Thursday, December 23, 2010

You Haven't Seen the Last of Me!

Looking back on the past year, I remember how amazing it has been but also how hard it has been. This past year brought me great joy at the end but it took a path from hell to get there. This year tested me and threatened to break me but it didn't! It didn't! This is the part I have decided to remember. I have chosen to forget the pain, the heartbreak and the tears and remember the smiles, the blessings and the happiness! I refused to let this year break me and I am continuing this inner strength by remembering the great moments! I have the best family, boyfriend and friends in the world and they help me through my darkest moments. They are amazing.

I have a huge collection of music that includes music from almost every sister calls my ipod
schizophrenic because of this vast variation. I have a song (or more) for every happy moment and sad moment of my life. I have a song for every person who has broken my heart, every friendship lost and every loved one that has left this earth. I have a million songs for happy times and my love for my family, Bill and friends. I have songs for every moment of my life. Songs are much more to me than words, they are life set to music. So, why should this year be any different than the rest of my life? Recently I saw Burlesque with Laura, then again with Laura and Kristin. I love this movie, go see it. Even more, I love the songs. I own the soundtrack (thanks to Laura) and there is one song I listen to repeatedly. This song sent tingles down my legs the first time I heard it performed and it rings true to me for this year. This song is, "You Haven't Seen the Last of Me" and it was performed by Cher. This song is powerful and it sums up my life, especially this past year. So, I thought I would share the lyrics and song here and hope that it touches someone else's life because I know it has summarized mine. Enjoy!

Feeling broken
Barely holding on
But there’s just something so strong
Somewhere inside me
And I am down but I’ll get up again
Don’t count me out just yet

I’ve been brought down to my knees
And I’ve been pushed way past the point of breaking
But I can take it
I’ll be back
Back on my feet
This is far from over

You haven’t seen the last of me
You haven’t seen the last of me

They can say that
I won’t stay around
But I’m gonna stand my ground
You’re not gonna stop me
You don’t know me
You don’t know who I am
Don’t count me out so fast

I’ve been brought down to my knees
And I’ve been pushed way past the point of breaking
But I can take it
I’ll be back
Back on my feet
This is far from over

You haven’t seen the last of me

There will be no fade out
This is not the end
I’m down now
But I’ll be standing tall again
Times are hard but
I was built tough
I’m gonna show you all what I’m made of

I’ve been brought down to my knees
And I’ve been pushed way past the point of breaking
But I can take it
I’ll be back
Back on my feet
This is far from over
I am far from over

You haven’t seen the last of me

No no
I’m not going nowhere
I’m staying right here
Oh no
You won’t see me begging
I’m not taking my bow
Can’t stop me

It’s not the end
You haven’t seen the last of me
Oh no
You haven’t seen the last of me
You haven’t seen the last of me

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

After A Hurricane Comes A Rainbow

It's no secret to those who know me that this past year has been one of the worst years I have ever had in my life. I am not being dramatic, THIS YEAR SUCKED...well that is up until about the month of July. I ended the 2009 year by being hit by a cab driver. This caused many injuries, the loss of my job and a deep depression that felt like it would never end. I won't go into too much information on this but let's just say, I can't wait for 2010 to end. Being in bed almost constantly for more than 6 months gave me a lot of time to think. I found out who my real friends are and I found out I wasn't living my life the way I really wanted to. I had given up on my dreams.

Many people think I am crazy when I say I think my accident happened for a reason. They think I am even crazier when I say I think this reason was to knock sense back into me. I was ready to live my life in a job I tolerated but didn't love, alone and letting other people's needs completely consume my life. I'm not saying it's bad to help others but when "helping" starts to overshadow your needs and make you forget your identity it is not worth it.

Before the accident, I hadn't dated much in the past 7 years. I dated a little but, in all honesty,I had completely given up on love.  I had my heart broken too many times and I didn't want to face that prospect again. However, after about 8 months of hell, a friend dragged my depressed butt out of the house and I met the most amazing man in the world. Even in my dreams my perfect man was not this extraordinary! Instead of accepting him right away, I did what any other stubborn pain in the butt would do: I made his life difficult until he broke through the numerous walls and security systems I had put around my heart. After a lot of soul searching I realized I simply could not live my life without this man. I never would have come to this conclusion before my accident. I am certain of this fact. Before-the-accident-Jill was too obsessed with fixing everyone elses' lives, too negative about herself to let this man into her heart.

After the accident I discovered I had lost myself. I am still regaining myself but I have made great strides and this helped me to let Bill into my heart. In high school, I didn't care what people thought of me. By college I had lost this feeling. Now, I am regaining this feeling more and more every day. I am getting back to the Jill I love and respect and I haven't had that in a long time.

