Sunday, October 31, 2010

30 Days of Truth-- A Blogger's Challenge

I read on someones blog earlier this month of a challenge that many bloggers have been doing. It's called 30 Days of Truth. The challenge helps reveal truths about yourself, and to me it seems like a good thing to help out with self discovery and character building. As I read the topics for each day (for 30 days), I felt that I should take up the challenge as well. So, for the month of November, I will be blogging my own 30 Days of Truth. The blogs will be posted at Noon each day... just to let you guys know.

Here is the list of topics for the challenge:

Day 01 → Something you hate about yourself.

Day 02 → Something you love about yourself.

Day 03 → Something you have to forgive yourself for.

Day 04 → Something you have to forgive someone for.

Day 05 → Something you hope to do in your life.

Day 06 → Something you hope you never have to do.

Day 07 → Someone who has made your life worth living for.

Day 08 → Someone who made your life hell, or treated you like shit.

Day 09 → Someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted.

Day 10 → Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn’t know.

Day 11 → Something people seem to compliment you the most on.

Day 12 → Something you never get compliments on.

Day 13 → A band or artist that has gotten you through some tough ass days. (write a letter.)

Day 14 → A hero that has let you down. (letter)

Day 15 → Something or someone you couldn’t live without, because you’ve tried living without it.

Day 16 → Someone or something you definitely could live without.

Day 17 → A book you’ve read that changed your views on something.

Day 18 → Your views on gay marriage.

Day 19 → What do you think of religion? Or what do you think of politics?

Day 20 → Your views on drugs and alcohol.

Day 21 → (scenario) Your best friend is in a car accident and you two got into a fight an hour before. What do you do?

Day 22 → Something you wish you hadn’t done in your life.

Day 23 → Something you wish you had done in your life.

Day 24 → Make a play list to someone, and explain why you chose all the songs. (Just post the titles and artists and letter)

Day 25 → The reason you believe you’re still alive today.

Day 26 → Have you ever thought about giving up on life? If so, when and why?

Day 27 → What’s the best thing going for you right now?

Day 28 → What if you were pregnant or got someone pregnant, what would you do?

Day 29 → Something you hope to change about yourself. And why.

Day 30 → A letter to yourself, tell yourself EVERYTHING you love about yourself

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Rocky Horror Glee Show, A Review

I remember reading an issue of Entertainment Weekly this summer which announced that Glee was going to pay tribute to The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I had mixed feelings about it. A part of me was excited because I had seen the Lady Gaga Glee episode and thought it did a pretty good job. The other part of me was afraid it was not going to do the cult film justice. Since I was at work last night, I didn't get to see it. But I did read some reviews from other Rocky fanatics and some entertainment blogs. Then, right before I started watching the episode, my Dad was telling me about it. Whoa.... my Dad watched Glee.

Glee: The Music - The Rocky Horror Glee Show, Glee Cast

Anyway... let's get down to business, shall we???

The episode starts off with lips ("Science Fiction/Double Feature")... well, they are definitely off to a decent start. Wait a second... they altered lyrics and the song was shortened by less than half. I am already laughing... that's a bad sign for the rest of the episode. Then, it jumps to the students performing "Over at the Frankenstein Place" onstage. I'm liking how the set looks, but not so much the fact that the entire cast was onstage (hiding behind set pieces). I also instinctively raise my hand in the air when the line "there's a light" is performed... I guess going to the live shows have corrupted me, lol.

We now enter the actual Glee stuff. Mr. Schuester finds out that Emma went to a midnight showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show with her boyfriend. This makes him jealous and yet, inspires him to get the Glee Club to perform the musical. You do not decide to do Rocky Horror out of spite... shame on you Mr. Schuester!!! So when he presents it to his students, there are a lot of mixed feelings. Some of them love it, some of them have no idea what it's about, and some argue that it's not appropriate for a high school production. This reminded me of when I daydreamed about my high school doing Rocky Horror (and that I wished for it do the film justice... like only have seniors who were 18 perform it, obviously because of the sexuality). Okay moving on...

