singer of Matchbox Twenty) is the creator of this brilliant, witty, snarky and so damn addicting television series. The cast included Jason Dohring (Logan Echolls), Ryan Hansen (Dick Casablancas), the fantastic Enrico Colantoni (Veronica's dad, Keith Mars), Percy Daggs III (Wallace) and Francis Capra (Weevil). Not to mention the plethora of phenomenal guest stars throughout the three year run (Sam Huntington, Ken Marino, Jane Lynch, Jessica Chastain, Max Greenfield, Aaron Paul, Alyson Hannigan, Michael McMillian, Krysten Ritter, Kevin Smith, Michael Cera, Paul Rudd, Charisma Carpenter, Dianna Agron... to name just a few). It was a fun show. A show with heart and a show that made you think. It was so smart and so fresh and so much better than most everything else that was on at the time...

So naturally, it was canceled.

In a last ditch effort, Rob Thomas pitched a season 4 idea to the CW (which UPN turned into after the 2nd season) but they decided to pass on it:


Not only did they pass on the idea, but the series was left completely hanging. There was no pretty bow to tie up the series. Fans were literally left wondering what was to come of every character on the show. Every story ended on a ciff hanger. Talk about not getting closure. As the years went on after Veronica Mars, the question that was constantly asked of Kristen Bell, Rob Thomas and anyone else associated with the show was this; Will there ever be a Veronica Mars movie? Each of them always said the same thing, "if we had the money and the studio backing, we would do it in a heartbeat". The possibility of that happening seemed absurd. What big name studio was going to back a tiny show that was on UPN/CW for a mere three seasons? The answer? None.

Until they had the idea to start a KickStarter Campaign:


Warner Bros. told them if they could get their fans to raise a million dollars in 30 days, they could start production on the movie. So on March 13, 2013 they launched their idea to fans all over the world. It took off more brilliantly than anyone ever could have imagined. Ever. They raised the million dollars in 12 hours. TWELVE HOURS. Rob was shocked. Kristen Bell was ecstatic. Every single person associated with the project was thrilled. Including the fans. I was addicted to watching the website over that month. Watching the dollar amount go up and up. To see fans and creators so passionate about the same thing was wonderful.

On April 13, 2013 the Kickstarter came to a close.

91,585 backers (including myself) raised $5,702,153

$5,702,153 in thirty days!!!!

I'll be honest, even if I wasn't a fan of Veronica Mars, I probably would have donated. I loved the entire idea of it. To see the creators and actors so passionate and thankful for their fans just made my heart swell. I'm still blown away by it.

There were different tiers of rewards for the amount of money that you donated to the campaign.
Ranging from receiving exclusive backer updates for donating $1, all the way to a speaking role in the actual film for donating $10,000. I donated $25 which got me exclusive updates, access to the backers only website (which was updated daily during film production), an exclusive backers only T-shirt designed by Rob Thomas and Co. (we got to choose from 2 different designs. Those designs were modeled by the oh so handsome Jason Dohring), a personalized PDF of the script the day the movie premiered, a thank you on the Veronica Mars movie website and super awesome stickers... Oh, and the feeling that I contributed to something awesome and fun.

Over the last year, I was sent updates every time a cast member signed on, every time there was a new stage in production, every time Rob just felt like sending out his love and appreciation to the fans (which was quite often).

Did I mention that almost every single original actor from the show signed on to do this film? For free? Not only did they sign on to do it but they were excited to do it.

They started filming the movie on June 17, 2013. Just two months after the Kickstarter campaign ended. They shot for 28 days and that was that. It went into production, Rob sent regular updates on their progress, thanked everyone relentlessly and never failed to show his gratitude to the thousands of backers who were just as passionate about getting this little film made as he was. They held a few Kickstarter movie premieres in Texas, LA and New York. The backers who were able to attend those premieres got to hang out with the cast at the after party.

Listen, I cannot stress enough how great Rob Thomas, Kristen Bell and every single person associated with this show are. These people are wonderful. I have never seen such devotion to fans in all of my pop culture obsessions. This movie is 100% a love letter to the fans. From the get go, they did this to make their Marshmallows happy and my goodness, let me tell you; they succeeded. Above and beyond, they hit the mark. Bullseye. Dead on. Spot on. They hit it out of the park.

Tickets went on sale for the movie February 14, 2014. I bought them for opening night, March 14, 2014. Almost a year to the day that the Kickstarter campaign started.

One year.



I was jumping out of my skin excited for the movie. I wore my backer t-shirt. My parents watched C for us and we were on our way. We went to dinner beforehand and as we were sitting in Red Robin, I noticed that the girls at the table next to us were each sporting a Veronica Mars shirt (TEAM LOGAN and TEAM MARS to be exact). I giggled and pointed them out to Jeff. He laughed. We heard the waiter asking them about their shirts and they responded with as much excitement and enthusiasm as I was feeling. Then I noticed them noticing MY shirt. When we got up to leave, Jeff walked over to their table and asked them if they were excited for the movie. We all started talking at once. They asked me if my shirt was "the backers only shirt", I responded with a proud "yes!" then we said we would see them at the show later.

We had an hour before the movie started. Much too early to show up at the theater but not really enough time to do anything else, so we just went to AMC20 and figured we would wait it out in the lobby. Good thing we got their early. Not only was there a line, almost everyone had on Veronica Mars shirts. Backers shirts, Cafepress shirts, homemade shirts. It was like being at a Harry Potter or Twilight premiere. I was shocked. And maybe a little bit giddy. Jeff and I got some $4.50 mochas and picked our seats. That theater was packed. People were pouring in right up until the film started. It made me so happy.

It started and I don't think the smile left my face the entire 2 hours it was on. They did a nice little recap of the series right at the beginning. Refreshing old fans memories and introducing the story to new ones. Believe me when I say I loved the movie. It exceeded all of my expectations. There were inside jokes, shoutouts to the fans and reminders of why this show was so freaking fantastic to begin with. I giggled, I cheered and I jumped at some spots. They worked The Dandy Warhols theme song, "We Used To Be Friends" into the beginning of the film and the entire audience cheered. Every time a fan favorite showed up on screen, there were whoops and hollers. It was awesome.

For two hours, this three season television show that never got the respect it deserved, delighted fans endlessly. Every scene, every take, was a thank you to the fans that believed in Rob Thomas's vision from the beginning. He sent out a thank you to all of the backers Friday evening. Saying how grateful he was for each and every one of us.