Like I said, during this time I learned who my friends really are. They are the ones who understood when I was too hurt to go out. They are the friends who made sure they talked to me often so I wouldn't sink further into depression. They are the ones who made me smile and focused on my needs instead of suffocating me with things I couldn't handle. They are truly amazing. My friends Kortnee, Kristin, Pam and Rhianna made sure to talk to me often and visit me when they could. Rhianna is the one who dragged my sorry butt out of the house, something I forever thank her for. Also during this time I met my best friend. She randomly messaged me on facebook, being the girlfriend of an old friend, and our relationship grew from there. The world should fear the pairing that was made here ;)

My family was beyond amazing this time! They made sure to understand all my symptoms and all my needs. My mom helped me through everything, including breakdowns and nights with no sleep because I was in so much pain. My dad did everything imaginable for me, including finding me doctors to help. My sisters made sure I was entertained and my future brother in law helped with the turns in taking me to doctors appointments. Even my nephews helped. They understood I couldn't take much but they played games with me that I could play laying on my back and they made sure to be quiet and not touch me...going without their hugs killed me but they understood.

It's been a little over a year since this accident turned my life upside down but really it turned my life right side up! I now know what I want and who I want in my life. I know who I want to be and who I need to be. Am I still in pain? Very much so. Am I still struggling to get better? You bet but at least I have a new-found, wonderful perspective on life. And life is amazing! My life was hit by a hurricane but the rainbow afterward has been extraordinary and the rainbow is the wonderful people in my life and finally feeling alive! I hope everybody takes the time to find their rainbow after a hurricane! :)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Black Swan P.P.M.R (Positively Positive Movie Review)

Since this movie is meant to leave you in suspense, I won't say much about the plot of Black Swan. However, I will say that it will keep you guessing, have you on the edge of your seat and scare the crap out of you at times. This movie intriguing, disturbing while having a deeper meaning a the same time. It's amazing!

The film follows Nina, a shy and introverted ballerina, as she attempts to channel her inner darkness and strength in order to play both the White Swan and the Black Swan in her company's production of Swan Lake.  The film focuses a lot on the effects of the world of ballet on its dancers and on the competition between the dancers, especially between veterans and up and coming ballerinas.

Natalie Portman is extraordinary as Nina! She puts a lot of heart into the role and makes Nina a multi-dimensional character in many ways (once again, no spoilers). Simply put, she deserves her Golden Globe nomination. She managed to entrance me and terrify me at the same time.

Also great are Mila Kunis and Barbara Hershey. Kunis plays Nina's competition and brings out a dark yet exciting side I have  never seen in her acting before. Hershey plays Nina's mother and she terrified me at times. She played her part with such dedication I may never be able to look at her the same in a movie again.

Also amazing is Winona Ryder, who plays veteran Beth Macintyre and who is replaced by Nina. Though Ryder only spends about 15 minutes total on screen, her impact is enormous! She helps show the impact of the dancing world on ballerinas and also represents what all dancers could eventually become. All in all, the acting is tremendous!

Also terrific are the camera angles and special effects! There are amazing tricks and effects to thrill and test you. There were many scenes that had me on the edge of my seat and had me scared of what would come next. This movie is definitely a thriller but has a touch of horror to it as well and the camera angles do a great job of keeping you on your toes.

This movie is also great at dropping hints of what to expect later in the movie while not being completely predictable. The hints allow for the plot to make sense without hitting the audience over the head with the obvious. The plot also kicks into full-gear almost immediately as the audience begins to see the effects on Nina and the other dancers almost instantaneously.

I would recommend this movie to anyone except ex-dancers who know the lengths it goes to in order to succeed in the business...hint hint to my friend Laura, this movie will be too much for you! However, for the rest of you, go see this movie. I know men are a little wary of seeing it because it's about dancers but trust me guys, it is SO much more than a dancing movie. I even had my boyfriend surprised...So now it's Bill's turn to say "You were right," to me! My only advice? Bring someone to hold on to when scared. :)

Movie Rating- No Spoonfuls- No sugar needed to sweeten this review.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Fighter P.P.M.R (Positively Positive Movie Review)

I promised my boyfriend, Bill, that, if I liked this movie, I would stop referring to Mark Wahlberg as Marky Mark. Well, I guess I will have to retrain my brain because I loved it! I have not watched a movie with Wahlberg in it since The Happening. Yes, this is extreme and yes, this is supposed to be a positive review but I'm sorry, there was no redeeming that movie! Now I realize that Wahlberg has severe acting chops and I am really working on rewiring my may take a while purely because of habit but here it is babe, YOU WERE RIGHT! (Don't expect that too often). ;)

I completely agree that this movie deserves as many Golden Globe nominations as it scooped up! These nominations include Best Motion Picture (Drama), Best Actor (Drama) for Mark Wahlberg,  Best Supporting Actor for Christian Bale and Best Supporting Actress for Amy Adams. All of these nominations are well-deserved and I hope to see them all taking home the honors! Let's not forget David O. Russel's nomination for Best Director! He did an amazing job!

