Friday, December 13, 2013

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)


 The mountain smoked beneath the moon.
The dwarves, they heard the tramp of doom.
They fled the hall to dying fall
Beneath his feet, beneath the moon.

- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

I spent the last year waiting for December 13th. It sounds absurd, but not a week went by that my thoughts did not turn towards Middle Earth and the journey of a hobbit and thirteen dwarves to reclaim a treasure and homeland. Sometimes, anticipation results in failure. I remember my excitement over the 2002 film Hidalgo and my total disappointment in it after seeing it in theaters.


Thursday, December 12, 2013

Winter Wonderland Blog Party: A Plethora of Christmas Ornaments!

All right, so I promised at least a few people to post photos of my tree, so here you have it!


I don't use garland anymore, but strings of gold beads.
You'll probably see them up-close in the next photos.


Meet Jack Frost! He's the newest edition to my ornament collection, a gift from my sweet sister because I love Rise of the Guardians so much. She even gave him to me early this year!



I'm sure it seems odd having Titanic on my tree, but it holds a purpose. One, as a reminder of the great and beautiful tragedy, and two, as a reminder of the lovely day I spent with Caitlin, Charity, and others at the Molly Brown House in Denver. We were in costume and it was magical.


Bilbo Baggins on the left, in honor of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug which hits theaters December 13th! And on the right, we have the Nutcracker Prince in human form. 


On the left is my favorite ballerina ornament, one that showed up in my stocking at least twelve years ago. And on the right is an antique postcard from the early 1900s. A gentleman was selling them at craft fairs last year. He framed them and everything, and it was just so beautiful I couldn't resist.


Caitlin found the ornament on the left sometime this year for me, and I found the pear at a lovely little antique store when I went for tea with friends.


Last but not least, the Hershey's Kiss a friend of mine gave me 17 years ago, when I still lived in Oregon. I was only about 11-years-old and I've treasured it ever since.

Monday, December 9, 2013

LOTR Blog Party Tag Questions


So, yes, I am participating in two blog parties at once. Good thing school is mostly over! But how could I resist one for The Lord of the Rings? I mean, come on, I've lived the last twelve years salivating to participate in one of these!

Nine tag questions to rule them all....


Classic Ramblings

Winter Wonderland Blog Party Week 1: A Merry Little Christmas


I'm participating in Natalie and Anna's Winter Wonderland Blog Party. Instructions on how to join are on both their blogs! But even if you don't join, I hope you'll have fun reading my posts. :)

1. What Christmas tree ornament holds the most sentimental value for you or the most memories?
It's a glass Hershey's Kiss ornament with a little goldish heart on one side, tied with a red ribbon. A friend of mine gave it to me about sixteen years ago and it's the one I always look for first when decorating the tree.

2. Favorite Christmas cookie?
Oh, there are so many to choose from! Maybe Norwegian Thumbprint Cookies. I'm pretty sure it's my dad's favorite Christmas cookie too. Funny, we haven't made them yet this year. Maybe I can do that tomorrow.


Wednesday, December 4, 2013




December 4th - The Nutcracker with Mikhail Baryshnikov


I was four-years-old the first time my mother took me to the ballet. It was in late November, and we went to see The Nutcracker. I've been smitten with the story ever since. Don't ask me who the dancers were because I have no idea, but the face of the Nutcracker Prince for me has always been and will always be Mikhail Baryshnikov. I had three heroes when I was a child: Macgyver, Luke Skywalker, and Mikhail. At least one of them was real.

Mikhail's Nutcracker warms my heart every time I see it. Every time I see a poster of him I wish I was the girl he lifted so tenderly into the air. I dreamed as a child and a young teenager that I was Clara. The ending to his Nutcracker is bitter-sweet, but that it makes all the more real.

So, join me now for Mikhail Baryshnikov's Nutcracker. May you love it as much as I do during this Christmas season.

P.s. If you can, find a DVD copy. I know our library has it, and I'm sure yours does to.


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Happy December 1st, My Darlings!

All right, so the way this works, I'm going to post something every day up until Christmas. Something that I find inspirational about the holiday season. Who knows, maybe I'll even snatch a photo of my sweet kitty being all cute and lovey-dovey under the Christmas tree.

