6 Things

Hello “What she said” followers! It’s been a little while so I thought I’d fill you in on 6 happenings and thoughts as of late.

#1. I’ve discovered that no matter what mood I’m in or what is going on or trying to be done… anytime the following movies are being shown on TV my world stops and I must watch them.

Sister Act
Any Muppets Movie
Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit
Hook
Up!
Get Over It 
The Devil Wears Prada
Toy Story
Kill Bill
Indiana Jones
The Wizard of Oz
A League of Their Own

#2. I’ve pretty much kicked my addiction to soda. I’ve only had a few over the past 3 weeks (I can probably count on ONE hand!), and even then it’s only ONE diet, no refills… and to be honest I don’t want the refills. The water has done wonders for me I think and I’m starting to feel better. I’ve been trying to walk more. When I can, I walk during lunch with some people from work and have met friends on the Rail Trail a few times as well. I need to make more of an effort on this, but at least it’s something instead of the nothing I have been doing. I’m very seriously considering doing the Shape Up Show Down… it’s just a matter of time. Weight Watchers has been going OK. I’ve stalled and I think it’s because I lost quite a bit before I started to go to the meetings, so while I’m doing everything right, I’ve been doing it through the online stuff for a while as well. It’s getting me a little frustrated, but a little more effort and I think I can get over the hump and down to my goal. So that’s 3 things I’m doing to get myself on track… we’re getting there!

#3. We have completed another major organizing sprint and now the time has come to put what we have learned from “All Squared Away” to good use. Our kitchen, basement, guest room and office all have been completely reorganized and now it’s up to us to see if the new systems are working. My goal over the next few weeks is to do some MAJOR spring cleaning now that we can actually get to shelves, baseboards, etc. I’m excited… in a Danny Tanner kind of way about it. We have a LOT of boxes and bags of things to be donated and even though our basement is filled with even MORE things for our big neighborhood garage sale in May, we might just donate the majority of that as well.  I hate having it all piled up downstairs…

#4. Our beloved rascal of a wiener dog, Frankie… between being sick one minute and getting into trouble the next he’s kept us on our toes! He’s been super cuddly and snuggly as of late which I am totally loving. Last night, for the first time in recent history, he didn’t sleep on top of my head or back when we went to bed. Of course his head was on my stomach and his butt was on Nick’s… making it kind of messed up hot-dog situation. He has finally started to figure out he has more space in this new King bed!

#5. I’m mucho excited for the Hunger Games premeire in a week and a half.  I’ve adored the books since I read them last May.  I re-read them in a fairly rythmic pattern and listen to the audio version everyday at work while I stuff envelopes or combine materials… it’s quite disturbing probably how many time’s I’ve gone through the series… I hope the movie doesn’t dissapoint, but from every still shot and scene I’ve gotten to look at, it’s pretty much exactly how I envisioned it when I read it the first time. So, may the odds be ever in your favor! And if you haven’t read The Hunger Games yet… you have time.. once you start, you won’t be able to put it down… gauranteed…

#6. It is officially 6 days until the 3 year anniversary of when Nick proposed to me in London, 14 days until our 2 year anniversary and 20 days until Nick and I are on our way to NYC to celebrate, eat good food, get into trouble and see Book of Mormon, Anything Goes, The Best Man and Death of a Salesman on Broadway. Clearly I’m not excited or anything.

Delirum Divergent Room

Room: A Novel by Emma Donoghue

This book still haunts me… I’m now a paranoid person who thinks that when her Husband doesn’t text back immediately he’s been taken by kidnappers… this ain’t no young adult fiction…

“In many ways, Jack is a typical 5-year-old. He likes to read books, watch TV, and play games with his Ma. But Jack is different in a big way–he has lived his entire life in a single room, sharing the tiny space with only his mother and an unnerving nighttime visitor known as Old Nick. For Jack, Room is the only world he knows, but for Ma, it is a prison in which she has tried to craft a normal life for her son. When their insular world suddenly expands beyond the confines of their four walls, the consequences are piercing and extraordinary.”  — Taken from Amazon.com