"Today, Veronica Mars returned and it's all because of you."

He said that he didn't understand why every fan he encountered would thank him. He said it should be the other way around. The movie happened because we made it happen, sure. But it never would have been possible if he hadn't listened to his fans. We wanted closure. We wanted to hang out with his characters one more time. We wanted to live in Veronica's world just a little bit longer and he said "let's do it". What other creator would willingly listen to his fans so intently? I don't know of anyone else. The way they have taken care of their marshmallows overwhelms me with gratitude and I cannot thank them enough. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in something so groundbreaking for the television/film industry. Who knows if it will happen again? Who knows if there will be a sequel to this Veronica Mars film? What they did over this past year was nothing short of brilliant and each and every single person involved should be so proud of themselves.

Spanning years and continents. Lives ruined, bloodshed. EPIC.

We got a Veronica Mars movie made, Marshmallows. Be proud.







Friday, February 28, 2014

Slogger.

Yikes.

It's been a long time since I last posted. After promising to blog more, I have blogged less. I am a blog slacker. A blacker (HA), a slogger, if you will. For those of you who anxiously await my posts, I profusely apologize for making you wait so long. For those of you who could care less about what I have to say, well, suck it. I mean that in the nicest way possible, though.

Winter is making me grumpy, as I am sure winter is making you grumpy. Yes, I live in Michigan. I KNOW the winter's here are usually hard but good Lord, this winter sucks ass. It's the worst winter ever. I am stir crazy and I am tired of being cold and yeah, I complain when it's 100 degrees in the summer time too, but that is only because I do not have central air conditioning, so it is allowed! I'm not all that in love with nature. I don't NEED to be outside all the time but I do enjoy having my windows and doors open and I do enjoy taking a quick trip to Target without my ears falling off from frostbite that occurred during the 2 minute walk from the parking lot to the store.

-End rant-

Sorry about that. Anyway, February is just about over.

Sidebar: February. Do you pronounce it FebRuary? Because I don't and whenever I hear someone say FebRuary, it always takes me by surprise. I mean, that is the correct pronunciation I am sure, but it sounds dumb.

So yeah, tomorrow is March and that means Spring is just about 20 days away. I bet you one million dollars* that it snows on the first day of Spring.

*I do not actually have one million dollars.

But Spring, yeah. Think warm thoughts and all that. This cold weather is sure to break sooner or later... Forget the fact that it is currently one degree outside. SPRING'S A BUZZIN'!

Just a warning: This post might be longer than most because it has been so long since I have written. I'm winging it. I have a list of thoughts that I have been jotting down the last two months and I am just going to discuss them all willy nilly like.

Ohhhhh, where to start? I'll start with the Kris Allen concert from a few weeks ago. He had a show in Lansing. Natalie and I had meet and greet tickets and we were real, real excited. It was at The Loft, this small venue that looks like, well, a loft. Stage in front, chairs in back, a bar off to the side and windows overlooking the street below. It was cool. We were able to get a table because we were considered VIP's. We waited in the cold for a few minutes (it's cold out, didn't you know?!) before being allowed in. Kris was there, in all his bundle of cuteness. He sang a new song for the small group of us very important people and was very charming. We got an autographed poster (which I still don't know where to hang),  talked to him for a second and had our picture taken with him. They had him standing in this really dark corner of the room, so our pictures turned out all demon eyed and we were bummed about that. He really is such a sweet guy, though. He commented on how much he loved our accents. Natalie and I laughed and said "you think we have accents??" and he was all, "yeah, they're great". So cute. He has kind of a lazy drawl when he speaks. It's (you guessed it) real cute. He had two openers; Taylor Taylor (yeah, that's her name) and Caroline Glaser, who was on The Voice? They were both decent. Caroline had ALL the fans there. In fact, quite a few of them left once her set was over. Nat and I were having fun but we were antsy and feeling old and wanting to get home before 1am. He finally came out around 930ish and sang some new songs and some old songs and sounded really great. He has such good stage presence and he's so wonderful with the audience. I just love his voice and he makes me smile. I did think it was a little odd that he was touring before his new album was out but who am I to complain about getting to see him live? I look forward to seeing him again after the new album is released.

-Rhonda and I went to see Endless Love last week. For those that don't know (and I really hope you all know this), the Endless Love that came out this month is a remake of the 1981 record breaker (it wasn't a record breaker at all) Endless Love, starring a super young Brooke Shields. A very long time ago, Rhonda and I would watch the original EL and quote it and laugh and laugh. Why would we laugh? Well friends, it is absurd and insanely inappropriate. Naturally, when we saw that it had been remade, we HAD to go see it together! So after a super delicious sushi dinner, where the waiter thought I was 16 (when in fact, he was probably younger than me... more on that in a bit), we spent our $10 on this romantic movie. We thought for sure we would be the only ones in the theater. Not only were we not the only ones there, there were boys in attendance. A couple teenage boys with a gaggle of girls (that's what you call a bunch of teenage girls, right? A gaggle? I made that up), a fella around our age with his girlfriend/wife/sister and a middle aged man with his wife, who we were convinced were the only people in the room (besides us) who knew that this was indeed a remake. The movie started and Rhonda and I were that annoying couple who talked through the whole thing. We weren't the only ones, though. All the other people were freely voicing their opinions (distaste) throughout the film. We laughed and cringed and waited for it to end. It was... endless. I find it really hard to be objective about it. The original and all of its awfulness is so burned in my brain that I don't know how to judge this one. The main girl, Jade (Gabriella Wilde) is absolutely stunning. She's a gorgeous girl, which I guess made up for the ickiness of Alex Pettyfer's David. This new story is a little more tame compared to the 80's version, which I was grateful for. There is no Brooke Shields cameo (I was really bummed about this), they do not play Lionel Richie and Diana Ross's Endless Love and they did not incorporate the best quote from the original:

Jade: What would you do if I died?
David: I'd die. I'd die, too.

Ahh, to be young and creepily obsessive.
Overall, it was a movie. If you enjoy teen romances that border on uncomfortableness, go for it. If you want to compare it to the original, go for it. Otherwise, I think it's safe to say that this movie will get lost in teen drama oblivion.