But for the moment, we'll start off with Elvis singing "If Every Day Was Like Christmas."

Why this song? Because he's right. If every day was just like Christmas, what a wonderful world this would be.

So here, you have it, in honor of the King of Rock & Roll and the King of Kings, Elvis Presley singing "If Every Day Was Like Christmas."

Monday, October 14, 2013

Discovering Man's (and Woman's) Great End


Have you ever noticed how the hustle and bustle of the world in which we live sometimes interferes with the spiritual side of our life? The car needs an oil change, the kids have three different activities a week, dinner needs making, laundry needs washing; we go, go, go all the time. And the one thing that gets forgotten is our time with God.

I'm just as guilty of it as the next Christian, probably guiltier than most. The sacrifice we make when we don't spend time with God clouds the vision of who He has called us to be. Because He has called each and every one of us to a purpose. Surprisingly, they're all the same purpose. Oh, we might have different dreams, but the person the Lord wants us to be is the same for every one of us.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland (1.1)



Once Upon a Time in Wonderland (1.1): Down the Rabbit Hole

I'm in love, head over heels gone about this show! Maybe it's the Knave's snarky sense of humor. Or it could be that my little romantic heart goes pitter-pat at the adorableness of Alice and Cyrus. Or maybe it's their bringing in Jafar from Arabian Nights complete with snake staff. Or it could just be that I love Alice in Wonderland, but whatever the reason, this first episode has me completely hooked.

Once Upon a Time was never my thing. I never thought it was something I would enjoy because it looked entirely too ridiculous. But maybe I'll give it a chance now. Or maybe I'll stick with what I know that I love. I mean, come on! Alice and the Knave land in the Mallo Marsh! And they shrink the Cheshire Cat! And, and, it's just too adorable for words!

All right, enough gushing, down to brass tacks. The premise is that no one believed Alice when she returned home. She spent years trying to convince her father that her adventures were real, but nothing worked. She finally returns to Wonderland as a young woman to find something that will convince her father, and she meets Cyrus, a djin or genie. He's like no one she has ever met, and he's equally enthralled with her, but evil forces tear them apart. Alice returns home believing that Cyrus is dead, and she's committed to an asylum because of her fanciful tales. Except that the White Rabbit and the Knave of Hearts track her down and tell her that Cyrus is in fact, alive. He is her one true love and she must find him and so she returns to Wonderland on this quest.

It's beautiful, right!?

The story probably won't run forever because the writers have a very specific goal in mind and once it's over, it's over, but until then, the show is delightful and I'm so excited to see where it leads. I want Cyrus and Alice to be happy!

Next episode is Trust Me.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Femnista (Sept/Oct 2013) - Literary Villains




So, I ran out of time to participate in this issue of Femnista. But the articles are all tres magnifique. Who doesn't love reading about their favorite villain? I have very few that I truly, truly despise. Grandcourt from Daniel Deronda is an exception to that rule, but he is sadly absent from this issue. It would be hard to write for a true scumbag.

I particularly like Tasha's article on Lady de Winter from The Three Musketeers. Maybe I'll even track down the new film version, even though I'm insanely fond of the one with Gene Kelly. *winks*

And don't miss Charity's article on Hannibal Lecter. As someone who has watched a couple of episodes from the show, I agree that it is both chilling and riveting because he is the most terrifying villain to ever encounter. He has no motive. It makes me think of Alfred's remark in The Dark Knight, "Some men just want to watch the world burn."

Read away, my friends, and I will be back in the Halloween issue with an article on the brilliance of Matt Damon's Elysium!

Friday, October 4, 2013

The newest incarnation of Sleepy Hollow


Hmm, okay, how do I say this? I'm conflicted. It feels like I've been here before. Not here here, like a modern interpretation of Sleepy Hollow here, but there are definite elements that Tim Burton already used that this new show is utilizing. And that, my friends, isn't setting all that well with me.

Still, you want to know the best thing so far?


Sunday, September 29, 2013

Join me for an Impromptu Afternoon Tea!



Why impromptu? Because I like to fly by the seat of my pants and make my life totally complicated! Just kidding, but seriously, doing what I did this afternoon is not always the best method for having an afternoon tea. But I had one of the best excuses, a visit from a family friend who deserved to have an afternoon tea in her honor.