Enter Meatloaf and Barry Bostwick (Asshole! yes, I did shout that at the screen). They were some sort of tv producers for the local news station (I think... I was too wrapped up in the amazement that they were actually on Glee) and talking to Sue about the Glee Club's Rocky production. Ah... why couldn't they have been on the show more? I might have liked it better.

Then Finn and Rachel practice "Dammit Janet." Hmm... they actually got the choreography pretty damned accurate. I was pretty proud of that. I think Rachel's voice is too whiny for Janet, though. The next scene is when Emma's boyfriend Carl (John Stamos) auditions for the high school play by singing "Hot Patootie/ Bless My Soul." I've heard John Stamos sing before, and he's pretty good. I think he did a decent job on the show, however I am a HUGE Meatloaf fan. Nobody can upstage him... I refuse to allow it. So when Mr. Schuester asks Carl to perform a Frankenfurter song, Carl flips out. He says that it's inappropriate for a high school production and that wearing the right garments is not right outside the bedroom. Fucking hypocrite... he's the one that takes Emma to the show and is now trying to justify that it's wrong. *shakes head*

Time for "Sweet Transvestite." This was the WORST number on the episode. It was extremely short and the choreography wasn't even close to being accurate. Since Mercedes decided to be Dr. Frankenfurter, some of the lyrics were altered: "I'm not much of a man" turned into "I'm not much of a girl." Wow... that really pissed me off. Who cares if a girl is playing the role? You don't change those lyrics (most of the floor show productions have females playing Dr. Frankenfurter, but you don't see them saying "girl" just because they are female). Now, when they changed "transsexual" to "sensational," I was fine with that... for the simple fact that Glee is on public television and the FCC would have been throwing out some fines if that wasn't changed.

Three of the students are dressed as Columbia. None of the costumes are even close to the authenticity of the film. Shame, shame, shame.

Emma offers to help Mr. Schuester work on his role as Rocky (since the student felt uncomfortable in his teeny gold shorts... of course you would get the self-conscious teen in this production). They perform "Touch-A, Touch-A, Touch Me" in an empty classroom. Basically Mr. Schuester loses his shirt. That's it. Lame. Oh, and I noticed that "heavy petting" was changed to "heavy sweating"... another FCC friendly move, I assume.

When practicing the show again, Sue shouts out "This play is terrible!" I agreed. Then came the "Janet! Brad! Dr. Scott! Rocky!" montage. Again, I caught myself doing floor show shout outs... "Rocky! Bullwinkle!"

Mr. Schuester finally confesses to the Glee Club that he went into the Rocky Horror show for all the wrong reasons. He explains that the movie was popular for people who were outcasts who felt they needed a sense of belonging with others around them, much like the Glee club. Going back to my Rocky Horror blog, I mentioned that I never really noticed that the musical was cult or outcast friendly until I was in high school. All I saw was a fun, sexual musical. *Shrugs* So Mr. Schuester pulls the plug on the play, but says that they will still perform the music.

The show ends with the entire cast performing the "Time Warp."

Yea.... I think the phrase cluster fuck is the right word for this. For one, they perform this on the set of the Lab.. wrong. There are two Magentas and two Columbias.... where are the Unconventional Conventionalists or the Criminologist (with no fucking neck)??? A damn shame, if you ask me. And what is going on with the boxy look of Magenta's skirt... that bugged me like crazy. Although, for a collaboration effort of a high school tribute... that's basically what it was, toned down for age appropriate-ness and it represented many elements of the film.

I think I speak for all Rocky Horror enthusiasts out there.... if we had the control, we would have done it so much better. It's a good thing I'm going to a Fishnets and Floorshows Rocky Horror production this weekend... it will help me shake off my frustrations with this Glee episode.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Shame on Me for Calling Myself A Movie Geek to Not Yet Watch these Films!!

Last night, I was watching John Carpenter's Halloween. I was also talking to my best friend Brandon on facebook, and mention that this was my first time watching the movie, even though I've seen several of the other Halloween films. He flips out on me and then decides to tell some of our mutual friends in a chat room. Again, more shocked reactions. In my defense, there are a lot of films out there. I know I won't see them all, but I enjoy trying!