-Speaking of oblivion...
Last August, I saw that Emily's friend Jules was reading The Fault In Our Stars by John Green. I asked her what she thought of it and her response was "I read this book twice in two days. It is easily one of the best books I have ever read. Yes, it will make you cry...I was hysterically sobbing for over an hour and I had to put the book down because I couldn't see through my tears! But I definitely recommend it, the tears are worth it. Smiley face"

Smiley face.

HYSTERICALLY SOBBING

You guys know I do not like sad books. I want to read to be happy not to be depressed. I specifically avoid these stories/movies at all costs. They make me feel wretched. Of course, I then refused to read it. Then my co-worker read it. Then my other friend read it and another friend. Then Emily read it and asked me to read it (and let's face it, Emily can get me to do pretty much anything), so I caved.

      *********************SPOILERS AHEAD*************************

I am happy I caved. I'm not going to recap the story here. I hate when reviews basically re-tell the story you just read. If you want to know more about the story itself, go ahead and click that link up there. I will tell you, however, that I loved this book and I hated this book. It is beautiful and heartbreaking and lovely. The characters are exquisitely written and much like a song can get stuck in your head, I have lines of dialogue floating around in my head from this book ("I lit up like a Christmas tree, Hazel Grace"). This story is so quotable that I could list pages and pages of memorable lines. I tried my hardest to keep the tears at bay but all my efforts were useless. The story is too good and in the end, I couldn't help but cry. Jeff came home when I was at the part where Hazel Grace goes up to Agustus's casket. Of course that's the part when he came home. He didn't want me to read it in the first place because he knew it would make me sad. He went so far as to hide the book on me! Anyway, I ugly cried at that part and loudly blew my nose several times, all with Jeffrey shaking his head at me. I cried because that part is so sad and so well written and so wonderful all at once. I love that Augustus refers to Hazel by her first and middle name. I LOVE IT. I love how he is with Isaac. I love Hazel's wit and unforgiving views on the world. I loved the seriousness of it and overall I loved their relationship. Sweet but not overly dramatic. Just two kids who fall in love and want to be together for the limited time they are allowed. After all, the world is not a wish granting factory.

Read this book.

The movie comes out June 4th. I am looking forward to taking Emily with a box of tissues for each of us and admiring Augustus Waters from afar:

-I took Charley to see The Lego Movie a few weeks ago. It was fantastic. I love hearing his laugh when we watch stuff together. This movie is funny and smart and so damn clever. Even if you don't have kids you should go check it out. It's really great, I promise.

-Speaking of Lego... The Lego Kids Fest is coming back to Novi, April 25th-27th. We bought tickets for the morning of the 27th. Join us, won't you??

-Speaking of watching things with C, we love the new show Enlisted (Fridays at 9pm on Fox). Is this show appropriate for an almost 7 year old to watch? Probably not but a lot of the humor goes over his head. He thinks the brothers Pete (Geoff Stults), Derrick (Chris Lowell) and Randy (Parker Young) are hysterical together. Especially Randy and I love (LOVE LOVE) Chris Lowell. I love him. Love. Him. Anyway, we giggle like crazy when we watch it. Throughout the week he will say, "Mommy, did our show tape? Can we watch it tonight?" Come on, people... How cute is that? So, check that show out when you get a chance.

-Charley lost his first tooth this week. Blows my freaking mind how much that kid is growing up. He'll probably lose another one in the next couple weeks.

-Ever since I started letting my hair grow back out, I am constantly told how young I look. I had three different people in one day tell me I did not look old enough to be a mom. My sister showed my picture to a bunch of her co-workers and their answers ranged from 13/14-18/19. I am not complaining about this by any means, I just find it funny. Did a couple inches hacked off from my hair really make that much of a difference?? Oh! And when Rhonda and I went for sushi last weekend she ordered a beer. After I ordered an iced tea, the waiter said "I didn't even think to ask if you wanted a drink... I guess I should card you. You look 16." Then he ramblingly went on to say that it was a compliment and I should feel good about that and I laughed and told him not to worry.

-Jeff bought me the movie Austenland for Valentine's Day. I read the book awhile ago and couldn't wait to see the screen adaptation. Keri Russell plays the lead, Jane and Jennifer Coolidge plays Miss Charming, a ridiculous side character who I found a little annoying in the book but absolutely loved in the movie. She cracked us up. Even if you aren't a Jane Austen fan and even if you haven't read this book, check out the movie. It is funny and happy and so fun. I absolutely adored it.



-I am obsessed with the band American Authors. I believe they have a full length album coming out on Tuesday, March 4th but they have a few songs on Spotify right now. I love, love, love "Best Day Of My Life" and, what Carrie and I refer to as our theme song, "Believer". Give them a listen:



-You know those futuristic pop machines they are starting to put in all the fast food joints nowadays? The ones where you can make any combination of any soda pops imaginable? Well, I am ddicted to the Vanilla Coke. I crave it and I love it. Try it next time you are at Noodles and Co. or Five Guys. It's delicious. I wish they sold it in bottles.

-I broke down and bought a space heater yesterday on my lunch hour. I went out in the cold to Target to buy a machine that shoots out warm air. IT'S THE BEST THING EVER! No more mittens, scarves and blankets. This space heater kicks ass. It's also red. So it's pretty.

-I've been disappointed in The Following so far this season. They are relying heavily on the kill factor and not so much on the story. I don't even know what the story is supposed to be so far. People are Joe Carroll worshipers... they like to kill people with ice picks... there are masks and clueless FBI agents who I feel should be much smarter than they are and Kevin Bacon who chases people A LOT and always ends up losing them. The last episode ended pretty good, so I am hoping the rest of the season returns it to its former mindblowingness.

-What have you all thought of The Walking Dead since it came back? I'm digging it. I like that they aren't stuck in the prison anymore. I like the secluded stories, though, I hate Beth's narration. Poor Daryl getting stuck with her. Ugh. The first episode back I was seriously starting to think that Carl was rivaling Joffrey for television's biggest teenage asshole but then of course, he redeemed himself. As much as I love Rick Grimes and as much as I know there is a zombie apocalypse going on, I wish he could keep a tshirt clean for longer than one scene. I get so happy when he puts on fresh clothes, only for him to sweat through and completely destroy whatever article of clothing he has just washed during some zombie related encounter. Seriously though, I don't think anyone sweats more than Andrew Lincoln/Rick Grimes. I'm cool with it, though. He can sweat all he wants as long as I can listen to his voice.

-I was a touch disappointed in The Olympics this year. I don't know if it was Bob Costas's pink eye or the poor coverage of the events but I just couldn't get into it and that makes me sad.