On the Menu

Cucumber, Crab, and Olive Tea Sandwiches
Sweet Lemon Scones
Mock Clotted Cream
Lime Curd
Irish Cream Tea

To discover my recipes, secrets, and certain methods of serving afternoon tea, come on into the full post, my darlings!

My September Movie List



I know, I know. I just wrote that I didn't want to discuss movies that much on my blog anymore, but I can't help it. So, instead of writing a gajillion movie posts, I'll consolidate them into one post. Easy to skip for those not interested and easy to find for those who are.

Hidden behind this lovely break are my thoughts on Elysium (2013), World War Z (2013), Dredd (2012), and Treasure Island (2012).

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Elegant Blogger Award

First of all, thanks Lizzie, for nominating me! :) 




The rules:


  • When you receive the award, link back to keepcalmandsparkle1099.blogspot.com and the blog that nominated you:  His Redeemed Child.
  • Display the award button in the post 
  • Answer all of the 12 questions given in this post (do not make your own questions) 
  • Nominate 8 bloggers (see below)
  • Notify them that they have been awarded.  

The questions:

1.  What made you start blogging?
I started blogging because of a friend, actually. She had a blog and I figured it couldn't hurt to try since I liked writing. I did actually keep a Livejournal account for years and years, but it has since been deleted, something I sort of regret doing because now all of those memories and experiences are lost. Oops! But, I've got new memories with my current blog, and that's enough.

2.  What is your fashion style?
Hmm. I love jeans and sleeveless shirts. Skirts and dresses not so much, but that's only because I never find ones that fit properly. I love the clothing line from Christopher & Banks, so lots of shirts with cute, festive designs on them. I guess you could say I'm casual chic.

3.  What is something none of your followers know about you?
Okay, this is embarrassing, but I can't defrizz my hair. Nothing I try works, and while it's not major frizz, it's enough to be annoying. So, my next step is trying Wen, a product that is supposedly great at quelling the frizz. We'll see.

4.  What are some of your blogging goals?
Well, I'd like to move away from talking about movies and more into my real life. This is why I blog about books, because I love reading, but I'm also planning little posts on ideas for Christmas decorating, hosting afternoon teas, knitting projects, that sort of thing. So, my goal is to be more genuinely me on my blog and let the world take care of itself.

5.  Where is your favorite place to shop?
I LOVE this little shop called Bernideen's in Old Colorado City. She has the cutest, most elegant merchandise, all tea related. She keeps a ton of teacups and pots, clothing and hats from the Titanic era, linens for the table, fancy foods imported from England, paper products from Punch Studio (my favorite line for cards and notebooks), and the coolest selection of antique china. It's just such a cute place, and Bernideen is an absolute doll! I've known her since I was about 16.

6.  What would your ideal amount of blog followers be?
Oh, probably around 50 or so. Although I wouldn't mind more than that, or even less. Right now, I'm quite content with the lovely ladies that make their presence known on my blog. I'm more into the responders than merely the followers. :)

7.  What are your talents?
I'm pretty awesome at knitting socks the four/five needle way. My fiction writing style is pretty active, something I've accomplished after sweating much blood. I can make a success out of almost any new recipe, the old ones, not so much. I'm great at reading, and following, patterns and instructions. You might not think it a talent, but it is, especially when my mother struggles with both patterns and instructions. ;)

8.  Are you a leader or a follower?
I can be either depending on the situation.

9.  What is one of your favorite quotes?
"Even the smallest person can change the course of the future."

10.  Do you have a favorite book or series?
Lord of the Rings, hands down. Followed a close second by Frank Peretti's This Present Darkness and Piercing the Darkness.

11.  Out of all the synonyms for elegant, which would you describe yourself with?  (smart -- stylish -- dressy -- graceful -- dainty -- fine)
Err, this is not an easy question. I am not graceful, although I was when I took ballet classes as a child. Stylish depends on the day. Sometimes I don't even put on makeup! Dainty, nope, never have been, and dressy, definitely not. I guess you could say that I'm smart, at least regarding some things, although I hate to say that because it makes me sound arrogant. So, we'll just go with smart since, frankly, what girl wouldn't want to be placed on that side of elegance?