This story is so chilling.  It really puts you in the mindset of a 5-year-old.  Although he views things at his level, you know what’s really happening (Jack calls the Kidnapper “Old Nick” because he comes at night…).  Ma tries to do everything she possibly can for Jack by making things into games.  For example, every week day they play a game call scream, where they stand on the table and scream out the soundproof skylight…

The book is diffidently divided up into thirds.  The first part takes you into the 11 by 11 foot room that Ma and Jack share… the middle part is so thrilling you will NOT want to put the book down… and the last third of the book deals with the repercussions and adaptations of the middle part.

I do NOT want to give anything away, but this book is an amazing thriller.

 

 

 

 Delirium by Lauren Oliver

This Young Adult book was a light fun read.  Can you imagine growing up where people don’t show affection… because they can’t feel it?  No one holds hands or says I love you or hugs or anything.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a PDA person AT ALL, but still…

“Lena Haloway is content in her safe, government-managed society. She feels (mostly) relaxed about the future in which her husband and career will be decided, and looks forward to turning 18, when she’ll be cured of deliria, a.k.a. love. She tries not to think about her mother’s suicide (her last words to Lena were a forbidden “I love you”) or the supposed “Invalid” community made up of the uncured just beyond her Portland, Maine, border. There’s no real point—she believes her government knows how to best protect its people, and should do so at any cost. But 95 days before her cure, Lena meets Alex, a confident and mysterious young man who makes her heart flutter and her skin turn red-hot. As their romance blossoms, Lena begins to doubt the intentions of those in power, and fears that her world will turn gray should she submit to the procedure.” – From Amazon.com

This book was fun.  It defidently brought me back to the days of my first crush oh so long ago and the butterfly feelings that you get… her next book (about different characters, but somewhat similar topics… teens are “matched” for the rest of their lives so you don’t have to chose who your partner or life will be like.  It’s in my list of books to dig in to next.

Lena got super whiney sometimes, but I guess that’s to be expected in a book for angsty teenagers.  I read the rights to the movie version were bought by Disney… so… there’s that.

  

 

 Divergent by Veronica Roth

A yet to be fully released Trilogy, this is the best book to get you out of your “Hunger Games” funk and into the real world again… OK… maybe it’s not the real world when it’s still a young adult book series… but it’ll do in a pinch. 

“In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her selfless family where she has never truly fit in and being who she really is—she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she’s chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she’s kept hidden from everyone because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves… or it might destroy her.” – Taken from Amazon.com

This was a fun read and the initiation process was very reminiscent of The Hunger Games.  Although the characters seemed to suspect what is happening to them… then forget moments later only to rediscover it again…(SO ANNOYING)… I’m looking forward to the next books in the series!  The rights were bought by the same company as Hunger Games… which is super exciting, but I don’t think they’ll even think about going into production until all of HG has been made.

 

 

 

Have a book I should be reading next?  Comment Away!

No Sass Mouthing.

Very few times a movie lives up the book.  I am happy to say that “The Help” captured the words that were written with respect and gave it more life.  Overall, I think writer-director Tate Taylor has done an excellent job bringing the book and its characters to life, in harmony with an exceptional cast. He has managed to recreate the look and feel of a Southern town in the 1960s, with its separate but unequal citizenry: the well-to-do white folks and their black servants.

I think if Oscar buzz is swirling for Viola Davis (Aibileen) and Octavia Spencer (Minnie) then I’ll swirl too.  Their conviction in the roles, the honesty… truly made the film.  Bryce Howard Dallas (daughter of Ron Howard) was just the perfect evil villain as Miss Hilly. And Jessica Chastain surprised me as Celia Foote, in the book the character wins you over time and time again, and in the movie… this actress nailed it.