-They are rebooting Heroes with the same showrunners they had originally. I think this is a terrible idea but no one listens to me! I will be shocked, SHOCKED, if this second coming succeeds when the first one could not. The first season was almost perfect. It was perfect until the finale and then I was like, "uh oh" and then it took an absolute nose dive in season two. They had no idea what to do with the characters and added a ton of new ones. It was frustrating. It's such a great concept, they just didn't know how to sustain it. We'll see how Heroes 2.0 fairs.

-I bought my tickets to The Veronica Mars movie which comes out on March 14th. I AM SO EXCITED TO SEE IT!

-Finally, I will end this overly long blog post with some fantastic news: My sister and her boyfriend, Adam got engaged on Tuesday!!! They were in Las Vegas and after an already incredible stay, they were at an intimate Bon Jovi concert specifically for fan club members. There was a question and answer portion and Adam got picked to ask a question... but he didn't ask Jon a question, he asked Natalie one. She was shocked and ecstatic and I am over the moon happy for them!!! SO happy! Beaming with happiness! They have been together 7 years and our whole entire family could not be  more pleased about officially welcoming Adam to the family. So, join me in congratulating my beautiful/wonderful/fantastic sister and super awesome soon to be brother-in-law, Adam!!! CONGRATULATIONS you guys!!!!! We love you!! XOXOXO

Sunday, January 5, 2014

TwentyThirteen

Hey friends!

It's 2014.

Another whole year has gone by. That's so absurd. People say it all the time but time really does fly the older you get. Flies. By. You make all these plans and resolutions and intend on making big changes for the year ahead and before you have a chance to make good on any of them, it's New Year's Eve again. Speaking of NYE, I find it completely overrated. Midnight is supposed to be this magical time when you start with a clean slate and begin the year anew but really, you are still the same person you have always been. That's not a bad thing... It just is what it is (I hate that saying). I suppose it comes down to hope. People are hopeful for a wonderful year ahead and there is nothing wrong with that. Hope is a good thing.

As I sit here typing this, Jeff and Charley are watching The Lone Ranger and eating popcorn. The movie is boring. So, I figured, why not write my annual faves and not so faves from the year before while they snuggle all cute together watching Johnny Depp with ALL the makeup on and a bird on his head??

As per usual, not all of my faves/not so faves necessarily came out in 2013, it's just when I was introduced to them. This is allowed because it's my rules. My blog. My rules. Fun times.

I'll stick with movies for now...

We don't get out to the movies all that much.We always have good intentions but really, we usually only go when there is a kids movie that C wants to see or a movie based on a book that I want to see, or a movie based on a president or historical figure that Jeffrey wants to see. Charley usually wins when it comes to this which means I saw quite a few children's movies over the last year; Turbo, Jack The Giant Slayer, Walking With Dinosaurs, Monster's University... I loooved Jack The Giant Slayer. "But Sarah, you only liked that movie because Ewan McGregor is in it." Duh. Have you seen him in that movie?? Gorgeous. That man is a work of art. Plain and simple.

-I adored Silver Linings Playbook. I know that came out in 2012 but I saw it early last year and I was so happy it won so many awards. That movie is authentic and fantastic and Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper are phenomenal. I want them to love each other in real life. They are so great together.

-I enjoyed Oz The Great and Powerful but I gotta be honest... I really don't think James Franco is a good actor. He plays the same character in every single thing he's in. I also thought Mila Kunis completely over-acted her part. I know she's supposed to be angry and heartbroken or whatever but really, she only knew Oz for about 5 minutes before she went batshit crazy and started screaming at everyone. I loved Zach Braff as Finley the monkey. He makes everything better.

-Iron Man 3 was so much fun. I think it's my favorite of the three movies. Robert Downey Jr is so freaking awesome. I could watch him for hours and hours.

-You can probably guess my favorite movie of 2013... Want to guess? Go ahead. I'll wait...


Yeah, you're right... The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. I blogged about it already but I was so happy with how it turned out. So true to the book and so fantastic.

Weirdest movie I saw? One Direction: This Is Us. Look, I like boy bands. I'm cool with them. From NKOTB to 98 Degrees, they make me smile and the bottom line is this: those boys work their asses off. They sing catchy songs and know hot to work a crowd and you can tell they have a great time while doing it and you know what? It makes me happy. So yeah, while it may have been weird for me to go see a movie about One Direction, I thoroughly enjoyed myself and got to spend time with my sister at the same time. Also, Harry is real hot, guys.

Honorable mention goes to: Joss Whedon's, Much Ado About Nothing. This movie is so pretty and lovely and Nathan Fillion is the icing on the cake in it.

Worst movie? Freaking Beautiful Creatures. That movie is a travesty. Stupid, stupid, stupid movie. I screamed at my TV throughout the whole thing. They changed every great thing about the book. It infuriates me that Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl agreed to have their story butchered the way that Warner Bros. butchered it. Just awful.

Oh, The Host was pretty crappy too. An absolute Snoozefest.

Music now? Sure...

-Barenaked Ladies came out with a new one; Grinning Streak. It's pretty good but I've said it 47 thousand times and I will say it again... it's just not the same without Steve. It's just not.

-The Killers came out with a greatest hits in November called Direct Hits. There are a couple new songs on it. "Shot at the Night" and "Just Another Girl" make it a great album. I always love hearing a compilation of really great Killers songs all in one spot. It makes me smile.

-Billie Joe Armstrong and Norah Jones came out with an album together covering The Everly Brothers entitled Foreverly. It's really fantastic. Their voices so so wonderful together. This was probably my favorite album to listen to this year.

TV!

-My absolute favorite new show of the season is the CW's Reign (Thursdays @ 9pm). I LOVE this show. It follows the early years of Mary, Queen of the Scots (played by Adelaide Kane) in 1557 France. Mary is engaged to Francis (Toby Regbo), France's future King. The show is about their courtship and the trials and tribulations of politics back then. We waited until my Christmas break to start watching all the episodes so we could watch them back to back and I'm pretty much obsessed with it now. I love the relationship between Mary and Francis. They kind of make me swoon. My heart breaks whenever they have a heartfelt moment and I giggle whenever they are cute with each other. It's not just about their relationship though. Francis's mother, Catherine, is convinced that Mary will cause his death, so she does all she can to try to keep them apart. There is also a psychic (Nostradamus) and a creepy creepster named Clarissa who lives in the tunnels and underground of the castle and helps Mary out whenever someone is out to do her wrong. It's basically Game Of Thrones mild and I adore it. It doesn't hurt that Francis and his brother Bash (Torrance Coombs) are easy on the eyes. Also. I LOVE THE CLOTHES. I want to wear every single thing that Mary wears. I love watching just to see what they'll dress her in every episode.