The Fighter is based on the real life story of half-brothers Micky Ward and Dicky Eklund. Wahlberg stars as Micky, the up and coming boxer who lives his life in his brother's shadow. Bale plays Dicky, Micky's older brother, who once took down Sugar Ray Leonard  and became their town's hero. However, Dicky is the constant screw up and his actions bring down both Micky and himself until Micky can't take it anymore. I won't give too many spoilers but Bale is exceptional as Dicky, who is washed-up due to his massive crack addiction. Bale plays the part with great dedication and even looks like crap for the role. He is extremely slim with glazed eyes and a constant jitter to him. He was great! Wahlberg is amazing as Micky and he brings great heart and emotion to the screen. Within the first 20 minutes of the film I leaned over to Bill and whispered, "OK, no more Marky Mark." I was blown away. He has proven he can take the big roles and make them bigger. At the end of the film they show a small interview with the real-life brothers and these two actors nailed them with their performances. You can see great similarity in the way they talk, their movements and body language with each other. Simply put, it's a remarkable resemblance.

Also great is Amy Adams with her portrayal of Micky's girlfriend, Charlene. She is a take-no-crap bartender who falls for Micky and becomes his constant supporter. Adams showed great depth with this character and her strength and passionate support light up the screen! Also great, look for Adams in her own fight scene that even has us girls going, "Oh yeah, kick some ass!"

This movie is not just about fighting. It is about family, failure, hope and strength. It is about being let down by the people who matter most and picked back up by the same people. It is about perseverance and belief in one's self. Micky faces the constant weight of his brother's shadow and the knowledge that he is not the favorite son. In fact, he is the son no one expects to succeed. Dicky struggles with being the "hero" and can't take it. It is only after everything falls apart that he starts to pick himself up. This movie can be best described with one word, which I will steal from Bill, REDEMPTION! Not only does Wahlberg redeem himself as an actor in my eyes but every character in this movie finds redemption of some kind.

I loved it! Go see it! Women, don't fear the fighting scenes; a few of them were intense but nothing stomach turning. More importantly, this film has too much heart to pass it up.

Movie Rating: No Spoonfuls- No sugar needed to sweeten this review.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I'm Turning Into Susie Homemaker...And I Love It!!!

So, it's never been a secret to those who know and love me that all I have wanted to be since I was little is a mom. Yes, I am a feminists worst me, I've been told so. Don't get me wrong, I love to work,I am going crazy being unable to work right now, but I have always wanted to be a mom. My other passion has always been writing and I love this because I can do both! I can write at home while my future kids sleep...this is my plan and I'm sticking to it!

Last year I couldn't do anything for Christmas because of my car accident so this year I am bound and determined to participate, even if it kills me, which sometimes it feels like it might. I had almost all of my presents purchased by the beginning of November, a record for me, and I have slowly been helping to decorate. We have to had to do the tree in increments but that's OK with me as long as I get to help. One thing I have really wanted to do though is bake cookies! I took a cake decorating class with my friend Laura and, since then, all I want to do is bake and decorate things for people I love!

So this week I started wrapping presents, finished the last of my shopping and made cookies...lots of cookies! I didn't realize the batch was doubled until I looked at the mass amount of cookies forming on my table. I did a quick count and I baked and individually decorated approximately 80 cookies on my own. Did it kill my back? YES!!! Oh, I am still in pain! HOWEVER, it was worth it to me because I have a boyfriend excited for cookies, a dad who needs to stop eating them and nephews who watched me decorate and asked for special things on theirs. Here's what they looked like before I decorated them:

That was before I was even done baking! I had to take small breaks but I had so much fun despite the pain! This is about the time I looked at my mom and said "I am turning into a regular Susie Homemaker and I love it!" She laughed and said she always knew I'd be the "cookie baking mom."

My nephews got especially excited when I told them they each get a special cookie. They started making requests and I happily obliged. Here's what I call my cookie family:

From left to right we have in the first row: Dad (complete with graying hair), Mom, Gabe, Addison.
Second Row: Sarah, Kristin, Jason, Me and Bill.

They boys picked out their colors and Gabe requested Nike swooshes and Addison wanted Adidas lines...They sort of turned out. I would have wanted better but they loved them.

Here's a close-up of Bill's...I made it a Nuggets Jersey with his favorite number...yes, I am crazy but I am pretty sure he loves it :) His is the only one without hair because he always buzzes it...yes I pay attention to detail ;)

I ended up making so many cookies that I have a bunch to send home to Bill's family. Here are his cookies:

About 7 hours later I had all my cookies done...thank goodness the boys were eating some of them or I would have had even more to decorate but I had so much fun! Aside from these, I have a plate on our table and three containers full in the freezer. I went overboard, my back is screaming profanities at me but I loved it!

Some may call me crazy. Some may call me a feminist nightmare. Many have told me I overdo it but guess what? I don't care! It's fun and I am going to keep doing it. I am going to be the mom that kids come home to and love because they find homemade cookies and a smiling mommy to play with. Just call me Susie Homemaker, because it's not changing! :)

Oh, and if you want some more fun stuff to read, check out my friends' blogs! They are awesome!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I Am Lucky!

I am lucky! No, I didn't just realize this but I was reminded of this fact today as I sat in my best friend's theater class. I helped Laura with her play today and ran the sound for her group. After the plays were performed, their teacher asked what they learned from this class. Some said the usual, I learned more about plays and how much work it takes, I learned to step out of my box, etc. One girl said she learned that she wanted to follow her passion, acting, a passion her mother had stomped on years beforehand. Her mother told her she didn't want her to end up like her aunt, singing on a cruise ship and wasting her life away. Now, I hear this girl is a bit of a drama queen but many people face this problem: They have no support system! I have close friends who only find criticism from their families and therefore are swayed from their goals or they must go at it alone.

