Sunday, February 23, 2014

50/50 Challenge Update: Movies

Neither of these actors are in the "sequel"
Slowly, there are more movies coming out that I want to see. I think that after the Oscars, it will make way for some of the movies I've been waiting to see. 

Most of my reviews can be found on my profile, but the short blurbs for the last three I added to my challenge list go something like this: 

  • Kevin Hart is so great. "About Last Night" is a fun movie, but he really just brings that something extra to the screen. After seeing it, I went out and bought "Think Like a Man" for $7.50 to continue the humor.
  • "3 Days to Kill" was not awful. But it wasn't good. There really is nothing more to say about it. Kevin Costner is still kind of attractive.
  • I watched "Titanic 2" not even knowing they had made a "sequel" to the original. It is not a sequel. The only sequel part of it is that there is another ship it in that goes down. Sorry for the spoiler. It is so awful, it is comedic. That is why I watched it. I was at an ArtLab event where comedians played the movie and commented on its so-bad-it's-funny aspect. Mainly, the movie was bad bad not funny bad.

Currently, I have five books on my nightstand so hopefully I'll be giving another update soon.

Movie #4: About Last Night
Movie #5: 3 Days to Kill
Movie #6: Titanic 2

Monday, February 10, 2014

50/50 Challenge: Lucky #7

One of these days I'm gonna make myself a reading room with a couch and ottoman and the walls will be lined with all my books...
life is but a dream
I'm right on pace with my challenge, at least book-wise. I don't worry too much about the movie part, just waiting for some good movies to actually come out.

For my seventh book, I read Blue Plate Special by Kate Christensen. The title makes me think in my head of that song "Red Light District" by TLC but for no other reason than for number of syllables, I guess.

Anyway, loved the book. More, loved the writing. I truly enjoy reading about writer's experiences writing. The author mixes her life experiences with writing ones with cooking ones, all of my favorite things rolled into one book with excellent description and equal parts of melancholy and optimism. 

She went to the Iowa Writers' Workshop and traveled a lot, ate a lot, and wrote. My idea of a good time. She was 37 when she had her first book published. So, I still have time! 

My list of books to read is finally starting to dwindle. I'm getting caught up. Any recommendations for me?

Book #7: Blue Plate Special by Kate Christensen

Friday, February 7, 2014

50/50 Challenge Update

So far for the 50/50 Challenge, I've read more new books than watched new movies. For Book #6 I read a book by Rob Sheffield who is fun to follow on Twitter and whose other book, Love is a Mix Tape, was sad and nostalgic and fun. His current book, Turn Around Bright Eyes, chronicles his love for karaoke among other things. I enjoyed reading about his time in New York, since it is one of my favorite cities. 

There hasn't been a lot of great movies out yet this year. Maybe after the Oscars there will be a revival. This luckily leaves me time for more reading. 

And, more time for TV. I know lots of people who don't have cable. I think that's great for them to save money and not waste their time watching reruns, but I just wonder, how do they do it?!

I love TV. I do. I can't help it. I can watch reruns of Top Chef or Scandal for hours and hours and hours. I am mostly a fan of food shows and really gory crime shows, i.e. The Following, The Blacklist. Sometimes I worry about my choice in television, but know that the darkness of the shows is just for entertainment.

I tried getting into House of Cards because everyone loves it, yet I just don't. Kevin Spacey is fantastic. The supporting cast is hit or miss. Plus, all the sex that I don't find to be provocative or necessary.

I digress.

I'm currently reading 1984 and have books already on the nightstand ready to go. I just toured the new downtown library, and it is incredible. Their new book section is fantastic.

Read more books.

Book #6: Turn Around Bright Eyes by Rob Sheffield

Sunday, February 2, 2014

January 2014 Wrap-Up

January is said to be the month of resolutions, but I like to think of it more of a time to make some transformations. Is it ok to use the word "transformation" and have it be minor? Or, is a transformation supposed to be one gigantic, singular thing? I feel like I am transforming myself daily. And it is big time news.