So yeah... I love that show. I can't wait for it to come back from break in a few weeks.

-Oh! And The Following. I love The Following and Kevin Bacon and James Purefoy. That show is ridiculous and disturbing and scary and so damn entertaining.

-It's no secret that I have been disappointed in True Blood the last couple years. I'm kind of glad that this upcoming season will be its last. The direction of the show has just been all over the place and wonky. Completely wonky.

-I started watching Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. at the beginning of the season but it just didn't captivate me enough. I liked all the characters. I love Agent Coulson, I just thought it was kind of boring to be completely honest. We only lasted about 3 episodes and that breaks my heart because you all know how much I love Joss Whedon.

-2013 was the year we decided to stop watching Bones. I'm over it. See my previous blogs for reasons why.

BooksBooksBooksBooks:

You know this is always the longest section. Goodreads said that I read 39 books last year. That is way down from 2012 (60). I'm not really sure why. I suppose I just took my sweet time on the books I read last year. I also re-read a few of my favorites (The Night Circus, Love Letters) but it was still a good year for books nonetheless.... Here are my favorites in no particular order. Mostly because I really loved them all and I can't put one above the other. The following are all books I rated 5 stars on my Goodreads page...

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell- Words cannot describe how much I loved this book. You can click on the title over there to read the synopsis but I don't think it does the story justice. Rainbow Rowell has such a way with writing dialogue. It's so authentic and completely genuine. The relationships in her stories are absolutely believable and they make me want to be friends with all of her characters (almost all of them). I could not stop smiling when I finished this book and then I went back and re-read all of my favorite parts, which was pretty much the entire book, so really, I read this book twice in a matter of days. I loved it. A lot. If you want to smile and swoon and giggle, read this book. You won't regret it.

Me Before You by JoJo Moyes- This isn't a book that I would normally read. It had the potential to make me sob with all the feelings and emotions packed within it but it was on a list of the best books of 2013 so I decided to give it a go. I am so happy I did. This book is heartwarming and funny and really lovely. It will make you take a look at yourself and your life and the choices you have made. I guarantee you 100% that it will stick with you for days, weeks, months after you read it. It's an absolutely wonderful read.

Divergent by Veronica Roth- This is the first book in the trilogy. It came out in 2011 but I decided to break down and read it because I knew the movie was coming out this year. I loved this book. It made my heart pound and I fell in love with the growing relationship between the two main characters. The story itself is compelling and so very interesting. The second book, Insurgent (2012) is just as good as the first and the third and final book of the series, Allegiant came out just a couple months ago. The last book does the series justice. The entire trilogy is a back and forth, turbulent, emotional roller coaster ride. Veronica Roth is a fantastic writer and I look forward to what she will come out with in the future.

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn- This book came out in 2009, but after I read Gone Girl, I devoured the rest of Flynn's books. She has three. Each one is absolutely enthralling and dark and disturbing and gutting and wonderfully, phenomenally written. Gillian Flynn is BRILLIANT. I wish I could see inside of her brain to see how she comes up with the ideas for her stories. Read this book.

S. by J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst- This book came out in October. J.J. came up with the concept and pitched it to Doug Dorst and Doug wrote it. This book makes you feel like you are apart of it. Like you are literally living inside the story. It is filled with treasures and surprises and it's a story within a story within a story. It makes you think and theorize and the look and feel and smell of it is so enchanting. I really, really enjoyed this book. It was so creative.

Honorable mention will go to Night Film by Marsha Pessl. The concept of this book is totally intriguing and believable. It almost feels like it's a biography or a True Crime book. I wanted it to be just a little bit more than it was though. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it but I felt like there could have been just a bit more oomph to it. If you do get around to reading it, download the Night Film app that goes along with it. It turns the book into a creepy interactive experience that is super cool.

Disappointment? I was bummed with the new Nora Roberts book, Dark Witch. I can't quite put my finger on what didn't work in this story. I think it was just packed with way too much content and that made it difficult for her to write an ending to it. It just felt weird. This is the first of a new trilogy though, so maybe the next two will be better. I hope so. The end of the Sookie series was OK. It ended how I thought it would. The last few books were so mediocre that I wasn't expecting a whole lot. Charlaine Harris has done a good job of disappointing me lately so I doubt I will be reading anything she comes out with in the future.

Favorite Moments:

-My sister and I meeting Kris Allen and going to his concert. He literally could not have been nicer. He was so nice that I could not believe how nice he was. I will remember and cherish the hug he gave me and the Happy Birthday song he sang to Natalie FOREVER. That boy is a classy, stand up dude. I was so impressed with him.
-Chris Osgood became a sports analyst for Fox Sports and I squealed with delight like a 15 year old girl. I love seeing him at every game, in his suit and tie, with his little headset on. He's a work in progress with being comfortable in front of the camera but the boy KNOWS his hockey. He is so knowledgeable and so smart. (And really, really, really, really handsome).
-Ben Folds Five and BNL came to Pine Knob together. It was a concert handpicked for Sarah Scott (yeah, I'm talking in third person) and I got to see them with some of my best friends.
-Charley was a ringbearer. The most handsome ringbearer there ever was!
-We had a couple great vacations to Kentucky.
-Spent lots of time at my parents house with their new pool.
-Welcomed new family members.
-The alumni games for the 2013 Winter Classic. I could not have been happier with the events and players and games from that weekend. It was absurdly fun. I wish it could happen every year. There was something magical about it. I love love loved it!
-The success of the Veronica Mars Kickstarter for the Veronica Mars movie
-The success of the Zach Braff Kickstarter for his new film, Wish I Was Here.
-The Red Wedding from Game of Thrones.
-Slice of The 80's 5 year Anniversary.
-Mine and Fred's 10 year wedding Anniversary.
-Watching Charley play T-ball.

I'm going to end this post now and (if you are still reading this anyway...) I thank you for indulging my love of writing nonsense every now and then. I wish you all a happy, healthy New Year. Have the year you have and remember to love and cherish your family and friends all throughout the year XOXOXO



Friday, December 6, 2013

Why I Loved "The Sound Of Music Live!"