12.  What is your favorite flower?
Is it bad that I don't have one? I know what ones I don't like. I guess I can just pick cosmos. The ones in our backyard are a lovely blue in the summer and very, very pretty.

I'm not usually comfortable tagging people, but here are the lovely folks whose blogs I consider elegant and delightful and haven't already been tagged.

Sorry that it's not 8 bloggers, but I don't actually follow all that many blogs. Hmm, maybe I should change that. :)

  1. Caitlin
  2. Skye
  3. Birdie
  4. Charity
  5. Marian

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

When I graduate this December . . .


. . . that pair of socks I started knitting last year will get finished. Those two library books I misplaced somewhere in the house in March will be found. My story about Francie and Trey will finally get edited. The hoards of books in my library stash will get read. The furniture in my room will be dusted and shined. The carpet will get a thoroughly deep cleaning. I will finally qualify for those jobs requiring a BA degree. And, most importantly, I will enjoy Christmas like I haven't done in years. If only my baby sister were finished with her degree, but not just yet.

Don't mistake me. I wouldn't trade my education for anything in the world. Some classes haven't added an iota of importance to my life while others have solidified my Christian worldview like nothing else could. I have read Mary Shelley's Frankenstein three times for different classes, loathed every moment of a children's literature class, and suffered through four math classes. I have developed an abiding love of literature from the Victorians and the British Romantics, and I shockingly love learning about the history of the Christian church. But I am now at the end of the road for my Bachelor's Degree. The lightness in my chest is pure heaven.

What will I be like? All I've known for the last 5 years is the girl driven to finish her degree. It seemed an endless tunnel of studying and grades and then, suddenly, that tunnel had an end. Who will I be when I no longer have professors to impress? Will my drive bleed over into my writing? Or will it find a new outlet in a new job? I can't even picture myself without another assignment deadline needing to be met. But I can hardly wait to meet this new Carissa who is waiting just around the corner of my life.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Belated Birthday Shout-Out to Tony Denison of Major Crimes!


My delicious Silver Fox, I love you even when your character is being a complete and total a**hole.

Many happy returns!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Jane Eyre musical - starring James Barbour





All right, I don't usually condone bootlegs, but what are you going to do when musicals are never, ever put on official DVD? So forgive me, but I don't care!

I am in LOVE with the musical of Jane Eyre. My heart sings along with the performers and I never once imagined being able to see it live. Until my darling, sweet sister found this one, lone person on Youtube who had posted almost the entire production!

I'm only on video 2, but am even deeper in love with it now than I was before, and when James Barbour's Rochester sings As Good as You, I literally forgot to breathe! My temperature totally ratcheted up a few notches!

So, watch, enjoy, bask in the glory of the Jane Eyre musical of 2000! May you love it as much as I!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Noah Bublè is born!!


"Overjoyed and filled with gratitude at the arrival of our son Noah Bublè. Born this morning, August 27th at 2:26 am in Vancouver, Canada"

Aren't they the cutest family!? Congrats to Michael and Lu on this happiest of happy days!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

What is Chris Christie thinking?

A wolf in sheep's clothing!
I'm starting to think we need to simply start over with the Republican Party. Force all the fakers to start their own freakin' party and leave ours alone. Me? Angry? Never.

What is going through Governor Christie's mind right now? Did the liberals have a gun pressed against the back of his skull to get him to sign that bill? Probably not. For the uninformed, this bill outlaws the rights of parents to take their children under 18 with unwanted homosexual desires to a counselor. Outlaws the rights of parents to train up their children. I know the government is power hungry, but I never imagined it was this bad, and I certainly never imagined this type of law being signed into existence by a so-called REPUBLICAN!

Monday, August 19, 2013

How does attraction actually work?



Do you ever feel like you've been hoodwinked? Tricked into something you thought was going to be something else? That's how I'm starting to feel with certain television shows. Supernatural, obviously, judging by my previous post, but also a little teen Australian drama called Dance Academy. I used to dance the ballet, once upon a time in a galaxy far, far away. So it holds a special place in my heart, one full of positive memories, at least up until my toes started bleeding. But with Dance Academy, it tricked me.

