Thursday, August 23, 2012

Hunger Games

Well, hello all. I recently watched the Hunger Games. It was good, but as always, I am disappointed that had I not read some of the first novel, I would've been slightly lost and not understood as clearly what exactly was going on. If you haven't had the chance, to either read the book, or see the movie, I would hope you get to read the book and then see the movie. I know that's the cliché thing to say, but really and truly there are poignant moments that the movie would hold so much more meaning for you if you had the original story read first. Such as, how exactly the whole system works of why certain names are put in the lottery more times than others; or what exactly the history is between Katniss and Peter; what exactly the history is with Katniss and her mother. The movie is still watchable without the book, but to me it would come up lacking.

I did like it however. I always like the futuristic aspect that resembles an earlier America era, and this movie somehow combined modern/futuristic fashion and former era fashion style into an interesting textile to watch.

Aside from fashion, the entire idea of children and adolescents being forced to hunt and to kill each other in a "game" the government forces them to participate in....... is genius and terrifying. The fact it felt so realistic, blew my mind. I think I might go so far as to say it is "modernly epic." I am still mulling over this film, and don't have much more to say about it. But! I at least wanted to say it is worth reading and/or watching.

"May the odds be ever in your favor." ..... well, I don't need "odds, " I make my own destiny; and I hope you make yours as well.

Read Riding Hood

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Never Been Kissed

Good afternoon, loves. It is ... a good day. I mean, every day is a good day, but "the good" in each day doesn't just walk up to you, link arms with you and skip off into the sunset... You.. I(!)  must look for it.  "The Good" also known as "happiness" is something that is worked for; nothing and no one can make you truly happy except yourself. *sigh* So.

It is a good day, and I made an appointment to get more tattoos in a few weeks, so I also have more ink to look forward to! And on my way home, I got Chinese food. I arrived home, plopped myself on the couch, turned into a potato and put on a relatively "old" flick, Never Been Kissed.

Ya know how when some adults go back to the places of their childhood, they say it seemed a lot bigger back then?.. That's how this movie feels.. in a similar sense. I watch this and see high school behind me, where as when I first saw this movie, high school was still in the future ahead of me. The high school characters that seemed so "mature" and "cool" and just... "older" now look so Young to me. *LOL... *sigh* (That's a good sigh though.. I don't mind the change.)

Drew Barrymore plays as an editor for the Chicago Times newspaper, a former high school geek. She gets her first chance to be a reporter, by taking an assignment to write an article revolving around the lives of  "modern" high schoolers. To write and discover the piece, she must enroll in her former high school and attend a semester, this time at the age of twenty-five. She gets the chance to be "17" again, but she soon discovers that to be successful she has to come to grips with her painful high school memories and with the help of her naturally popular brother, just learn to be comfortable AND confident in her own skin.

I loved this story as a pre-teen, and still enjoy it now... as.. the old soul I am at twenty-three... soon to be twenty-four. I wasn't a "Josie-Grossie," but I was a very shy, nerdy duckling as a teenager, and I am all too familiar with the painful transition from shy-ness to out-spoken-ness. I never wanted to be popular, I could see how being "popular" really was a lot of facade and putting on a front for everyone else to look at; I just wanted to like myself. As Drew Barrymore's character says at the end of the movie, "...there is a bigger world than prom, bigger than high school, and it won't matter if you were prom queen, or the biggest nerd in school, find out who you are and try not to be afraid of it.."  And I have learned to in order to like myself, I have to like what I do and be proud of my decisions and accomplishments; and not care what everyone else thinks about it, it's not their life, it's mine. And most importantly, I have to forgive myself of my mistakes and take pride in that none of my mistakes have ever been in vain, because I have learned from each and every single one of them.
Some people can't do any of those things, they are all very hard things to set out to do. But I am proof that nothing is impossible, and I work every day at being the person I want to see myself as, and being comfortable and confident the whole way. Life has become something to me that is .. special; because I've decided that if anything I'm ever doing is just to "pass the time,"it is not worth my time; everything I do, I want to do because I Really Want To Be Doing It: everything else is just a waste of life, a waste of time.

We are all individuals, my dears. And if we would seek out and define the black-and-white for each of ourselves, there would be no grey areas, only unique individuals sure of what they want and what they don't want.

With encouragement and sincerity always,

Read Riding Hood

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Mirror Mirror

Good afternoon, my peepsters. It rained almost all last night and left today a mix of cloudy, sunny, muggy, and wet; but that's o.k. I hope it rains some more here in a bit. If I could marry the rain, I would. Anyway.

I have been poking about as usual aka being a couch potato and have been watching Mirror Mirror. It's the modern remake of Snow White with Julia Roberts as the evil Queen. At first when I saw it, it came across very cheesy, way too ...... Something. I felt it was too "childish" or.... too... "sugary sweet." Julia Roberts is always a joy to watch, but the rest of the acting seemed lacking and not very original.