I am a big fan of musicals (Bye Bye Birdie is my favorite). I love plays and movies and TV shows (with the exception of Grey's Anatomy) where they break out in song. I think it's fun and joyful and damnit, it makes me so happy.

When I first heard that they were going to do a live version of The Sound Of Music (based on the original Broadway musical, not the 1965 movie) on NBC, I was thrilled. Absolutely thrilled. One of my favorite stories, brought to life on stage, in my living room, on my TV?! Heck yes! It never. Not once. Occurred to me to get upset over Craig Zadan and Neil Meron's (the dudes who did Smash, Hairspray and Chicago) casting choices. Given her voice, I thought "well hey, why not Carrie Underwood??" I'm not her biggest fan or anything. I enjoy her music and she's beautiful so why not her? Then when they announced that Stephen Moyer would be playing Captain Von Trapp, I was excited to see him play someone other than Vampire Bill for a change and I couldn't wait to hear him sing.

So, last night when I sat down with Charley and we had our popcorn and drinks (Coca Cola for me, water for him) and started to watch the show, I was so happy. I continued being happy throughout the entire broadcast. It has been 50 years since they aired a live event like this on network TV. I just felt like it was something really special. They spent an estimated 9 million dollars on this project (note: that is double the amount it cost to make the Veronica Mars movie that comes out in March).

An iconic story. A classic movie. A phenomenal play by Rodger's and Hammerstein. Big, big, big shoes to fill with the likes of Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer. Tons of pressure on the cast, crew, everyone involved. As I said, this hasn't been done in years. Years. It was a big deal and I loved everything about it.

I loved it.

"But Sarah!! Carrie Underwood is no Julie Andrews!!". No, she's not. You're right. She's Carrie Underwood. She has her own style, her own (freaking amazing) voice and very little acting experience. Very little. She knows that. The producers know that. The entire world knows that (no one will let her forget it either). And you know what? She went out and did it anyway. They trusted her to head the whole operation and I thought she did a great job. She sang the shit (sorry, she did) out of every single one of those songs. And while she's not Julie Andrews and she won't be winning any Tony Awards any time soon, she did a really wonderful job for her first acting gig. Her first acting gig that involved getting on stage, in front of millions of people and singing iconic songs that a lot of people know every word to and would be judging her every single solitary step of the way. I say bravo to her! And to Stephen Moyer. I think they both did a great job.

Their performances, while not as emotionally charged as Andrews' and Plummer's, took nothing away from that original movie. It was simply a different take. ON LIVE TV. I get that people love Julie Andrews. *I* love Julie Andrews but I am not going to diminish Carrie's performance because she wasn't on par with her. She was on par with herself because they are two completely different performances. I'm going to applaud her for being brave enough to say yes to such a daunting role in the first place. Kudos to her for giving it a go. She performed her ass off for 3 straight hours on live television. She was fantastic with the Von Trapp kids and I was smiling from ear to ear during "Do Re Mi". And you know what? No one. Not one single other actress out there would have been able to pull off what Julie Andrews pulled off in that movie but there is nothing wrong with paying homage to the story. It's a great story of heartbreak, war, country and love. A great story that should be told and retold, no matter who is doing the telling.

I'm really happy NBC took the gamble and decided to do this. I do think it would have flowed a little better without all the commercials. Obviously it's network TV, so that can't happen, but they could have done a 15-20 minute intermission in the the middle of the broadcast like a regular theater performance (I'm sure Walmart wouldn't have minded that). I hope they do more things like this in the future. It's so much better than all the reality TV crap that's out there right now. Introduce kids to stuff that we loved when we were kids! Give them a fresh take on it. I see nothing wrong with that in this instance. 

Anyway, all this rambling boils down to this: I loved it. I loved that it was live, I loved Carrie's singing, I loved seeing Stephen Moyer looking dapper in his suit and playing guitar. I loved his voice and every time he hugged one of the kids it gave me the warm and fuzzies. I loved the girl who played Elsa (Laura Benanti) and thought she was fantastic. I loved the sets and I love that it soared in the ratings and got 18.5 million viewers.

Also, here is a fun fact for any As The World Turns  fans out there (I used to love, love ATWT. Especially the characters Carly and Jack): The boy who played Kurt Von Trapp is Joe West, who is Maura West's son (who played Carly on ATWT). Also, Michael Park, who played Jack on ATWT and was married to Maura West's character, Carly had a small part in the show last night as well. So I thought that was super neat.

I'm all done droning on and on now. Enjoy these two fantastic numbers!



Wednesday, November 27, 2013

BreakUps

Jeff and I recently experienced a break up of sorts. No, not with each other, sillies. With a TV show. It takes a lot for me to break up with a TV show. Especially one that I have watched for a really long time and invested a good portion of my evenings to but when all I do is sit and yell at the television and the stupid characters in the show, you just have to call it a day, you know?

Our recent break up was with Bones. We just couldn't take it anymore. As much as I adore David Boreanaz as Booth and John Francis Daley as Sweets (really, he was the only reason we held on as long as we did) and T.J. Thyne as Hodgins, we just could not get passed Michaela Conlin's, Angela. Every episode was the same thing. Murder, discuss how to solve the murder, oh no! We can't figure the case out... but WAIT! Angela, who is a great ARTIST will completely reconstruct the crime scene and rewrite a computer program and figure out the shoe size of the suspect all from the way the victim's nose was shaped and BOOM! Case solved. Way to go, Angela- who has no background whatsoever in Forensic Science and/or Criminology. Way to put those artistic skills to use! It wasn't just Angela though that we were sick of. I got tired of Brennan's character being so inconsistent. She would be an emotionless robot in one scene and the next, she is crying over one of the victims. Sometimes she would be super mean to everyone and the next, she is all happy happy with them. It was just frustrating. A character is supposed to progress over nine seasons and I just feel like hers went back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. Their wedding episode sealed the deal for us. That's when we decided to stop watching. The second they said that the church burned down right before they were supposed to have their rehearsal dinner, I was done. Dumb. If you are going to have an episode where your two main characters (who have been pining after one another for 9 seasons) get married, THEN JUST HAVE THEM GET MARRIED. None of this annoying hoopla to spice up the episode. The church burned down? No. Don't have all the Squints running around trying to frantically solve the case so Brennan makes it to her wedding on time. It's stupid and I felt like it was disrespectful to the fans. Sure, the wedding itself was nice but that only took up about 5 minutes (if that) of the episode.