This is supposed to be a safe show for kids and teens. Rated probably a PG on the grading scale. And it is safe, albeit corny and predictable and emotionally unstable, but only up to a point. Has anyone ever watched Buffy: The Vampire Slayer? And felt totally side-swiped when Willow turned lesbian? Because that was me. One of my favorite characters turned homosexual on me and I never, ever wanted that to happen again. Well, guess what, it did!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Gnosticism in Supernatural

Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) Winchester
One of the hardest things is when you realize that one of your top favorite shows is based on a cult. There was a reason I stopped watched Supernatural during the 4th season. I just had that gut instinct that something wasn't right, and it turns out, I should always listen to that "gut" instinct because I think it's more spiritual than anything else.

What troubles me about Supernatural is not the demons and the ghosts and the overall creepiness of an anti-Claus. This may shock you, but I'm not scared of ghosts and fake demons. That adrenaline rush is fun! What worries me are the angels.

Supernatural brought in the Godsquad (Dean's nickname) in the 4th season and they are about as un-angelic as you could possibly imagine. They're arrogant, manipulative bullies that don't mind one bit that humanity is caught in the middle of a war between angels and demons. God is non-existent (or the angels haven't seen Him in forever).

Friday, August 16, 2013

Make a Difference in Jesus' Name


"Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me."
Matthew 24:35-36
Today I looked into the eyes of shame and hopelessness hidden behind perfectly treated blonde hair and glitter eye shadow. Such a tiny little thing, probably only twenty, humiliated and ashamed that she needed help from a food pantry. Meek as a mouse, she accepted the food offered to her, tears so very near the surface. Wheeling her cart out to her neighbor's car and helping her load it into the trunk, we managed to make everything fit with a bit of squeezing. Then I turned to her, gently gripped her shoulders, and told her to never be ashamed or embarrassed for needing help. Because we've all been there and now our greatest gift is the opportunity to give to those who need it. She hugged me like I was her only friend in the world and it was only by the grace of God that neither of us burst into tears. I'll be there next week and the week after and every week with the hopes that the Lord opens a door for me to show her more of His love.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Major Crimes: Guilty - Chapter 4


Story: Major Crimes: Guilty

Chapter: Four

Lead Character: Rusty

Rating: T for thematic elements (M only in 1st chapter for off-screen abuse of a minor)

Summary: One of Rusty's clients catches up with him, and it's up to Sharon to stop him.

Moi: I guess I'm making up for not updating in so long! School starts on Monday so let's see how far I can get until then. Also, I'd say this story takes place maybe halfway through the 2nd season. I just got caught up on the latest episode and obviously my Rusty hasn't shattered Kris's heart yet. So sad! *sniffle* Thanks for the reviews, guys, keep them coming.

(Click here to read)

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Major Crimes: Guilty - Chapter 3



Story: Major Crimes: Guilty

Chapter: Three

Characters: Rusty and Kris

Rating: T for thematic elements (M only in 1st chapter for off-screen abuse of a minor)

Summary: One of Rusty's clients catches up with him, and it's up to Sharon to stop him.

Moi: Please don't roast me for taking so long to update! But consider this, at least now we know Kris is a girl! I wouldn't have known that if I'd kept going with the story before the start of the 2nd season. Thanks for reading, and for reviewing. I appreciate each one of your thoughts and encouragements. I know the story isn't an easy one to read, so I commend you for coming along with me

(Click here to read)

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Fanfiction advice needed! :)



All right, so I've got a gal on my Fanfiction.net account who wants to post this Lord of the Rings story on her community. I've already edited it (I wrote it 10 years ago and it needed help), so give me your thoughts if you wouldn't mind. I rarely ask for feedback on my stories before I post them, but since this one's going on a community, having a few readers first is a good plan, I think.


Monday, August 5, 2013

Do you ever ask yourself "What do I want to become?"


The problem with me is that I ask the question, but am never entirely sure of my answer. A part of me still wants to be a librarian. I mean, I'm so close to being qualified, at least to be an information specialist. One more semester and I've got the degree. I could go for an MLS degree and make over $20 an hour. Sounds nice, really nice. And up until recently that was my goal.