Once again, I am lucky! When I was 18, I took my first writing class in college, English Composition 1, and fell in love with an old friend, writing. I had written all my life but never thought to pursue it and pushed it to the side. This class was taught by a wonderful woman who pushed me and supported me. I went into college unsure of what my major would be but this class sold me; I was going to write.

I don't know why but I was scared to tell my parents that I wanted to major in Writing. I knew this was not a "sure-thing" major and that it would be wise to major in something more practical, especially since most people first ask "So are you going to teach?" when they hear you are majoring in English. However, when I finally got the courage to tell them they responded with, "That's great!" and "I know you can do it!" They have never doubted me, not once. Mom talks constantly about seeing my name on the shelves...she hopes I will write books like Danielle Steele because those are her favorite. Dad clips out newspaper clippings about how Dr. Seuss was rejected by 20+ publishers at first to tell me to keep my hope alive. My nephew, Gabe, asks when I will publish my Children's books based on him. My sisters tell me they know I can do it. Everyone in my family has been supportive...well everybody but a few ones that aren't close to me. I had an uncle ask if I would ever get published and he basically told me to give up. My mom's response? Rage. She told me never to listen to him because she knows I can do anything. I am lucky!

I also have great friends! I have ones who yell at me to write and start a blog (she knows who she is). I have ones that read my blog daily (you know who you are). I have friends who tell me they can't wait to see me signing books at Tattered Cover. None of them have ever told me to give up and find a new dream. I am lucky!

I also have the best boyfriend in the world! He tells me daily that I can do anything I set my mind to do. He tells me he knows I will make it. He tells me he loves me and supports me every single day. I love him so much! I am SO lucky!

I can't repeat it enough. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world right now. Even though this last year has been the toughest one of my life, I know I am lucky for all the wonderful people God has put in my life. So many people have helped me after my car accident and continue to support me as I attempt to get my life back together. I have the best support system in the world and they tell me I can live my dreams every day! I am so thankful for having these wonderful people in my life and my only hope is that I make them feel just as lucky to have me in their lives.

I love you all!

Sorry to those I don't have pics of on this computer...and to dad for posting that embarrassing picture of him but I had to. :) Love you guys!

Dracula - Flashback to a Previous Life

A few weeks ago I went to the production of Dracula, done by Metropolitan State College of Denver. I'd love to say this was to support the college I earned my Bachelors Degree from but, alas, it was not. It was to support my best friend, Laura, and her need to write a play review, a better reason I think, and to see a play I have wanted to see for years.

Since I graduated I haven't gone to see many plays. In my high school career I acted in all but one play put on by the school (I withdrew from one due to  conflict with the director), helped with props, sets and even directed my own  one act play. In college, I put my love of plays to the wayside. Aside from going to plays to fulfill requirements in Intro to Theater and writing plays for my Playwriting class, I didn't do much with theater in college. This makes me sad now because I really love the performing arts. Seeing Dracula and helping my Laura out with her classwork was like getting a small glimpse of a former life. I loved it!

The play was great! I was impressed with the acting, especially with Logan Custer, who played asylum patient Renfield. He was convincing and amazing! He was crazy and twitching yet endearing in an odd way I can't explain. I looked forward to seeing him come on stage. In fact, Laura and I quietly would clap with excitement every time he appeared. I would not be surprised if I saw this guy in a movie or play in the future.

The usage of a minimal set was also wonderful. The stage was small but well used. Trap doors allowed for extra scenes and "surprise" entrances...or they would have been surprised had the trap doors been painted to actually fit the wall but the wall pieces showed stones that didn't line up, thus making the audience aware of where people could pop out. This is small but, because I used to help with sets, it bothers me. Laura noticed it first but I couldn't stop staring at it throughout the play. The lighting and the sound was also well done and created an eerily wonderful setting. The whole play was excellent and I had a great time. (My rating? Well, 1 spoonful of sugar is only needed for a little sweetening of the review.)

This, and visiting Laura in class, reminded me how much I love the theater. I miss the thrill I used to get before taking the stage. I miss the rewarding feeling of a job well done once the play was complete. Most of all, I miss the experience of being a part of a group of individuals who come together with one goal: make a show the audience will love and remember! I miss it all. I became the girl who went to class with Laura, despite not even going to the school quote Mean Girls, "She doesn't even go here!"  In class with her today I began to wonder why I never did a play in college. Was I too busy? Did I fear being rejected and not being good enough? Did I just lose interest for a while? Who knows. All I know is I miss it. Perhaps someday I will get one of my plays performed and be a part of this amazing experience again. Until then, I have decided to see as many plays as I can and support the arts like I once did. Who knows, maybe I will volunteer at a theater could be fun!  ;)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Poetry Corner- Barbie Doll

This poem was written about a former friend. It was originally titled with her name but in an effort to be kind, yes I try, I have simply changed it back to its working title.