So when I woke up this morning, I spent a lot of time thinking about how my movie geekness could be in jeopardy because there are several excellent films out there that I have yet to see. I expect that many will react to this list with amazement, denial, and shock.... "Wow... Casey hasn't seen THAT movie???" "Wow, that's a classic, she needs to see that one immediately!" "How could she have not seen that one.... that's totally her kind of movie!"

Are you guys ready for this??? Don't say I didn't warn you....

-The Godfather Trilogy (I personally feel extremely ashamed of not seeing these movies)
-Rain Man (I own it)
-Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
-any of the Rocky films
-The Shining
-2001: A Space Odyssey
-The Graduate
-Empire of the Son
-Terminator (although I've seen #2 and #3)
-This is Spinal Tap
-Lawrence of Arabia
-Slumdog Millionaire
-Taxi Driver
-Across the Universe (my Mom owns it... good thing I live in the same house, lol)
-The Goonies (major shame since I'm an 80's kid and all)
-Fried Green Tomatoes
-Dog Day Afternoon
-Gone with the Wind
-The Phantom of the Opera (I own the Gerald Butler version)
-It's a Wonderful Life
-Monty Python and the Holy Grail
-A Clockwork Orange
-American History X (I own it)

Okay, everyone.... please get those shocked looks off your faces!!! It's a good thing I have access to some of these in my own house. As for the others... I'm working on it! I will no longer feel I need to shame myself for missing out. But all I have is time in the future.... and a couch, some movie snacks, and hopefully a few friends to join me in my movie watching endeavors!

Oh, and yes.... I enjoyed John Carpenter's Halloween... by far the best one!!! The theme still makes my heart beat faster.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Shopping Routes

Have you ever walked around one of your favorite stores and realized that every time you wander the aisles, you have established your own shopping route? I know I have. When noticing this, I found myself mentally tracing my steps in several stores. It's true... I have sub-consciously created a route for all my favorite places. I would like to share an example of my normal route in a store I frequent very often:

-From my house, it only takes me about 5 minutes to get to Target. The store is located in a shopping center with several retail stores and restaurants, including Borders, Lowe's, Best Buy, Old Navy, and Bath and Body Works. It's actually a Super Target, which means there is a retail side and a grocery side. I usually park on the retail side, which is to the East.

-Once I enter the store, I go to the "deals" section straight ahead. You know, the section with hundreds of items that range from $1 to $2.50. I have invested quite a bit of money in this section; I have purchased framed pictures, toys, books, office supplies, socks, stocking stuffers, gift wrap, batteries, and many other things from this part of the store. You never know what you are going to find, and that's part of the excitement!

-Then, I go to the fun section: Movies, Music, and Books. This should not be a surprise to anyone that I make this one of my first destinations, especially since I spend the most time browsing movies. I'll look at the new releases and look for the movies on sale each week. I'll look at the $5 movie section and see if any new films have been moved there. Last week, I made a new discovery... a $2 movie section. Yes, these are basically "D" List movies, but sometimes you can find a decent one. They had a lot of horror movies during my last visit. I'll glance at some of the cds, looking for any recent releases that may be on sale for $8. Then I head over to the books. I'll look for my usual authors and see if they have any new works or if they have a paperback version.

-Time to search for clearance end caps!!! There are four areas in the store that normally has these, and two of them are right by the entertainment/seasonal section of the store. When I'm done scavenging the end caps, I head to the seasonal section. Right now, it's all about Halloween, but a few aisles already have Christmas items ready to sell. Personally, I don't even want to look at or think about Christmas until after my birthday, but in the world of retail... I have no choice but to see it. Oh well, moving on.

-If Truman is shopping with me, this would be the time that we head over to toys, followed by his clothing section.

-Next, I browse the shoe section. I make myself do this since I don't have the love for shoes like most women.

-I walk along the bath and bedding area of Target next, and end up in the furniture section. Usually I just dream of the things I would like to have in my own place. Then I head to the storage/kitchenware/home decor section, where they have several clearance end caps. I like these end caps because I have found gum, shampoo, perfume, over the counter meds, pull ups (when Truman was still using them), and deodorant.