So anyway, we are done with that show. It makes me a little sad but I am totally OK with our decision. It doesn't happen a lot but there are a few other shows I have broken up with in the past; I ditched Brothers and Sisters because their terminal cancer storyline with Kitty (Calista Flockhart) was so absurdly unbelievable that it ruined the whole idea of the show for me (also, Rob Lowe left the show but that's neither here nor there). I was so disappointed when the writing took a nose dive. I stopped watching Glee after season two because it was like watching a cartoon with no thematic structure whatsoever. It makes me so angry how quickly that series went from being one of my most favorites to something I mocked.  I stopped watching One Tree Hill in season five when Dan (Paul Johansson, AKA John Sears the sonofabitch) needed a heart transplant and just as he was about to get it, the doctor dropped the cooler with the heart in it outside and a dog ate it. A DOG ATE IT. I left The Office after Steve Carell left. It just didn't feel the same to me when he was gone. I should probably break up with Grey's Anatomy for as much as I bitch about it but I can't. I am ten seasons in with that show. I can't stop now. So I will continue to complain and yell at Shonda Rhimes about her recycled storylines and stupid interns until it ends. Even though I said I would stop watching after she killed off Lexie and Mark...  I am still there, every Thursday. Watching that hospital on my television. It's like a sickness.

What shows have you broken up with??

Let's end the break up section of this post with one of my favorite scenes from Beverly Hills 90210, from the season two episode entitled "Wildfire" where Brenda, Kelly, Donna and Emily Valentine (UGH) perform  "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do" for Hello Day:


Wasn't that fun? Also, two 90210 references at the beginning of this post. How's that for fun??

I'll talk about the Catching Fire movie now. SPOILERS AHEAD. SPOILERS AHEAD. This was my favorite book in The Hunger Games series. I read it in a day. Probably the fastest I have ever read a book. Probably the only book to make my heart pound so much that I could hear it in my ears and probably the only book where I have ever skipped ahead a couple chapters just to make sure a character is still alive. That book is stressful, emotional and so damn entertaining. It's disturbing and heartbreaking and gut wrenching. It is absolutely fantastic and I love it. The movie was no exception. It was SO true to the book. The dialogue was almost exact. The scenes were exactly what I pictured in my head while I was reading it. The coil? The lightning tree? Freaking perfect. The boils from the poisonous fog? The crazy monkeys? PERFECT. When Peeta walks into the forcefield in the arena (that's the part during the book where I had to skip ahead to make sure he didn't die)?  I jumped so high in my seat and was so stressed out while Finnick was giving him CPR that I think I stopped breathing... even though I knew exactly what was going to happen. I thought Phillip Seymour Hoffman was the perfect Plutarch Heavensbee. Effie and Haymitch were phenomenal. Woody Harrelson and Elizabeth Banks are such an asset to that franchise and I could go on for hours (hours and hours) about Stanley Tucci's, Caesar Flickerman. I mean, honestly. Have you ever seen an actor take a pretty insignificant side character and turn them into one of the best people in the films?? It doesn't happen very often. His interviews make me so happy ("This is so exciting!!"). There were a few changes. They were minor and I was totally OK with them. Peeta can swim. There were no Twill and Bonnie to tell Katniss about District 13. Plutarch isn't wearing the mockingjay watch while him and Katniss are dancing in the Capitol and I just realized they didn't do the scene from the book where Katniss goes into the woods and comes back and the fence is turned on. Like I said, minor changes and I'm totally cool with them. Before the movie started, I told Emily that they better have the pearl scene in there. They did and I was so happy. We cried a lot; Every time someone did the three finger salute? Cried. Rue's song? Bawled. That old man from district 11?? So sad! When Katniss was freaking out while Peeta was being brought back to life by Finnick? Cried. Oh, and we didn't remember Mags not being able to talk. I haven't gone back to look at the book, and feel free to correct me on this, but I thought I remembered her speaking in the book? Basically, it is not a feel good movie, that's for damn sure. But it's a fantastic movie. It was so well done and any time a director and producer and screenwriter can make you feel how the book made you feel, I call that a big, big win.

Emily kept a Kiss Count between Katniss/Gale and Katniss/Peeta. She was furious every time her and Gale kissed (which was significantly more in the movie than in the book), however, Peeta came out the winner. I don't remember what the exact score was but he definitely won, so hooray for Peeta!

And last thing about the movie... Jennifer Lawrence is the best. Everyone in the world knows it. If you are not on board the Jennifer Lawrence BFF train, then you need to get with it because that girl is the absolute greatest. 

Am I excited for the Mockingjay movies? Ehhhh. Of course I will see them, but I envision them to be an exhausting six hour cry fest. That book was hella depressing, you guys. I just don't see how it will translate well to a movie... and TWO movies at that. I'm going to keep my hopes low and hopefully that will mean that they prove me wrong.

Billie Joe and Norah Jones just collaborated on a remake of the Everly Brothers album, Songs Our Daddy Taught Us, with their own album Foreverly. It is SO GOOD. Dennis and I have been waiting and waiting and waiting for this record to come out. It finally did this past Monday. I have listened to it over and over again and I absolutely adore it. Their voices sound perfect together and they have a really great chemistry. The songs are mostly mellow and a lot of them are about killing or death but man do they sound good. I think my favorite is "Long Time Gone" and every time I hear "Lightning Express" about a little boy who doesn't have money to pay for his train ticket but needs to get home to say goodbye to his dying mother, so all the other passengers on the train collectively put their money together so he can stay on, makes me choke up like I can't breathe, it is so heartbreaking. And haunting. To quote Dennis; "I think Christmas Shoes was shittlily trying to copy the brilliance of Lightning Express". Exactly. So, take a listen. I love Billie Joe anyway so maybe I am biased but his voice sounds brilliant in this genre of music. I love that I can really hear him sing, rather than all the instruments and background noises that come along with Green Day songs. Give it a listen, won't you? You won't regret it.