Although humorous at times (I started laughing way too loud at the beginning when Minnie marched up to Miss Hilly’s door with that pie!) it turns on a dime at times into the dramatic and gives the movie a true heart.  Without that foundation of the drama, some characters would seem more like a caricature then “real” women. 

There were scenes left out of the book that I didn’t miss at all.  The way they handled the growth of these women over the course of 137 minutes was just beautiful.

Still shot from "The Help"

 

Favorite Moment: Sissy Spacek in every scene she was in… just hilarious

Favorite Quote: “No sass mouthing…”  (I have to repeat that to myself on a regular basis)

Trivia:  The young girl playing Sugar, Minnie’s eldest daughter, was the “Aretha-esque” of a singer in “School of Rock”

Favorite Shots: When the Tornado is coming, the sweeping landscape scene…. Aibileen and Minnie hugging at the dinner table, burning the fried chicken…. So many more!

 

I give this movie 5 stars.. A+, 2 thumbs up! So similar to the book, which if you haven’t read, you need to!

 

The Shape of Things to Come

The LOST Re-Watch Begins


I can’t believe it’s almost been a year since LOST ended. Six long years of watching with commercial breaks finally came to its grand conclusion. In honor of the show that got me from September 22nd, 2004… my sophomore year of college… to May 23rd, 2010… almost a month after I got married… I am starting my official LOST re-watch. **Don’t tell me what I can’t do!**

I haven’t watched a full episode since the week after the show ended last year. I watched all the special features when they were released of course, but in terms of just sitting down and re-watching… I haven’t. I finally feel like I can honestly look back on the show now with a new audience ear and truly see if the same themes and arcs that moved me so much so many years ago, will still translate. **Everything happens for a reason**

Now, don’t get me wrong, I have seen almost every episode MULTIPLE times… when I get someone else “addicted” to the show, I tend to watch it with them until they’ve either caught up or tell me to go away. The first 4 seasons I’ve had to have seen 10 times each. I can quote lines, point out things in the background and a fun party trick I have is to connect ANY actor back to LOST… try me in the comment section. It’s my dumb human trick, but it’s all mine. **One of these days I’m going to find a loophole my friend**

If you don’t know, I’m the biggest LOST fan I know. I started watching the show (believe it or not) at the ice rink while my sister had hockey practice. They have a few TVs set up in the lobby area and my then boyfriend (and now husband) said “Oh, Hey! There’s that show I was trying to tell you about. J.J. Abrams is doing this plane crash show where they land on an island… it looks almost like a movie… supposed to be really good.” We sat there and watched it off and on while peaking through the window to watch my sister and I was hooked. Nick would probably like me to point out that yes, he is the one who liked the show first and is responsible for the monster he’s created. **I’m sorry this happened to you**

Because of classes and everything, I didn’t truly become insanely crazy obsessed (as my friends will quickly tell you) until they came out on DVD. That’s when I started to watch and re-watch those episodes so many times that noticing things like “Ethan Rom… Other Man” became second nature. I was a Lostie. I helped write a few things for Lostpedia and Doc Artz… nothing big, just a few things here and there and truly became immersed. I was “that LOST girl” and I loved it. **4 8 15 16 23 42**

We began to have full on weekly viewing parties at our home, complete with costumes and LOST themes including “Keemy Sashimi” sushi nights and “Kate’s Taco Night” among others. We would play games and it was just a really fun time. I can honestly say that once LOST ended, we didn’t truly see some of our friends as much as we would like to, because there wasn’t the weekly LOST gathering at our place. 😦 **You all everybody**

I have collected many things over the years about LOST. Action figures, books, set designs, pieces of costumes. My license plate is the numbers and on my wedding day I had my “something old, something new, something DHARMA and something blue” (my bridesmaids and I had little temporary dharma station tattoo… mine was the pearl… duh). I’m a freak. **If I don’t play ping-pong every 108 minutes the whole island’s gonna explode**

So, I’m VERY excited that we (yes, people… Nick and Frank are participating) will be starting our first official LOST re-watch. **If we can’t live together, then we’re going to die alone**