-Ah, clothing! There is something about the clothing selection at Target that appeals to me a lot. Some of that has to do with the clearance clothing (have you noticed a pattern... I love clearance). I have found, and purchased, a lot of dressy and cute tops here. Most of them have cost me less than five dollars. It's one of those things where when you first realize how much you are saving, and you keep coming back for more.

-My sweet tooth usually kicks in about now, so I head to the candy section. If I end up purchasing something here, most likely it will be gum.

-If I need groceries, this is the time where I shop for them. Usually I don't get groceries at Target but I like to shake things up sometimes.

-Last stop before going to the checkout counter or leaving the store: socks, hosiery, purses and belts. I have recently purchased a few purses here.... especially since they cost me less than 10 bucks. And they were cute!!!

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how I shop at Target!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I'm Just a Sweet Transvestite, from Transexual Transylvania....

Yea.... I've been dancing to that since I was in diapers. Seriously, I have.

I was raised by parents who went to see The Rocky Horror Picture Show every Friday and Saturday night, twice a night. They've seen the show with an audience over 200 times... not kidding. Growing up, I always knew when the movie was on television. My Dad or Mom would crank up the volume as loud as they could, and I would run into the room, do the Time Warp, and return to whatever I was doing (part of that had to do with the fact that they wouldn't let me see the entire film until I was old enough to understand what was going on).

Naturally, I've been a fan of the Rocky Horror Picture Show my entire life. With that said, I didn't realize until I was in high school that it was a cult film. I guess that's what happens when raised by Rocky Horror enthusiasts... which isn't a bad thing at all. When I was involved in theater, I found other people my age who were into the film as well, even attending a Halloween party where I was handcuffed to my friend Janis while watching the movie. Oh, fun times indeed!!


I was still a "virgin" until my mid-twenties.

For those with extremely confused looks on their faces (Wait, she can't be a virgin, she has a kid!), a "virgin" in Rocky Horror terms means someone who has not seen the movie with a live audience and a floorshow. When I wanted to go to a live showing as a teen and my early twenties, I didn't have the opportunity because the Kansas City area shows were no longer active. However, that changed a couple years ago... and it was someone I actually know that brought it back.

I had my first real Rocky Horror experience on July 17, 2010.

Being that I was a virgin, I had to be initiated. I will not give out the details... that's supposed to remain a secret ("What Happens at Rocky Horror"... yeah, you get the picture). Then, there is the discussion of the prop bags and when to use each prop during the film. Cool... have to do that sometime. Then the film starts.

Now, this is an audience participation event, as well as a floorshow. Many obsceneties will be shouted out throughout the movie. I already knew a few of them... when you see Brad, you yell "asshole!" When you see Janet, "slut!" Those are some of the universal comments. Each show and each theater is different... you don't always know what you will hear. Personally, I was amazed at how creative some of the "shout outs" were.... references from The Princess Bride, Star Trek, Star Wars, Rainbow Bright, and even recent pop culture news (like Mel Gibson's career and Gary Coleman in a casket).

Now, about the floorshow. There are a group of actors that play the characters from the film. They dress up and use props when needed. I don't know if it's just me, but when going to the show, you pay more attention to the floorshow than you do the movie screen. Everyone in the floorshow dresses up for their roles... and accurately. My favorite costume is the sparkly outfit worn by Columbia... I applaud Rachel (who normally plays her) for finding the right pieces!

I was extremely pleased with my first Rocky Horror experience, so much that I've gone to every show since then! The second time I attended, I brought two "virgins" with me, one of them (my friend Katrina) had not seen the movie either, so it was definately a first time experience for her! My mom also came that time, however, it's been so long since she's gone that she didn't know half the references the audience was saying. I guess that's what happens when a younger generation takes control of the show (hehehe). I have also started dressing up for the shows (80's night in September and I wore fishnets last weekend for the October showing).

I am really excited for next week.... the Halloween showing!! I am ready to see lots of costumes (and yes I will have one on as well) and enjoy what will be my 5th Rocky Horror experience. I still have a long way to go to reach my parent's record... but I can do it! At this rate.... you'll probably see me join the Fishnets and Floorshows cast. And yes, I am seriously considering it!

For those interested in the Kansas City shows:  and

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Attack of the Chick Flicks!!!