Barbie Doll

Barbie doll.
A painted smile
around perfect teeth.
Blond hair
lies perfect around soulless eyes.
The perfect girl--
tiny with a hollow brain.
You have no true feelings
with a soul, plastic like your body.
No heart
under perfect clothes.
No one trusts you
because you play multiple parts--
business woman, caretaker, friend
but those roles aren’t real;
it's all pretend.
You belong to everyone.
Millions of clones just like you,
thrown away when playtime is through.
You have no real value
and they move on.
You play with all the kens,
never afraid to steal another doll's man.
But the kens outgrow you
and long for reality
and you find yourself
at the bottom of a Goodwill bin.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Megamind P.P.M.R (Positively Positive Movie Reviews)

Following in the footsteps of Despicable Me,  Megamind is a film that will have you rooting for the "bad guy."  Again we see the bad guy with a heart trying to conquer the world but showing emotions and vulnerability that will eventually bring out his good side. Don't worry, the likeness ends here, though both movies are great.

Megamind is hilarious! I saw it first in 3D with my boyfriend and then again today with my sister and nephew in regular format. It was so good I had to see it twice but what else can you expect from a movie starring Will Ferrell, Tina Fey and Jonah Hill? They are amazing! Ferrell plays Megamind and manages to make a cartoon character multidimensional through his voice. Sure he makes you laugh as usual but he also makes you feel for the "evil" character. You can't help but find Megamind endearing.

Fey is hilarious as always and is the perfect fit for Roxanne Ritchie, the no-nonsense, sarcastic television reporter that has captured Megamind's heart during his many times kidnappings her. She isn't your normal damsel in distress. She takes charge at times, making the character even more likable. Roxanne also catches the eye of Titan, played by Jonah Hill, who manages to play a crazed, starstruck, stage 5 clinger just as well as he always does while making the role different than his other similar ones. He is hysterically awkward.

Also great is David Cross as Minion, Megamind's right hand man...uh fish-type thing from space. He has Megamind's back no matter what and adds even more humor to the story. EVERY person needs a Minion, if only for the humorous banter. Megamind and Minion's conversations will have you leaving the theater saying everything in really you will say everything like this: "Code: That was an awesome movie!" "Code: No kidding, let's see it again!" Why you ask? Simply because Megamind and Minion don't seem to always grasp the normal understandings of the English language. Megamind's problems with pronouncing words just adds more humor to the situation.

Brad Pitt plays the town's hero, Metro Man, but he is not in the film nearly as much as the trailers would lead you to believe. When he is, the character seems so pompous you can't help but hope for him to go away.

Were parts of this movie predictable? Of course, it's a children's movie, but this didn't deter me from the film. I knew certain things would happen, what makes them interesting is the road taken to get to these points. There was great scenes of humor, romance and friendship. If I had one complaint, which of course I don't because this is the Positively Positive Movie Review, it would be about one bit of humor...who doesn't love a scene in a children's movie where one of the characters proclaims that the Tooth Fairy and Easter Bunny aren't real?! I know I sure love it! Don't worry though if you don't, the character also says Queen Elizabeth is fake so you can explain to your child that this particular character is just delusional and has no idea what they are talking about.

Just another great thing about this film? The soundtrack! In what other children's movie can we hear Michael Jackson's "Bad", AC/DC's "Highway to Hell," and Ozzy's "Crazy Train?" I was tapping my feet around and singing under my breath!

This movie has a great balance of juvenile humor with the added bits of adult humor that will keep both audiences entertained through the entire movie. What the children don't catch, the adults do and it's fun to watch the kids looking around, wondering why the adults are laughing...don't worry kids, you will get it someday.

So, did I love this movie? Heck yes! Will I buy it when it comes out on DVD? Heck yes! Was it better in 3D? Surprisingly, HECK YES! I am one of those people who is sick of everything being in 3D these days but, in this case, the 3D doesn't feel added to make more money, it appears throughout the film instead of being added in here and there. Either way you see it though, this film is great!

Movie Rating: 1 Spoonful- We needed a little sugar-coating.

Inspiration- Oh, What a Feeling!

It feels great to be writing again. Starting this blog has reawaken my love for writing! I thought my creativity was dead after my car accident but here it is, alive and ready to work! I now have ideas for a few screenplays (thanks to Bill), my novel I was working on before the accident and I want to work on my children's books again! I will be posting my short stories on here soon and working hard on all of these projects. I am so happy to be doing what I love again! Writing has always been my passion and I thought I had lost it. I am so glad this isn't true! I will continue my movie reviews and poetry on here as well. I am so glad to have my inspiration back and I owe a lot of thanks to a lot of people. First a huge thanks to Bill for supporting me and telling me I can do this and always reading my work and giving his opinions. Second, a HUGE thanks to Kortnee for telling me I needed a blog. Third, a big thanks to my mom and my best friend Laura for telling me I could do this and always supporting me! All of you have given me my hope back and I can't even begin to convey how much I appreciate it! I love you all! I have the best support system in the world! Well, here I go, off to work. Hi ho, Hi ho, it's off to work I go! :)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 1- P.P.M.R. (Positively Positive Movie Review)