January is the month I went freelance. I have been waiting my whole life to be paid to write. Only. As in that is my day job. And here it is - a literal dream come true. My first month in has been glorious and I count my lucky stars that it has started out so positively. I am not naive enough to think that there might not be rough months. But I am also not pessimistic enough to wait for the other shoe to drop. 

I will continue to work my ass off and do a good job, build some steady clients and that's all I can do. My best. I have to say being my own boss, making my own schedule is something that is truly priceless. Having hard work pay off is so fulfilling that I can't imagine going back to work for a company again. 

However, I will never say never. But this freelance life, I think it was meant for me.

Finally, I hope to get back into real concentration on my creative writing so I can win that Oscar that I've already prepared a speech for.

January was also the month that I realized I no longer can eat Velveeta shells and cheese. I am sad. That is the go-to comfort food and after such a long relationship, I am in denial about us parting ways. There were many a nights that VS&C combined with fish sticks fed my hungry heart and belly. But now, no more. 

You know how they say your taste buds change every seven years? I think this is what must have happened. I cannot eat that or Taco Bell. My food life is becoming one I do not recognize. Let's take a moment to remember.

Moving on. 

I tried a lot of new things in January. I have been to several new restaurants, visited San Antonio for the first time, and also hiked a mountain that I maybe couldn't have done last year. I feel the opportunities to reach out and try the new are just popping up everywhere. I am volunteering with a writing group and an art group to get back into my creative flow. I feel this burst of positive energy catapulting me forward and I am thoroughly enjoying it.

I want to have a purpose. I want my days to start and end with "I am so grateful..."

Every day I feel like I am becoming more comfortable being myself. People make it seem like confidence is something you either have or you don't, but I definitely disagree. Certain situations I can be truly confident in and then there are others where I become withdrawn. The ones who have only seen me confident and outspoken are surprised to see me shy and quiet. The ones who have only seen me reserved are surprised to see me speak my mind. 

While I don't place value of other people's opinions too much, it doesn't mean I still don't take them into account. You have to consider which opinions are worth keeping and which need to be filtered out. Sometimes it is hard to determine which is which. Understanding who you want to be as a person and the kind of people you want to surround yourself with, the easier life seems to be.

But then even as I write this, what a narcissistic ass I am worried about being. For what, though? Why would I want to look back on this and dwell on what went wrong?

Anyone else live like this?

Looking back and seeing how kick ass I was is so much better.

50/50 Challenge: Books Update

I almost forgot to record Book #4 for the challenge: Where'd You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple. My friend said I would like it. When I started it and told her I did not yet like it, she said, wait, you will. I didn't. I partly blame myself. I think that the more book reviews I read and the more books I read, in general, is kind of overwhelming my brain. 
I'm speeding through these books forming an opinion about them during rather than after. Most of the books I read are for book club, so I want to have some kind of thoughts on the matter at hand. I kind of need to not be so uh, studious, I guess would be the word. 

Badge of honor.   #RandomHouseBooksWhy didn't I like it?

I thought the mystery of "where she went" would be more explosive. It was just a strange story line and like the last book I read, I couldn't find myself feeling anything towards any of the characters. No empathy, no hatred, no excitement. Nothing. I was not invested.

Book #5: There's More to Life Than This by Theresa Caputo. I read a book by the Long Island Medium. This came off a recommendation from a friend after a very lengthy discussion about spirits, faith, positive thinking, and dream interpretations - all of which fascinates me. I have only (recently) seen one of her shows. And while it was entertaining, not sure it will become part of my regular schedule.

I enjoyed the book because it gives accounts of her readings with people speaking to the dead. But also it focuses on faith and her relationship with God. I think whenever she uses the word "Spirit" in the book, it can almost be interchangeable with God or faith. I am a big believer of positive thinking, prayer, and signs. However, I am not quite sure that she could speak to someone on the other side for me. I, on the other hand, have had my deceased dad speak to me in my dreams. How the subconscious works that one out, not sure. So I can't say I'm disbelieving, it's just unreal how it goes down.

I could go on and on about the subject(s) and probably will in future blogs. But for now, I am track with my book reading goal.

Book #4:  Book #4: Where'd You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple.
Book #5: There's More to Life Than This by Theresa Caputo