We will watch one episode every day from May 23rd, 2011 until September 22nd, 2011. There are 122 days and 121 episodes. I might not post every day about the episode we watch, but at least every few days I’ll put my comments about the new take I’m sure to get “this time around.” Some days we may watch more than one episode… (for instance we’ll most likely watch BOTH parts of the 2 hour-pilot the first night)… and some days we just might not have the time. However, like “Julie & Julia” we have our goal date and will be watching the finale on September 22nd, 2011 here or in the flash-sideways. Please feel free to watch along with us and if you have questions, don’t be afraid to ask! **We have to go back**

Of course this blog will still be updated for whatever else I’m watching, reading and doing.  **Dude**

Catching Fire, Mockingjay & The Help

I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately. My temp job is wonderful… And for the time it’s very helpful for productive personal downtime. So, I’ve read 4 books since Friday LOL.

“Catching Fire” and “Mockingjay” finish the “Hunger Games” series. Again, there were moments where I literally gasped at the events that unfolded over the two books.

I really want a pin of the Mockingjay that is features throughout the series…so if any of you readers out there find one, let me know 😉

Katniss and Peeta get into loads of trouble in these books and it only makes me more excited to see how they are going to translate this to the big screen in the coming years… I just saw some photos from the set and WOW! Haymitch is going to be unbelievable to watch! LOL

However… I do feel the last 2 chapters or so of the final book were rushed and not as cohesive as the rest of the series. Still recommend them, though 😉

Moments ago, I finished “The Help.” I actually saw a trailer for the movie when I went to see “Water for Elephants” with Chris and we both turned to each other and said we would see that when it came out. Then… Low and behold… It was a book first!

Kathryn Stockett did an amazing job of really placing you in Jackson, Mississippi. Every few chapters are written from the point of view of one of three characters. The first is Aibileen. Second is sassy Minny. The third is Skeeter. All three women in very different places of their lives. Aibileen is a woman who fiercely loves the children she watches, Minny talks back to every boss she has ever had and Skeeter is a young writer searching for her voice in word. Skeeter convinces the maids and housekeepers of Jackson with the help of Aibileen and Minny to tell their stories of working for the white women in Mississippi. Some stories are horrifying, some warm your heart and some just break your heart…

I really enjoyed the book. It’s very dramatic, and at times pretty funny. I can see where this is going to be a successful film in August. Can’t wait to see it now!

The Hunger Games- “Here’s some advice. Stay alive.”

“The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins just kind of blew my mind…

In a postapocalyptic world, 12 Districts and a Capitol pit 24 children against each other for a televised game of death.  24 children… 12 boys… 12 girls… ages 12-18… 2 from each District… to remind them that the Capitol is in charge and they should not have another uprising of civilians… only 1 child survives… To think this is a Teen book series!

I thought it was a wonderful read. Katniss (our heroine) volunteers to be the “Tribute” for District 12 after her 12-year-old baby sister gets chosen from the pool.  She, and the baker’s son Peeta, are thrust into the spotlight and must compete against the 22 other CHILDREN to outlast, outsmart and KILL each other in a violent, bloody mess of a wilderness.  While some train their whole lives to destroy another’s life, Katniss has, unbeknownst to her, trained her whole life to survive.  Growing up in the ultra poor mining district, she sneaks out of the District boundaries every morning with her pseudo boyfriend Gale to hunt for food for their families.  The Capitol can also add elements to the arena of death… like fires, floods and killer beasts to drive the tributes to the same area so they have to fight (so the people watching stay glued to their televisions).

It’s not just the strategy of how to survive in the wilderness for days and weeks on end while others try to kill you, there’s also a strategy to win over the hearts of the people watching the games on television, so they can send gifts in the game to help you survive (medicine, food, etc).  It’s this angle, that Peeta truly excels at.  Since they grew up watching the Hunger Games, they know that they are being filmed at all times, so they’re able to play up their strengths, downplay their weaknesses and really give the viewers a show so they can stay in the game and survive as long as they can.