I saw mixed reactions when Harry Potter fans found out Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows was going to be split into two parts. Some people were outraged and thought this was a ploy to make more money. Others were ecstatic, glad to finally see their favorite book given the airtime needed to cover it's many plot lines. I was in the latter group. I am the fan who makes grunting noises during the movie because something is changed or left out. I am the fan who waits in the line until midnight for the first showing. I am the fan who counts down the days to the next movie once it gets near. So, of course, I was the happiest person on earth when I found out they were doing a two-parter. In fact, I think they should have done it with more of the movies because they always had to leave so much out. Yes, I did see this at midnight when it came out and I decided I had to blog about it even though I started the blog after the movie came out. This said, it's time for the review:

EVERY Harry Potter movie leaves something out, it's a rule. EVERY Harry Potter movie leaves the book readers saying, "the book is better." This too is a rule. However, every Harry Potter movie is action packed and at least attempts to mirror the greatness it is based on. This movie is no exception.

Before seeing this, I wondered how they were going to cut up a book in which the majority of it is aimless wandering by teens. The book makes the wandering interesting but how could a movie? I was skeptical but it was awesome! Success! I was glued to the screen, as usual, and, even though I knew everything that would happen, I was entranced. The beginning was rushed too much for my liking and made the first death less impacting than the book, but I still cried. Yes, I cry whenever a character dies. The character death near the end (don't want to spoil it for non-readers) made me cry the most and gave the character more justice than the beginning death. There were many points that I thought were rushed but I still enjoyed them and was glad to at least see them make the movie. Examples of this are: the Dursleys leaving, the first escape from death eaters, the wedding, the death eaters meeting and the trip to the Ministry. I was glad they were included but I would have loved to have seen them fleshed out like they are in the book. Thus is life though.

The acting in the movie was excellent! Those kids have grown into great actors and it feels like you have actually seen them grow onscreen just as they were meant to grow according to the books. I love the flashbacks to the other movies because you can see just how much they have changed. I didn't find one bit of acting that I didn't love or believe and that is huge for me. Harry, Hermione and Ron were played perfectly, as usual, and I am always glad to see Hagrid, Fred and George on screen! Also, I am never disappointed with the acting from Ralph Fiennes, Alan Rickman and Helena Bonham Carter, who portray scary Lord Voldemort, mysterious Severus Snape and crazy Beletrix Lestrange respectively. They are always amazing! This movie has one of the best casts I have ever seen and they always place talented actors into extraordinary roles. I could go on forever about the mass amount of talent in this film but, fear not, I won't. :)

Also great is the chemistry! They have slowly built the relationships of Harry and Ginny and Ron and Hermione and you finally see a lot of that come to light in this film. It is a great reward for those of us who waited patiently (or not so patiently) for it to happen in both the books and movies. I can't wait for it to continue.

The emotions from the book are felt throughout the movie. You still miss Dumbledore (if you don't know he died then really, read a book or see the last movie!) and you still mourn him. You feel heartbreak for Harry as he looks back on all the people he has lost, including his parents. You feel anger and resentment at Ron for his attitude problems that are consistent as usual. You feel compassion for Hermione as you watch the pain she goes through at every turn. Every emotion is felt and portrayed amazingly. They definitely do the book justice when it comes to portraying the emotions.

Also great are the special effects and many scenery changes. They did an amazing job of making J.K Rowling's many destinations in the book a reality. They also did an amazing job of bringing the magic to life. It's great to see the filmmakers' interpretations, even if they don't always match your own.

Were things missing? Of course. That's expected with a book so long. Did I wish there would be even more included since there are two movies? Yes but that is life and what I consider important isn't always important to others. Compared to the other Potter movies, I would say this is one of my favorites. I grunted my disapproval much less and enjoyed much more than usual.

So, all in all, a very good movie and an acceptable interpretation. Things would be slightly different if I made the movies but, alas, I don't, and it is evident that great heart and a lot of work went into making this movie a reality. I can't wait for the next installment!

Movie Rating: 1 Spoonful- We needed a little sugar-coating.

As spoken by a huge fan: The books are always better ;)

For great pictures go to

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Poetry Corner- Love Finds

I stated in my Poetry Corner post "Heartbreak" that my poems were never happy until I met my boyfriend Bill. My poetry has never been an outlet for happiness and joy. This is not because I was always depressed but because my poetry wasn't meant to express just any emotions but my deepest emotions. Until I met Bill, I never experienced love. I had always had familial love but never the real, unconditional, forever type of love that I always dreamed of but never thought I'd find. He changed everything for me and helped dig me out of the very dark hole that I was living in. I have only ever written my deepest emotions and this is probably why I finally wrote a happy poem, because my deepest emotion is now love. This poem is, of course, about him and I'm not usually the type of person to wear my heart on my sleeve but it deserves to be read. Through the good and the bad, the ups and downs, I know he will catch me and I never thought I would have that. So thank you to Bill, I love you very much. To the rest of you, I hope you enjoy.