Chick flicks.... the movies that women hope become a reality to them at some point. I've seen my fair share of these films, and yes, there are moments where I get all mushy for the passion I see on the screen. The movies hone on the emotional connection and will always have an audience. These are also some of the most predictable films out there, but sometimes you need something basic and easy to follow.

The Holiday:

I love, love, LOVE this movie! There's romance, movie geekness, and parenting. I can totally relate to Graham. He feels he needs to "compartmentalize" his life between socialization/dating and taking care of his two little girls. Just the struggle to eventually mesh the two worlds together can be chaotic, and I thought it was excellent that this was part of the movie. Oh, and the fact that Amanda and Miles both work in the movie industry, and Iris's love for movies.... totally awesome. If I could turn my life into a movie, this one will definately be considered!

Chasing Amy:

You know you truly love someone when you go against everything you thought you knew and break through your own boundaries for that person. Alyssa knew she was gay but fell for Holden anyway. Holden struggled with Alyssa's experimental sexual past but tried to understand, even go as far as trying to broaden his own experiences (even though it failed miserably). This is, by far, my favorite Kevin Smith film. I can completely relate to it and dream of having a guy like Holden someday...

He's Just Not that Into You:

A chick flick that is pretty damn realistic! I know of several guys that really liked this one because of that. There aren't all those predictable cliches that you see in other films. It was also nice to follow all the couples separately and see how they intertwined with one another. And yes, all the advice that Alex gives to Gigi is true. And to think that this movie (and book) would not have been possible if not mentioned by Jack Berger in Sex and the City :-)

Sex and the City-The Movie:

The fabulous four, the fashion, the city.... oh how I was so happy when this came out! I was there at the Midnight showing expecting amazement... and got it! This movie was definately touching the dark side of life.... how to bounce back after 10 years (off and on) with the same guy who couldn't make it to the alter the day of the wedding. It was heartbreaking and yet you applauded Carrie for getting her life back as quickly as she did and realizing things that she had done that contributed to what Big did. This one definatly kept the charm of the series (now the sequel on the other hand.... I'd call that a "hot mess").

My Big Fat Greek Wedding:

I've always had this fascination with Greek culture, so to see this movie about a Greek family was pretty cool. They are wild, loud, love food, and there's always some excuse to get together and celebrate something. If I could sum up this movie, it's that even though you can't pick your family, they will support you with whatever makes you happy in life and in love.

The Prince and Me:

A girl going to college falls in love with a guy that happens to be a Prince. Sounds like a dream come true! What I loved about this movie is that it wasn't some brainless girl that got the guy. It was someone who was agressively trying to get into medical school and had several ambitions for her life. Her independence also was brought up between them because if she chose to follow her heart, she would have to sacrifice her ambitions for a career. It was very realistic compared to other "fairy tale" type of stories. Plus, you have to enjoy the simple joys in life, like tractor racing!

Catch and Release:

You know... it would really suck to have your fiance pass away the weekend you were supposed to marry him. Then to make some major changes, like moving in with his roommates and finding out that he was supporting a child that lived out of state. I liked seeing how each of the characters coped with the death, especially when Sam overdosed on pills and bounced back. Next time I go to Colorado, I need to take more time appreciating the beauty of the state... so mesmerizing.


Blended families are definately part of the normal thing nowadays, and this movie does an excellent job of showing the good and the bad when there is divorce and remarriage. Throw in the many unexpected things that life throws at you, and you have a movie that everybody can relate to and appreciate. Yes, this movie can be a real tearjerker at the end (although I never actually cried), especially with the scene between Isabel and Jackie at the restaurant.

The Notebook:

Nicholas Sparks... nuff said. *And I have mentioned in previous blogs... I would love to have this kind of strong, loving relationship.*

You've Got Mail:

Yes, I have met guys over the world wide web. I have found that it is a good way to connect with people, then when you finally meet them in person, you have an ease or comfort that you wouldn't get compared to a blind date. For both Joe and Kathleen to be opposing forces in the professional world and end up falling in love with each other is cliche, yes, but you have to admit that it melts your heart when she realizes that it was him all along.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Letters To Me

Ok, I was reading my friend Tiffany's blog and loved what she did that I wanted to do the same!