I'm not sure what changed. It's not that I don't like the library anymore, I LOVE it. But I think the political correctness and diversity BS they feed me isn't healthy. I've been in that environment for almost 8 years and it really wears you down. I don't want to tell a confused 14-year-old where the LGBT books are located. Those books aren't going to help. I don't want to softsoap Christian fiction by calling it "Inspirational," whatever the heck that's supposed to mean. Even the Library Journal calls it Christian fiction because that's the designation. So, yeah, not quite sure if sticking with the library scene is the right plan.


Sunday, August 4, 2013

Welcoming Peter Capaldi to the Whovian Franchise!


They've finally announced the 12th Doctor, and to my amazing disbelief, Peter Capaldi falls into the "old and ugly" category! And I'm THRILLED!


The problem with the new Whovians (my apologies if you are one, feel free to slap my wrist) is that they limit their appreciation of the franchise to how cute and sexy the Doctor is. Uh, when was Tom Baker (Four) ever sexy? Or Sylvester McCoy (Seven)? There is absolutely no set precedent in the show stating that the Doctor must be under forty and awash with the Cute Factor.

Now, I know this attempt at the show's creators to incorporate an older Doctor may fail dismally. In fact, I halfway expect failure. But there might still be a chance of success. Perhaps the new, young fanset of Whovians will get disgusted with an "Old" Doctor and leave. Oh well. There's just as good a chance that the gap will be filled with fans of the original show who are disgusted with where the new incarnations have taken it, mainly down the romance route.

This will be a time of adapting for the fans of the new show. Doctor Who has never been limited to a specific age group but most of the fans don't get that. To them, he must be under forty, kiss his companions at least once, be they male or female, and be overall adorable. I miss those cranky Doctors of the older set that were just as awesome as the new ones!

So maybe, just maybe, Peter Capaldi stands a chance at this new incarnation. Like any change made to a popular show, we'll just have to wait and see. I'm thinking positive because if Major Crimes can make it without Brenda Lee then anything is possible!

Femnista July/August Issue

First off, welcome to my new readers! I suspect you found me through my Sherlock Holmes article for Femnista and that couldn't make me happier. I hope we get to know each other and I'm thrilled to have you on my blog!

Next, for those of you who didn't know, the newest issue for Jul/Aug of Femnista is now available! The theme this time is Best Friends and my article is for Sherlock and John. My sister, Caitlin, also wrote an article for Hugo and Isabelle from The Invention of Hugo Cabret. This issue is a fantastic homage to best friends everywhere, be it Spock and Kirk or Ryan and Esposito from one of my favorite shows of all time, Castle. Well done on that one, Hannah!


So, here you go, enjoy reading, and I hope you'll return for the next issue on October 1st, the Sept/Oct edition with a Literary Villains theme. Unless I have absolutely no inspiration to pen an article for him, my chosen villain is Brian de Bois-Guilbert from Sir Walter Scott's masterpiece, Ivanhoe.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

LucyRavenscar - Crochet Creatures: Fantasy Amigurumi - Elves

These little guys are so freakin' awesome! I really need to contact the designer and get her hobbit pattern figured out. It's better than ripping it out halfway because something doesn't quite work. I wondered when she would branch into LOTR territory. She's made me such a happy woman!

LucyRavenscar - Crochet Creatures: Fantasy Amigurumi - Elves: You may have seen from my previous post that I'm working on a series of Fantasy amigurumi characters. I've already designed a patter...

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Percy Jackson - Sea of Monsters trailer



I do believe Nathan Fillion will be the BEST thing in this movie! Way to go Hermes!!!

And, yeah, I thought Grover had been captured by a Cyclopes while he was on a quest to find Pan. But, hey, who needs Rick Riordan's original storyline, right?

A Tale of Friendships & Fear



It's totally weird that I'm getting page views from something called "The Tao of Badass." Not that I'm complaining, but really? I appreciate the views, but I'd much rather the people who would actually enjoy reading what I write find my blog instead of having it thrust upon them as an ad.

Anyhoo, in the same continuation as last night, I had lunch with my 68-year-old friend today. She's my volunteer for the library on Tuesday mornings, helping me process incoming holds, so we usually have lunch together afterwards. This time we packed lunch, one of my sweetest coworkers was also in the breakroom, so we all had lunch together, talking the Kindle Fire and the Royal Family's new baby (I'm full to the brim with news on Kate), and it was fun.