Love Finds

I thought love forgot me,
Abandoned me long ago.
It had left me.
Love I would never know.

The feeling of falling
Was nothing new to me,
But no one would ever catch
And leave me weak at the knees.

Then I met you
And everything changed.
Everything was different,
My whole heart rearranged.

You opened up spaces
I didn’t know my heart held.
You made me believe.
You cast me under your spell.

You made me trust.
You made me smile.
You made me love,
Though first came denial.

I didn’t want to believe,
I didn’t want to risk.
I couldn’t take more lies,
Couldn’t take more tricks.

I thought
 every man was the same;
Use you and leave you
Until nothing remains.

But you changed everything.
You proved me wrong.
You opened my heart.
You proved we belong.

You melted my heart,
Broke down the wall,
Destroyed my defenses,
You caught the fall.

My heart is yours,
You made it whole.
You have my everything,
Mind, body and soul.

I thank you for loving me
When I thought no one could.
I love you for seeing the real me
When no one would.

Forever and always,
'Til death do us part.
Us against the world,
You have my heart.

Thank you babe, you have no idea what you have done for me.
You mean the world to me!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Positively Positive Movie Review- In Memorium- Leslie Nielsen

February 11,1926 –  November 28,2010

Before anyone asks, yes, I knew he died the day it happened. I just didn't plan on writing anything until now. What inspired me to do this? So many people had no idea who he was when I sadly said, "Leslie Nielsen died." Who was Leslie Nielsen? WHO WAS LESLIE NIELSEN? Seriously? For this reason, I had to write about him.

I don't know if it is my generation but almost every younger person I have said this to had no idea who he was. No disrespect is meant to these people, because I love them, but he was one of the greats! I grew up with him. My father and I would sit down and watch Nielsen constantly, mostly in the Naked Gun movies, while my mother would say to us, "not these movies again." Leslie Nielsen wasn't just an actor and an amazing comedian, he was a huge part of my childhood.

I hoped posting a picture would help people place him in their minds. For those who don't know who he is by seeing his picture above, let me list some of my favorite movies of his:


The Naked Gun Series! Nielsen played the bumbling, idiotic, HILARIOUS character of Lt. Frank Drebin, a cop who has the ability to get himself into the most peculiar situations and the most trouble while still catching the bad guy, usually by some sort of freak accident. I love these movies! My father and I would watch them constantly. These movies are probably partially to blame for my weird sense of humor.

Airplane! Who couldn't love Nielsen as Dr. Rumack?

Mr. Magoo. I must have watched this movie a million times as a kid! It is ridiculous but I still love it to this day!

Nielsen also played the president in Scary Movies 3 and 4 (not sure about the first two but I don't think so.)  He was also Santa in the 1991 movie All I Want For Christmas and guest starred on television shows like Who's the Boss? and The Golden Girls. You get the picture.

So who was Leslie Nielsen? A big star, a great actor and comedian and one of my favorite memories from my childhood. He seemed like a great man and I would have loved to have met him. You might not all know him by name but you must have seen him somewhere and once you recognize him, hopefully you will remember a smile he brought to your face as he brought many to mine.

For more information on this great man go to or click the link above his picture, which will take you to his page at

And to end this, I will provide one of my favorite quotes from Leslie Nielsen.

From Airplane! :

Rumack: Can you fly this plane, and land it?

Ted Striker: Surely you can't be serious.

Rumack: I am serious... and don't call me Shirley.

Nielsen's Rating: No Spoonfuls- No sugar needed to sweeten this review but surely we know he sweetened our hearts!

He will be deeply missed (and don't call him Shirley!)

Poetry Corner- Heartbreak

As you may have noticed, I use poetry to express my deepest feelings. For as long as I can remember, for every time something has gone wrong or upset me there has been a poem to express how I felt. When I took poetry in my last semester of college I had a very demanding teacher. She had many rules and guidelines: no rhyming, has to show emotion, etc. While this woman made me wish I could run away forever, she did help me come to terms with many of the demons in my life. One of these demons was heartbreak. One of my best friends for years broke my heart when he decided to lead me on. I never thought I would feel love and he seemed to prove that to me by how he acted. This poem, "Heartbreak," was written for my Catalog Poem assignment and was my own set of guidelines to getting over such a betrayal. I never thought I would be loved...that is until my met my boyfriend Bill. He has changed my life for the better in every way imaginable and I can't imagine life without him. He even inspired me to do something I have never done before: write a happy poem! This may sound depressing but poems have always been my outlet for fear and rage, sadness and betrayal. I have never used a poem to express happiness. I am still working on perfecting this poem but here is the one about the man who I THOUGHT ruined me. I really like it even though he is out of my life now. I also thank Bill for putting me back together and making me the person I am today. Without him, I would be lost. I love you babe!


