Feat of Friends

ah-sneeze-and-robin1oops! i can’t find the photo credit!

“Now that you are here with me, what we have is a great strength of feet.” –Ah-Sneeze (Isaac Hayes), Robin Hood, Men in Tights

While unpacking and organizing my old journals and notebooks, I realized I had a lot of things written in them about, and from, friends. Not anything salacious or blackmail-esque, just random things they did for me, funny quotes that made me laugh so hard I cried, and pictures, pictures, pictures! When I think about my grandmother and all her friends, I feel very happy that I took so many pictures of when I was young so my grandkids will know all the crazy fashions and stages I went through with my friends by my side.  For a girl who started out the adventure of life with very few friends, and an elementary school of bad memories and teasing, I am very grateful for the close friends I carry with me today. I love meeting new people who stimulate the air around me. Continue reading “Feat of Friends”

Oscar Time! My Top Movies of 2008

Or, The Top Movies I Saw in 2008

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Since everyone will be doing their Top 10 and Top 50 ( editor’s note – no, there weren’treally that many good movies of 2008) lists in excitement for Oscar night, I thought I’d let you in to the top movies I saw last year. Now, I know some of them are 20 years old, and yes, some are ludicrous that I hadn’t seen til now, but bear with me people, you will want to rentflix these films ASAP!

  1. Alien/Aliens – Scariest movies I had seen in a LONG time. I actually have nightmares, and I never have nightmares. My dreams are about hopping into convertibles and driving with friends to the moon to see concerts. Aliens scraped that out and made me realize I will never want to be part of a space federation – mining, R & R, nope. never.
  2. Predator/Running Man – These films were fantastic. I am lumping them together because they are both Schwarzenegger joints. Predator is my favorite, because the monster’s headdress thing is so flippin’ amazing it’s a thing of architectural beauty. Also because the characters have some pretty choice lines. The Running Man was originally written as a novel by Richard Bachman (cough, cough) and set in the dystopian future (cliche, but still incredibly wonderful), the  tells of a reality tv show where life is constantly and consistently on the line. HELLO! This movie was made 22 years ago and it talks about the hunger of people to see real death and violence through their tvs?!?! It’s so perfect I didn’t know what to do with myself!
  3. Mamma Mia!/Happy Go Lucky(which I admittedly, haven’t seen the whole thing) – I have decided to start “slashing” all my movies in hopes that the genres work out. Granted this one is a stretch. One is a musical about getting married, the other’s leading lady is as single as they come. the core of why I smooshed them together is the feel of the movies. They are both incredibly fun and lighten your heart. They are not lighthearted in story (well, making a musical set to ABBA is a bit lighthearted, but I’m trying to make a point, please): finding out who you are at the core, and being able to have fun and be around people you love while you do it. Good, smiley stuff.
  4. Tropic Thunder/Iron Man – OK, obvious slashie reasoning here: Robbie Downey, Jr. What is so great is how he can go from blockbuster action man to self-aware, almost Peter Sellers-like comedic characters in the course of a summer blockbuster season. Continue reading “Oscar Time! My Top Movies of 2008”

Movie Review: Coraline

photo creditcoraline-jones

Yesterday I saw Coraline and let me tell you, it is one of the closest movies to my imagination I have seen. Based on the wonderful book by Neil Gaiman, it follows Coraline (not Caroline) on a journey about being brave, standing up for yourself, and that all-encompassing subject of parents. Although it is quite frightful for the younger set, there’s a big thing here called common sense: if they aren’t old enough to read the book, they shouldn’t be going to this movie. I do encourage everyone out there to read the book before seeing the movie. I implore you, for the sake of books, and for the sake of all the little girls who think they can be witty and clever and get out of sticky situations themselves, read the book.

You might think that by reading this I didn’t particularly care for the movie- on the contrary, I quite enjoyed it. The sequences with the mice were so magical my inner child was clapping and starry-eyed. Keith David as the Cat made me giggle with glee, and the Other Mother was as ethereal and scary as the ghouls of Nightmare Before Christmas (the director, Henry Selick’s, other visual masterpiece) . The Other Mother also has a quality not too many “monsters” touch on – an almost timeless and never-ending evil quality- which makes me think of the origins of IT. Yes, Stephen King’s IT. Visually, it was everything I have been waiting for since I heard about it about a year ago. When I read the book, I was delighted and I have decided that it is definitely a book I want my (eventual) children to read.

The biggest problem (besides her being transported through the other world in her dreams instead of through her own volition) with the movie that I had was the addition of one character: Wybie (aptly nicknamed “Why Were You Born” by Coraline). His presence I can understand from a novel-to-film adaptation perspective. In a book, a lot of dialogue is within the main character’s head. So, they need to bring someone into the picture that the character can sort of bounce ideas and narrative off of to make it smooth. The huge problem I have with it was that in the two main instances where Coraline has to be immensely brave and quick-witted, HE steps in and helps her save the day. As a feminist, this didn’t just sadden me, it infuriated me. This story had a fantastic base that, like I have been mentioning throughout this essay, little girls can be smart and sassy and explore and be brave all on their own. The addition of this one character completely negates that and reinforces the fact that if a girl wants to do these things, she better make sure she has a boy to back her up and save her. *insert finger waggling*

So, I am not trying to detract in any way you from seeing the movie. Please, by all means, see it. Furthering movies like this go a long way in the quality and imagination department. But take my advice, read the book first.

Happy Birthday, February 6th!

While looking up birthdays for today, I was astounded by how many kick-ass people were born on this day. Ready?

Mamie Van Doren

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François Truffaut

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Tom Brokaw

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Bob Marley

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Axl Rose

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And yes, the man we all knew and adored for the last two years? Rick Astley.

So, today put on your best pinup makeup, wear your hair in dreads with a bandanna over it and film yourself dancing to “Never Gonna Give You Up” whilst reading the news. Bam.

It also happens to be my UNbirthday as well!

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On the Go Kit: Camping

 I have found that in camping adventures, events arise that call for certain items, and those items seem to be a standby of what you should always bring on a camping trip. Now, those lists can go on and on and you can find them at other more camping-savvy websites, but for this girlie, I have put together a little “On the Go Kit” of some tiny necessities that happen to fit (barely!) in an Altoids box!

Continue reading “On the Go Kit: Camping”