However, it has been now almost.. three months(?) since that first time I saw it, and it kept randomly popping up on my mind. And I decided I did want to watch it again, just to see if I still felt the same way about it. ... And I do. BUT..... This last time I watched it I seriously asked myself, "O.k... It is a children's movie, it's not supposed to be very serious and very dramatic. It is supposed to light and fluffy and not too scary.... And that's what it is, right?.. So.. yea." And for some reason now I like it.

For what it is, Mirror Mirror is light and fun to watch. When I stop trying to compare it to more serious film attempts at this original tale and just let this movie stand on its own, I am able to enjoy it.

Now I must admit there are films that I finally accept them for what they are, and I still can't enjoy them... and that's fine. But I think too many times I disappoint myself because I hold something to a standard I think it should meet, and when it doesn't match that standard, I become irritated. I just need to always keep working at looking at things for what they are and accepting them for what they are, and that way I have a better chance at deciding whether I can truly enjoy something for what it is or not.

I hope you can enjoy things for what they are and not fool yourself into being disappointed by something that may not be what you want it to be, it's just being what it is.

Read Riding Hood

Sunday, August 12, 2012

A Dangerous Method

Now that my weekend is ahead of me, I went through my shelf of "need-to-be-read" books and finally plucked A Dangerous Method (one I'd been avoiding due to the 'text-book' like contents.) The contents being based around the actual "psychoanalysis/Freud/Jung" events and their work, not exclusively, with a Russian/Jewish patient, Sabina Spielrein.

I am fascinated by this book, that is now a movie with Michael Fassbender and Keira Knightley. Psychoanalysis has come a long way from what it used to be, and has evolved into the modern "counseling/therapy" we encounter today. There is way too much for me to summarize here, and I would be rambling on with quotes and passages that would have you snoring... louder than you are now, So!! I will restrain myself to one measly paragraph that stood out to me... at the end of the book.. after a million foot-long words later.... I wanted to share this quote from the afterword in the book, because I find this to be personally true regarding modern counseling/therapy.

"The therapist is a consultant on mental matters, not a director of conscience. Psychoanalysis thus allowed a new kind of silence, a beneficent silence, into the consulting room and thereby enabled a new kind of listening. But in return for the freedom to be oneself, and to be oneself in any way one likes, the patient is burdened with the obligation to be productive. It is up to the patient to provide the material of analysis, not the therapist. The interchange between patient and analysis, furthermore, reflects his motivational history and can be cured either through a more honest act of self-scrutiny than he or she has made heretofore or else through abreacting the pain of his or her accumulated trauma."

A Dangerous Method by John Kerr

In short, nowadays, society is more open about life-styles and our individual sexuality. But the price we pay for that open-ness is accountability, and WE, as individuals hold the responsibility of educating ourselves by reaching out to available resources to help ourselves be responsibly open.

I am going to watch the movie soon, it will probably be different than the book, but "como sea"/ "that's how it is."

Enjoy your Sunday everyone!


Read Riding Hood

Friday, August 10, 2012

Happy Gilmore

Today started off swimmingly when I took my dog to the river and he preceded to bulldoze right into the water (no pun intended.) I've been trying for weeks to get him used to the water and not to be afraid to get in it, and finally this morning, he plunged right in without my usual boot for encouragement...... *sigh* Anyway, it is a sleepy slow day today. Thank goodness, too.

I started off the day watching Treasure Planet. That's right, "planet," not "island." It's a disney steampunk version of the original Treasure Island.  For some reason there's always one line that sticks in my head after watching it, when the cyborg pirate, Silver, asks the boy, Jim Hawkins, "Didn't yer pap eva' teach ya how ter pick yer fights?...."

Now I am sitting back, (yes, watching Another movie)... Happy Gilmore. A few years back, I went through an "adam sandler" phase, it was around the same time I went through my phase of watching "The Night At The Roxbury" every night, for at least a month. Adam Sandler movies are so ridiculous, but I like them because they're ridiculous. Now, I am not a big one for golf, but there's a few points to this movie that I like: you have to be serious if you want to get ahead AND you have to pick your fights. If you haven't seen this movie, it's about a wannabe pro hockey player that ends up with a natural talent for golf. And he ends up needing to use his natural talent so he can win money to buy his grandma's house back.

I don't have much in common with this movie, BUT as a kid, I had to hold in my temper, then as an adolescent, I had a quick temper... FOR EVERYTHING. I would get mad and I would Stay mad. I still have my moments, (good god, do I ever,) BUT I'm better about it now, and there are some things that don't amount to a hill of beans and just aren't worth getting wrapped around the axle about. Learning to control my temper, I have learned that it isn't so much learning to control myself, but coming to understand the things and the people and the situations around me that can "cause" me to snap. The more I learn about everything around me, the easier it is for me to see the importance of the moment; I gain better perspective.

The hardest part of this process for me to learn was (and still is) knowing that to gain perspective, I have to be able to step back/away/out of a situation to look at it from an outside viewpoint; and, that can be hard on anyone if you're emotionally wrapped up in something, but it's the most important thing you can do for yourself and everyone around you.