Dear 10 year old Casey:
You have enjoyed going to gymnastics and competing on your Mom and Dad's trampoline team. However, your competing days are coming to an end. When you are attempting to learn how to do a backdrop pullover, you will get the wind knocked out of you. This will scare you to the point where you stop practicing that night. Then you stop practicing all together. When you are in your teens and start working at a gymnastics facility, you will wonder if you made the right decision at the time. You will think you missed out at first, but then realize all the wonderful things you were able to experience since then. So don't worry, just enjoy the time you have now because you have no idea what's in store for you.

Dear 11 year old Casey:
When it's close to your twelfth birthday, you are going to get some life-altering news. Your days living in Grandview will be coming to an end. You are not going to be happy with this decision because everything you love in life (family, friends, social activities) are pretty much in the same town. Don't be upset with your parents. Moving to Lees Summit will be one of the best things that will ever happen to you. You are going to make some really awesome friends, get involved in so many new activities, and discover your ultimate goals and dreams. As for your Grandview friends, you will lose touch with them, but when you are in your mid-twenties, you will be able to reconnect with them through the Internet on a website that allows plenty of social interaction and networking.

Dear 14 year old Casey:
Your love for the Backstreet Boys is in full force now. Hearing their music is going to make you wish you had a boyfriend. Don't worry... that wish will come true this year. His name is Ben and your first date will be the 8th grade spring dance. It will take you guys about six months before you have your first kiss, but you make up for lost time pretty quickly. He will break up with you twice (first time for less than 24 hours, then for good a year later). It takes you a very long time to get over him... for one, you and him never stopped hanging out, and two... he cheated on his next girlfriend with you. When you finally get over him, your relationship turns into a lifelong friendship. You even attend his wedding when you are in your twenties. So when you feel heartbroken at 16, just know that everything turns out fine in the end.

Dear 17 year old Casey:
You are going to make some weird and stupid decisions between junior and senior year. You have a blast spending time with your friends, especially Katrina. You and her will have so much fun that summer. Your curiosity about sex will reach new heights and before you know it, you are set up with a guy and you lose your virginity. You will get mixed feelings about what you did. You will be happy that you had sex but you will also feel guilty that this was a no-strings attached approach to getting what you wanted. Don't sweat it... you've got a bright future ahead and will be busy finishing high school and starting college before you know it!

Dear 19 year old Casey:
Wow... the wild, fun side of you explodes! You are spending a lot of time with your friends, dancing at bars/clubs, and meeting a lot of new guys through the Internet (two of those guys will still be friends with you years later). You also are feeling rebellious against your parents and are seeking out to be more independent, away from them. You will meet a guy named Brian who will get you away from your family. He will be very sweet, take you to really nice restaurants, and will want to spend every free moment with you (in a borderline obsessive way). I wish I could say that this "honeymoon" type of relationship with Brian lasts... but you have no idea what's in store for you in the next 4 1/2 years.

Dear 20 year old Casey:
You've found out some really deep skeletons in Brian's closet, but being who you are, you will be willing to overlook those things since he has convinced you he is a changed person. You will also have financial struggles, which leads to a decision where you stop using birth control... and immediately become pregnant. You are elated to find out that you will become a mom. You and Brian both want to have a boy, and get your wish. When picking out Truman's name, neither of you can decide between which Grandfather's middle name to use, so you compromise and do both. You will give birth via c-section a couple weeks before your 21st birthday. It will take you a while (and random fits of vomiting) to get used to changing his poopy diapers, but you instantly fall in love with taking care of your little boy.

Dear 23 year old Casey:
Remember that warning I gave you in that letter when you were 19??? Yea... the one that you didn't want to believe until after you went through so much bullshit? Now don't you wish you had listened (not only to me but to your family and close friends)??? Don't worry about it too much. Right after Truman's 3rd birthday you seize the opportunity to leave Brian. You were just going to stay at your parents for a couple days so you both could cool off, but then a phone conversation with Brian completely changes that. This is one of the best decisions you will ever make in your life. It's going to be emotionally hard for you for the first couple months, but once 2008 rolls around, the dark and depressed you that emerged when with Brian will disappear and be replaced with an even happier, more optimistic personality.