You, or rather I, really miss out on a lot by being afraid to connect with people because they might die. It's probably the worst thing in the world for someone with my personality type to be afraid to care. ISFJ's are genetically geered towards caring so when we try to turn it off, it's like our happiness shrinks. I'm so much nicer in general when I'm not worried about getting too close to someone. I suppose it doesn't help that I made friends with the library's security guard only to have an all-out war ensue between him and the bosses. It got ugly real fast and I heard complaints from both sides. It was hard because I really like both sides. So, he's gone now and I feel like I gave my friendship to someone who didn't deserve it, or used me falsely. It's a feeling of abandonment. I'm the same way when people move to another city or state or if they get a new job.

Monday, July 22, 2013

A Very Supernatural Moment



Sam and Dean on Christmas

In a world of superficiality, why do I find profound meaning in Supernatural? I gave up watching that show in the 4th season. I was good with the demons and the ghosts, all of the baddies Sam and Dean had to fight, but not so good with the false representation of God and angels they added to the plot in the 4th season. So it’s been what, three years, four since I stopped watching? On a whim, I bought a couple of my favorite episodes from Amazon, just so I’d have them if the mood ever strikes.

Watching A Very Supernatural Christmas from the 3rd season was like a trip back in time. It’s always been one of the show’s best episodes, if not the best, at least of the seasons I’ve watched. A little thing like impending death makes Dean sentimental. I’d forgotten how . . . peaceful he was in the 3rd season, even while knowing that he only “supposedly” had a few months to live. He wants Christmas, wants to mend bridges and build memories, especially with Sam. He’s the big brother and the father figure.


Sunday, July 14, 2013

My BFF



Visiting my BFF for a few days always results in my learning something new. Take, for example, the following:
  1. Sam Neill is adorable . . . even when running from deadly dinosaurs. A fact discovered while marathoning all THREE of the Jurassic Park films. My first time ever.
  2. Attached to example #1, if your BFF has a semi-psychotic cat, said cat will wait until the opportune moment of the dinosaur movie to leap at your neck and send you flying across the sofa.
  3. Antlers on the top of a truck (seen whilst driving around town today) and angel wings on the back of a hoodie (spotted on a motorcycle gal as I headed home yesterday) have a totally new meaning since watching a few episodes of Hannibal for the first time. Just . . . trust me, don’t ask.
  4. Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters is far funnier than I ever imagined, and my crush on Jeremy Renner spiked through the roof.
  5. It is possible to go the entire three day visit without mentioning Frank Langella (a record for us, I think).
  6. Everything is made better with chocolate fondue and a 2 liter of Dr Pepper.
  7. But above all, BFFs make the world go round.
I have lots of friends, but only one best friend outside my family unit. And when we have the opportunity to get together, it’s always a blast. We talk about everything from politics to nail polish and, I don’t know about her, but I go home with a contented feeling, knowing we’ve spent time together and uplifted one another as not only sisterchicks, but also sisters in Christ.

So, when you get a chance, go give your BFF a hug. Because they’re awesome!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Lone Ranger (2013)



Some movies are brilliant, some movies should never have been made, and some fall in the middle. The Lone Ranger is one of those "middling" movies of dubious success and popularity. Whenever Tonto stepped on screen, which was a lot, my brain instantly jumped to Captain Jack Sparrow. Not good. I fear Johnny may be losing his ability to play anything other than the pirate rogue who stole our hearts in the early 2000s. He can no longer separate himself from Captain Jack and it shows in his acting. Which, unfortunately, is probably why the movie is bombing at the box office.

On the whole, it's a fun film. But, even more so than Pirates, it has needless innuendo that should make parents think twice about bringing their children. To say nothing of the violence. The villain? Well, let's just say that he likes to eat, yes EAT, the hearts of his enemies. Gross!! Isn't one Hannibal Lecter enough? The body count is also horrendous, literally off the charts. An entire tribe of American Indians is slaughtered in a scene near the end, pushing the movie out of the appropriate range for families with little ones. And you thought those superhero movies were bad with the death toll!