Near the end of the movie, the guy with the natural talent, Happy Gilmore, is frustrated and angry because he is very close to losing the big game he needs to win. His grandma surprises him and shows up to cheer him on and she tells him, "Forget about him (the opposition)... I just want you to be happy."

And that is the key to it folks. It sounds cheesy and corny, but "don't get mad, get glad." A lot of the times it's easier said than done, and sometimes, it's just plain impossible. But I still wish and work for happiness, because it takes both.  Enjoy this beautiful Friday peeps.


Read Riding Hood

Monday, August 6, 2012

How To Train Your Dragon

I am very tired this evening, my dears. It was my first day back at work after being off for awhile, so I am out of breathe and ready to be a couch potato. Earlier this morning I was reading through my current book, Son of A Witch, the second installment in the Wicked series. And just before I had to get in the shower and get ready to go to work, I got to an Exciting part!!! (of course)

There Are Dragons!!!!!  That made me so excited! I am a chinese dragon, myself and anything dragons, I simply adore.... unless one was trying to eat me, then I might not be so excited, but anyway.... Aside from that, it made me decide to watch the dreamworks kids film How To Train Your Dragon when I got off work. So, here I am with the movie in the background, a pink lady pip on the table, and my foxy hound curled up to my left. In this moment, it is peaceful. .... I want a dragon. Don't you?...

Have a peaceful night my dears, I am off to fly with the dragons in my dreams,

Read Riding Hood

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Beautician and the Beast

So, it is evening again, dear readers. And you are either already tucked into bed, ready to sleep, or in the process of getting ready to sleep, or maybe you're still young and are doing the opposite: getting dressed up to go out, but whichever way you swing, I am getting ready for bed. I just finished my "not too strenuous" pilates, and am now typing away in the dark, waiting to get sleepy.
If you are of my generation, odds are that you haven't heard of Fran Drescher. Well, she is an actress, among other things, and she is recognized by her naturally VERY nasally voice. She is very pretty and promotes healthy living and natural beauty, and I first found out about her coming across a stray episode of The Nanny. It is a 80's show about a beautician that becomes a nanny for a wealthy widowed father of three (?) children. Anyway, funny show. Then I found out she was also in this movie The Beautician and the Beast with Timothy Dalton. If the title of the movie already doesn't give you an idea of the basis of the movie, I will say, it's like Sound of Music without the music and more fashion tips, and not Nearly as lengthy. It's corny and ridiculous, but I like the quirkiness. I probably say that a lot about most of the movies I watch, "corny and ridiculous, but quirky..." Well, what can I say, I enjoy my sensitive side.

And sometimes corny can truly be sincere, and anything sincere should never be taken for granted. So, if you have a sense of humor and a slow afternoon, Fran Drescher is a nice accompaniment alongside whatever project you might be doing.... unless you're a dude.... and then You Prooooobably want to run as fast as you can. Timothy Dalton getting sentimental is probably NOT your cup of tea.

Have a good evening, be safe,

Read Riding Hood

The Lost World of Little Women

It is a quiet and peaceful Sunday morning, my dears. When the world becomes too much, it can be very soothing to tuck myself away with a book, or snuggle myself onto the couch to watch a movie. I recently comforted myself with not just the book, but also the movie, Little Women. Everyone has to be familiar with this story on some minute level. It takes place during the Civil War, and it is about the "growing up" of four sisters with their mother while their father is away at war.

It had been quite a while since I had read the novel, and was surprised upon starting it to find that the language and plot imagery was not as "old fashioned" as compared to something per Charles Dickens, etc. Now that I am in my twenties, it reads with a classic simplicity. If you ever have the enjoyment of walking through parks or gardens, and have stopped to admire the simple and yet profound beauty of the nature around you, that is the best comparison I can come up with to reading this book. Except, instead of admiring the earth's nature, this story admires the growth and maturing process of girls that grow up into women.

There are so many truths in this story, every generation can understand them; truths about wealth, selfishness, making do with what you have, faith, love, family, friendships, hard work, pride, popularity, strength, and understanding.
One of my favorite parts is about Jo, the second oldest, and she is crying that she doesn't belong anywhere. What little girl, woman hasn't felt that at one point in our search of where we belong? I applaud Miss Alcott for having brought to light the basis issues of budding into adulthood in a much more formal time period.
It is such a comfort in this crazy busy world, to step into a book that the world is slower there so that you can stop and take a look around before the scene changes on you. We fly by the seat of our pants so many of the days out of the week, it's hard to slow down enough to catch our breathe and absorb everything. There is so much pressure to keep moving, to not stop, and if you do stop, only stop long enough to catch a breath before racing on.

I hope you can take a moment today and remember something you enjoyed as a kid, like playing at the park, swinging on a swing set, riding your bike, riding your skateboard, rollerblading, swimming, playing street basketball, baking cookies with your mom or sister, flying a kite, lying in the grass and watching clouds........... There is still that child in all of us. Little things like enjoying fresh air and water fountains can refresh a tired soul.

With care and sincerity,

Read Riding Hood