I have been reading S.  by J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst. I have about 100 pages to go and I am really enjoying it. J.J. came up with the concept and Doug Dorst wrote the story. They worked together on all the ins and outs and said that the book is their "love letter to the written word". How cool is that? I don't want to get into the story too much but the book itself is almost like a work of art. There are so many surprises and treasures inside of it that it's like you are living the experience with the characters, rather than just standing on the sidelines reading along. It is the most clever book I have ever read. I have never seen anything like it. Also, please see the picture to the left there. If you are not an Alias fan, this is insignificant to you. If you are an Alias fan, well, you will find that little shout out as much fun as I did last night while I was reading it. I. LOVE. J.J. Abrams. I am hoping that I am just as happy with the outcome of the story as I have been with the rest of the book but in the meantime, you should all check it out... And then talk to me about it. Because it's fun.

Speaking of books... Please, please, please do not buy Charlaine Harris's poor excuse for a book entitled After Dead:What Came Next In The World Of Sookie Stackhouse. Plain and simple: It is a complete ripoff. Not only is this tiny book almost $20, it is not a story. It is an alphabetical rundown of each of the characters. About a paragraph per character. It's depressing and it seals the deal that Charlaine had no idea what she was doing when it came to ending this series. A follow up is fun, sure, however, maybe just post it on your website as a thank you to your dedicated fans. Post an epilogue at the end of the last freaking book. DO NOT make them pay $20 to find out that Jason ends up dying or that Tara and JB split up. Just tell me on your FREE site what Eric, Sookie and Sam are up to and call it a day. Oh, and believe me, I am not the only one upset by this book. I have never ever seen so many one star reviews for a book on Amazon in my life. 570 one star reviews out of 787 total. 570!!! take a gander at that when you have some time. It would make a better read than that dumb book. What a joke.

Just a question that I came up with while driving home from work the other day; Why does the radio still play Smashmouth? Do people actually call in and ask to hear that "All Star" song? I mean, I know that the radio plays all sorts of songs from years ago but Smashmouth? Really? Do people still like them? Why THAT song? Why not Chumbawumba? I don't get it.

It's Thanksgiving Eve. I can't wait to visit with my family tomorrow and eat ALLLL the mashed potatoes. Jeffrey has to work and that makes me sad but since this is a thankful holiday (as all holidays should be, I suppose) I will put a silver lining spin on it and not complain about the fact that my husband doesn't get to eat turkey with me on Thanksgiving because he has to work. I will instead be grateful that he has a job and that makes me happy. There. No negative Nancy's here.

Happy Thanksgiving to each and every one of you! (except for the spammers who relentlessly post stupid incoherent comments on past blogs with their dirty links to their dirty websites. I hope you all have bad Thanksgivings and learn how to not do dirty things).

Eat until your bellies are full, be thankful for your friends and family and all of life's wonderful treasures and shop until you drop if you so choose (just please, do not beat anyone up or get into any fights over some electronic, movie, sweater, etc. that is on sale) Just have fun!

One last thing... Please check out these Etsy sites that a couple of my friends have set up. I (and they) would be ever so grateful. Thanks!

The first is my friend Scott's shop. He'll draw a personalized coloring page of your son or daughter for your son or daughter (or you) to color. He did one of Charley battling Darth Vader and it is AWESOME.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/170235070/a-hand-made-single-character-cartoon?ref=shop_home_active 

The next is my friend Liz and her fiance' Kristen's site The Urban Upcyclers: They make lots of cool wood designs. My favorite is the dog leash/treat holder. Check it out and buy a fun art design to hang in your homes.
https://www.etsy.com/shop/theurbanupcyclers?ref=af_you_favshop

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

33

I haven't posted in awhile. I haven't really felt like it and that makes me sad so I figured I would do my annual Birthday Wishlist (my day of birth is November 8th) to cheer myself up. As usual, the list consists of practical, silly, weird and not so practical things. You know... all the things a really good wishlist should contain. If you would like to peruse my wishlists of years past, you will find them HERE, HERE and HERE. You'll notice some repeats on each list and probably find some on this years as well. It's allowed. It's my wishlist after all. I've even gotten a few things off of each one too. Isn't that neat?!

So, if you are bored and would like to read up on my wishes for my 33rd year, have at it, friends:

1.) Tickets to American Idiot The Musical .

2.) To go to a Tragically Hip concert with Jeff and Carrie.

3.) To go to a Killers concert.

4.) For Steven Page to rejoin BNL.

5.) For a Dunkin Donuts to open up closer to my house.

6.) For the Divergent movie to be really good.


7.) To stop picking my cuticles.

8.) To have time to catch up on Doctor Who and Downton Abbey.

9.) To have time to start watching Breaking Bad.

10.) A Menchie's gift card.

11.) For the last season of True Blood to not suck.

12.) A job that I enjoy.

13.) To go back to Disney World/Islands of Adventure.

14.) A good eyeliner that doesn't smear all over my face and make me look like a raccoon an hour after I apply it.

15.) For the Catching Fire movie to be as freaking fantastic as the book was.


16.) A Frant night/date with my niece, Emily. We keep talking about it but haven't been able to make it happen.

17.) For loud people to stop being SO LOUD.

18.) To have dinner with Damon Lindelof and tell him how much I truly loved and appreciated the Lost finale.

19.)  A big bag of peanut butter or pretzel M&M's. Or both?

20.) For Charley to start eating his lunches.

21.) Scarves. I've decided I am always cold so I would like to start wearing scarves. All the time.

22.) For someone to come and fix all the things wrong with my house. For free.

23.) To get a mani/pedi once a month. For free.

24.) For Miley Cyrus to go away.

25.) Very little to no snow this winter.

26.) A real Christmas tree for Christmas.

27.) To go to London and go on the Harry Potter Warner Bros. Studio Lot Tour.

28.) To open my own book store.

29.) To go to Inn Boonsboro in Maryland with my mom and sister and stay in the Westley and Buttercup room and go to Vesta and Turn The Page and pretend like we are in a Nora Roberts book.

30.) To have a Birthday dinner with my LYBF at PF Chang's where we will eat double pan fried noodles, then drink coffee drinks, eat popcorn and laugh until we cry.

31.) For Fred and I to take a mini vacation somewhere together.

32.) To go to Nerd HQ at Comic Con with Zachary Levi and sit through all of his panels.

33.) I'm going to end my list with the one thing I have had on each list, every year since I turned 30. I will continue to add it until it happens; For Stephenie Meyer to finish and release Midnight Sun.

Mostly I just want what everyone wants for their Birthdays; Health, Love and Happiness for everyone in my life. Here's to a great 33rd year and hopefully I will start blogging on the regular again.

Let's end this post with a picture of Matt Bomer wearing a photoshopped party hat. Because why the heck not??