Dear 26 year old Casey:
It's been close to three years since you left Brian, and look at how much you've done since then. You have done an amazing job raising Truman on your own (with help from your parents and sister). You have reconnected with so many people that you thought you had lost, also turning a lot of acquaintances into new found friendships. You have done a lot of self discovery and soul searching and can say that you definitely know who you are and what you truly want in life and in love. You have broken out of your own comfort zone and experienced a lot of new things. You finally started writing again... and actually surprised yourself by opening a Pandora's Box of creativity. You are at an awesome place in life right now, where you have no idea what is in store for the future, but you have endless possibilities and a HUGE smile on your face!!!

Friday, October 15, 2010

From Pages In A Book to Pictures on the Screen

I admit it, I am a bookworm. I have been since I learned how to read. Ok, maybe not so much in junior high and high school, but once I hit college I got back into it... tenfold. I just love getting so wrapped up in a book that before I know it, hours have flown by. So when some of my favorite books are adapted into film, I'm ready to see how well they portrayed the story. I have the preconceived notion that books are ALWAYS going to be better than their movie counterparts... and I'm pretty much right. But, there is the occasional instance where I am pleased with how accurate a movie portrays the book. I would like to share with you some of the best (and the worst) book to movie adaptations I have seen.

*I warn you... there will be SPOILER ALERTS, especially with the ones I thought were the worst adaptations.

Let's start with the worst ones, shall we???

#1- Angels and Demons by Dan Brown- I have never been so disappointed in a movie... EVER. The book read like a movie plot so I figured Ron Howard wouldn't have a problem adapting it to film. Um, yea... he did. He omitted SO MUCH out of the book. The biggest part of the book... the arguments of science vs. religion was barely touched. Then, the character Maximillion Kohler wasn't even in the movie at all... he was a supporting character but played a key role in the film. I really wanted to see him in the film (and wanted to know who would have played him). One of my favorite parts of the book was also not covered in the movie: the realization that the carmelengo was the son of the Pope (yes Pope's cannot have sex or reproduce, but by the power of science, aka sperm donation, it was possible). For those who haven't watched the movie.... SKIP IT. Read the book.

#2- The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot- Disney has a huge reputation for "sugar coating" films. As a parent, I do understand why they do this but when they base a film on a book series, I want to see accuracy. Ok, for one... the books have Mia and her mom living in SoHo, not San Francisco. Mia's father isn't dead... he had testicular cancer and can no longer produce heirs to the throne (which is why Mia found out she's royalty). Oh, and the best part of the books??? Mia and her friends are obsessed with The Rocky Horror Picture Show!!! There are several parts in the series where they bring it up... and go to the Midnight showings. Even though I was raised a Disney Brat... seeing the "sugar coated" adaptations make me sorely disappointed in the company. You gotta admit... it would be amusing to see the "Time Warp" in a Disney film... hehehe.

#3- My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult- Ok, this one could have avoided being on the worst list if they didn't change the ending. I was fine with them omitting one of the characters... Julia, the guardian ad litem. I was also ok with the fact that they didn't cover much of Jesse's delinquent acts to get attention. But, to completely change the ending was just wrong. The movie ended where Kate died. In the book, Anna is granted medical emancipation and is on her way to the hospital to tell her sister. But Anna and her lawyer Campbell are involved in a car accident, leaving Anna brain dead. Her parents decide that Anna would have donated her kidneys to her sister Kate. So Kate receives both kidneys, and the book goes foward 10 years where Kate is still alive and has been in remission since the donation. I heard a lot of people didn't want to see the movie at all because they knew the ending was changed... and I don't blame them at all.

Ok, now to the "Meh" List!!!

#1 The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown- Compared to Angels and Demons, Ron Howard did a lot better turning this book into film. It flowed very well, you were able to follow the movie with ease (just like you could in the book), and there was no major omission of characters. I understand why some scenes were lightly touched, especially the ones with the ritualistic sex. Even though the readers were fine with it, many probably would have felt uncomfortable with visuals. They would have lost some of their audience. Oh well... I wouldn't have minded.