Cry yourself to sleep.
Don't let anyone see the tears.
Doubt yourself and everything you are.
Retreat into your mind and
build a wall around your heart.
Eat ice cream in hopes of
out the sorrow.
Put a smile on your face and
you are okay.
Watch comedies because dramas will just bring on the tears.
Wash your face, put on makeup and
try to feel pretty again.
Go through life in a daze.
Wonder what went wrong.
Wonder what you did to deserve this.
Tempt yourself to kiss a bunch of strangers, any stranger, but
know that won't stop the pain.
Wake up.
Get out of bed.
Do your best to move on.
Time heals all wounds--what a lie that is--
wounds just scab over and wait to reopen.
Keep breathing.
Go out with friends.
Wait to break down the wall around your heart
and hope you won't have to rebuild it.

Thank you babe for breaking down my wall and making sure I never have to rebuild it again.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Poetry Corner/Fiction Start-up- Mirror

I have been told by many people (my mother, boyfriend, bestie, etc.) that I need to start posting my short stories and poetry. I have decided to be brave and start doing what I am told. For those of you who don't know, a little over a year ago I was in a bad car accident that left me injured, jobless and pretty much hopeless. Since then, I have gotten much better and am slowly recovering physically. During this time I lost most of my ability to write and read but, one day in July, I did manage to get out my feelings about how lost I felt. This is the  poem I wrote. (Note: Not all of my poems will rhyme, some will be free form and not all will be this long, though some will be longer.)


I look in the mirror
And all I see
Is an empty person
Who isn’t me.

A shell of a girl
Is all that remains.
Dark clouds cover all.
She may never be the same.

Her humor is tamed,
Her smile faded,
Her whole life changed,
Her attitude jaded.

She puts on a smile,
Hides behind a joke,
But inside she withers

And no one sees the smoke.

Those she does tell
Say she will be alright,
That things will get better,
Don’t give up the fight.

But she feels no hope,
Silence eats her soul.
She feels lost.
She feels out of control.

Everything feels slow,
Both thoughts and movement.
She is not who she once was
And she sees no improvement.

People point out
The baby steps made
But she doesn’t feel it.
There is no sun, only shade.

She’d rather stay inside
And hide from humanity,
Even if it means
She feels on the brink of insanity.

Alone and incomplete,
She never feels whole.
A little light flickers,
once a bright soul.

Some days people see it,
A glimmer of the old girl,
Like sand no longer covers
The shining white pearl.

But it never lasts
And she feels even more lost
And she dreads to go out,
No matter the cost.

Her soul burrows deeper
Hiding in a haze,
Her mind twists and turns
Like a never ending maze.

Down she spirals,
Down and away,
Wondering when it will stop,
Will the dark clouds be here every day?
Days turn into weeks,
Will months become years?
This she wonders,
This she fears.

Will she always be lost?
Will she ever break through?
Can she ever be the same?
What does she have to do?

All these thoughts smother her.
She just wants to feel free.
Can she ever be fixed?
When will it be?

She looks in the mirror
And only sees a shell,
Once filled with hope,
Now filled with hell.

Will I ever feel full?
Will life ever become clearer?
This is what I ask
When I look in the mirror.

Don't worry, I feel much happier now but this poem says a lot about what I went through. I hope you enjoyed.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Burlesque P.P.M.R (Positively Positive Movie Review)

Burlesque. Forget what this film looks like, the stereotypical story about a small town girl making it big. This film is so much more! I know it has been getting horrible reviews but I honestly have no idea why. I loved it so much I HAD to see it twice and plan on buying it the moment it comes out.

Yes, a small town girl does move to the big city to make it big but that's where the stigma of this movie ends. This movie will have you tapping your toes, bobbing your head and, the surprise for me, it will have you laughing hysterically! I did not expect the comedic punch that this film packs but it has it and it uses it...what else could you expect from a film with the great Stanley Tucci in it though? He is hilarious as usual and his quips always had me laughing.

The stars, Christina Aguilera and Cher, are amazing! Aguilera's voice is amazing as usual, her dance moves are to die for and her acting is also up to par. She puts in an all-around great performance. As for Cher, I have to start off with saying WOW. For anyone who thinks she has lost it, let me tell you, CHER STILL HAS IT! If you want proof, look at her song, "You Haven't Seen the Last of Me," near the end. It sent chills down my leg. Aside from this, she gives an amazing performance as a hard-as-nails business woman with a soft, motherly side. She provides touching moments as well as hilarity. Matching her with Tucci was a wonderful move! They bounce jokes off each other as if they were made only to do this movie together and nothing else.

The supporting cast was also wonderful. Cam Gigandet plays Jack, perhaps one of the sweetest men in a movie in a long time! He makes you laugh and melts your heart. Kristen Bell plays the resident, well excuse my language, evil bitch and she does it will hate her just as intended. The whole supporting cast is great but it was especially great to see Dancing with the Stars and country singing star Julianne Hough up there shaking her money maker again as she has been absent from the show for a few seasons. She plays an endearing character and I loved to see her at work again.

So how did I feel about this film? Well, let me reiterate, I loved it! I recommend everyone go see it. Yes, even men! If you don't enjoy singing and dancing you will at least enjoy the skimpy outfits. And ladies? You will wish you could be one of the girls on stage singing and dancing like a star. Go see it! :)

Movie Rating- No Spoonfuls- No sugar needed to sweeten this review.