Helena Bonham Carter is probably the best thing in this movie, which says a lot since I rolled my eyes when I first heard she was going to be acting with Johnny Depp . . . AGAIN. Armie Hammer performs admirably as the Lone Ranger, but his character stems from pacifistic roots. He doesn't like to use a gun, and he doesn't like to kill people. I'm sorry, but you can't be a western hero without doing both. Another watered down western hero of modern Hollywood standards. This is why that wretched prequel to Bonanza failed, because they made Ben Cartwright a pacifist.

And Johnny Depp. Oh, Johnny, how I love you, but it's time to stop now. Maybe his movies would be more popular if he just let audiences see who he really is instead of this Sparrow facade. I'd like to see the real Johnny Depp. I saw him once, all those years ago in 21 Jumpstreet and Benny & Joon, but not since. I miss him.

While the humor is entertaining, I'm not sure it's worth the violence, and the last time I checked the movie is called The Lone Ranger, not Tonto. Yet, Johnny is undeniably the star with the biggest role. Poor Armie, totally side-swiped by a scene stealer. Still, I went, I saw, I conquered, and my final thought is that I like it, but I'm not sure how many people are western fans in today's society. I happen to be one, but I'm sure I'm in the minority.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Poitier: A Patch of Blue (1965)



Selina and Gordon sharing a moment of tenderness

Even today interracial couples get the curious eye from folk who need to keep their noses out of it. But in 1965, tensions could erupt at the drop of a hat if a white girl liked a black boy. Such is the story of A Patch of Blue except this time the white girl is blind and from the wrong side of the tracks, and the black boy is highly educated and on his way up the business ladder.  When Gordon Ralfe (Sidney Poitier) meets blind Selina (pronounced Slina by her family) in the park, stringing beads for extra income, he is intrigued by her. On a whim, he purchases a pair of sunglasses to hide the gentle scarring around Selina’s eyes (he’s the first one to pronounce her name as SeLIna). And so begins the kindest relationship Selina has ever known.

Her mother, Rose Ann (Shelley Winters), is a brutish woman who works Selina to the bone, and whips her with a rag if she is late preparing supper or cleaning the laundry. Selina’s grandfather, called Ole Pa, is little better because, although he cares about Selina, he is a terrible drunk and, while not as mean as Rose Ann, he’s disgusting in his drunken state. It’s only natural that Selina would fall in love with Gordon, a man who not only shows her kindness, but teaches her how to be self-reliant, how to reach the pay phone near her house if she needs him, how to count steps across the intersection, what sounds are called, etc. And she does not realize he is black, at least not until the end, and even then, it doesn’t matter, and why should it?

If the movie were made today, I think Poitier’s character would have been the main character. As it is, Selina, played by innocent Elizabeth Hartman, is the lead, almost as if they were afraid to give Poitier too much screen time. I would have loved for the film to have been from his perspective because, even as it is, the audience senses his frustration with Selina’s situation. I would have liked to see him away from her in more scenes, considering, contemplating, see his home life, why he is torn about his emotions regarding Selina. There’s a little bit of this, but not enough. Still, they did the best they could with the era available to them, and the intimate kiss shared between Selina and Gordon is intensely sweet and ground-breaking.

A Patch of Blue is a hard movie to watch, but is listed in my top twenty movies of all time anyway. Selina is much abused and what’s more, she’s content in it. This is what makes the ending all the more poignant. The director, Guy Green, admits in the commentary that they left the ending deliberately ambiguous, but with a tinge of hope that everything was going to turn out all right. That is the most irritating aspect of classic film, those endings that aren’t really an ending, with everything neatly wrapped up with a bow. I love having no loose ends, but that’s not the way classic cinema rolls.

As for Poitier, this is one of his forgotten films, and I can’t figure out why. Sure, he’s not playing Mr. Tibbs, the character for which he is most remembered, but he masterfully tackles the role of Gordon Ralfe, taking an already likable character and making him transcend race. Gordon’s guilt over his feelings for Selina is touching and accurate for the era. What’s even more beautiful is the scene where she tells him she knows he’s black, and thinks he’s beautiful anyway, her hands on his cheeks, smiling up at him. And the look in his eyes, such tenderness, such love. Poitier is at his best in this film and even though he is not the lead, he is the leading man. He is the patch of blue in her life, the one color Selina can remember before acid stole her sight at the age of five.
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