There is a LOT of blood, gore and violence.  However, there is also a good deal of romance, personal growth and most importantly hope.

I thought the book was exceptionally good and I can see where they are going to succeed in making it into a feature film.  There were some chapters that, as a total movie nerd, I can imagine how awesome it will be on screen…  Now, after looking at the casting, I can say they are PERFECT on almost all of the characters I imagined in this story.  Woody Harrelson will be the drunk former winner of the Hunger Games who has to coach Peeta and Katniss.  He will be supurb!  All of the leads I’m really looking forward to, except Josh Hutcherson does not seem to me to have the “super strong, broad-shouldered, baker’s son” look that I thought they would cast as Peeta… just makes me excited to seeing how it looks on the big screen.

I’m now starting book 2 in the series.  I fell in love with the characters from “The Hunger Games” and I really can’t wait to see what the consequences will be for the choices they made in book 1.  There were moments when I literally gasped as I read.  You really  root for the characters.  I read that when Suzanne Collins wrote the book, she was watching TV and flipping channels between the news and reality shows and the lines started to blur and made her uncomfortable.  I can see totally see that now.  I’m not sure I can watch an episode of “Survivor” and not think about the 12-year-old little girl Rue from the book who had to fight ginormous 18-year-old boys to survive while people watched…

You can get the book on Kindle for $5.00, paperback for $8.99 and in hardcover for $9.63  The second book in the series is “Catching Fire” and the third is “Mockingjay”.

A Mother’s Prayer for Her Child

Happy Mother’s Day!  I’m sure one day when I become a Mother, not just a Doggie Mom, I will recite this often.  I also have no doubt that my Mom said some of these things under her breath from time to time as I was growing up.

Enjoy A Mother’s Prayer for Her Child.

First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches.

May she be Beautiful but not Damaged, for it’s the Damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the Beauty.

When the Crystal Meth is offered, may she remember the parents who cut her grapes in half And stick with Beer.

Guide her, protect her, when crossing the street, stepping onto boats, swimming in the ocean, swimming in pools, walking near pools, standing on the subway platform, crossing 86th Street, stepping off of boats, using mall restrooms, getting on and off escalators, driving on country roads while arguing, leaning on large windows, walking in parking lots, riding Ferris wheels, roller-coasters, log flumes, or anything called “Hell Drop,” “Tower of Torture,” or “The Death Spiral Rock ‘N Zero G Roll featuring Aerosmith,” and standing on any kind of balcony ever, anywhere, at any age.

Lead her away from Acting but not all the way to Finance.  Something where she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes And not have to wear high heels. What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Midwifery? Golf course design? I’m asking You, because if I knew, I’d be doing it, Youdammit.

May she play the Drums to the fiery rhythm of her Own Heart with the sinewy strength of her Own Arms, so she need Not Lie With Drummers.

Grant her a Rough Patch from twelve to seventeen.Let her draw horses and be interested in Barbies for much too long, For childhood is short – a Tiger Flower blooming Magenta for one day – And adulthood is long and dry-humping in cars will wait.

O Lord, break the Internet forever, that she may be spared the misspelled invective of her peers And the online marketing campaign for Rape Hostel V: Girls Just Wanna Get Stabbed.

And when she one day turns on me and calls me a Bitch in front of Hollister, Give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends, For I will not have that Shit. I will not have it.

And should she choose to be a Mother one day, be my eyes, Lord, that I may see her, lying on a blanket on the floor at 4:50 A.M., all-at-once exhausted, bored, and in love with the little creature whose poop is leaking up its back. “My Mother did this for me once,” she will realize as she cleans feces off her baby’s neck. “My mother did this for me.” And the delayed gratitude will wash over her as it does each generation and she will make a Mental Note to call me. And she will forget. But I’ll know, because I peeped it with Your God eyes.

Amen.

-Tina Fey


Me and my Mom circa 1985