#2 The Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling- My favorite books!!! They are not in the best list for one major reason: a lot of fat had to be trimmed to get them adapted to film. Each movie averages about 2 1/2 hours. Some kids (even some adults) can't stand to sit through lengthy films. If all of these movies were dead on accurate to the books, we would have seen them converted into a miniseries. I still wish that Peeves the Poltergeist would have made the movies... you just gotta have someone constantly wrecking havoc on the students for their own personal amusement!!!

Finally... the ones that pleased me in their adaptations... in reverse order :-)

#4 Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice- This book was a very heavy read for me. It took me a while to read it and I caught myself nodding off a lot in the process. Once I finished the book, I realized that the movie was very accurate.  Anne Rice definitely has a talent with description, sometimes in a long-winded kind of way. But that's ok in the literary world, since you want the reader to get a detailed picture. This is one of the few times where if you don't necessarily want to read it, I would say that you were fine just watching the movie. But I would recommend reading the other books in the Vampire Chronicles. I have only read one other book, and that is The Vampire Lestat. Much more interesting than Interview and a lot more fun!

#3 The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks- This was just really easy to adapt, I mean, it's a love story! The book focuses primarily on the reunion of Noah and Allie, but in true form of movies, they have to expand the other parts to get a complete, beautiful story for their audience. Any woman out there will tell you that this is one of the best chick flicks out there, and a heartwarming book. I would have to agree. This book/movie also hits me on a personal level, since when I look at the relationship between Noah and Allie, all I see are my Grandma and Grandpa Savory. When you can get a story to relate to you or to people close to you, it just makes it more beautiful.

#2 Twilight, New Moon by Stephanie Meyer- *Sigh* Yes, I just went there... the Twilight Saga. And I admit they did a damn good job in adapting the books. I know a lot of it had to do with the hardcore fan base. They were not going to settle for any derivatives and fought hard for it (believe me I read the random articles saying so). I wish that the Harry Potter fans were more hardcore like the "Twihards," so the Harry Potter movies would be on the Best List. For the record, I'm still not the typical female who is obsessed with these books/movies. My curiosity of the saga was fulfilled when I read the books... that's it. My heart is still with True Blood and Interview with the Vampire (REAL vampires).

#1 Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events- I watched the movie before I read all 13 books. With that said, the personality of the movie was DEAD ON to the books. Realizing this made me feel like I was a kid again, just the awe and the excitement of a really great story and seeing that your imagination is in sync with what you see on the screen. What I am sad about is that they only made one movie (based on the first three books). I wanted more! At least I have all the books sitting on my shelf... and my very creative imagination.

Wow... this blog was a lot longer than I had anticipated. I was going to add videos and pictures, but I think my extensive amount of words is plenty :-)

I may do another one of these blogs.... there are a few books sitting on my shelf that have been made into movies. I just have to watch the movies so I can compare/contrast them!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Epic Failures and Embarrassing Moments, Part II

Since my last blog on this subject was entertaining, here are some more stories of the moments in my life that made my cheeks redden.

-I went to prom junior year with my friend Kress. We had a blast that night. The after party was at the Eastglen 16 theaters in LS. Kress, his friend Brent, and I decided against watching a movie (yes, big shock... I passed on watching a movie). Why? Karaoke. Kress and Brent did a bunch of rock songs (Korn, Limp Bizkit, and others). Then they decided it was my turn and they already told the karaoke dj what song I would be performing. Great. I have no idea what I'm about to sing. It turns out that it's Britney Spears "Oops... I Did It Again." Of course they would pick one of her songs for me. I think I did a decent job, and I recall laughing a couple times.
So about a week goes by and I find out that the karaoke company posted pics on the website of the after party. I decided to browse the site and... found myself mid-performance. This is the moment when I remember the company was taking pics of everyone that participated. I decided not to share this site with anybody, which back then was easy to do since this was before the days of Facebook and MySpace. But maybe I need to look up this company... they could be using my pic. Yikes!

-I hated gym in elementary school. It was just not so fun for me... especially since our coach made us run when we were not listening. But, I had a rather clumsy incident in the 3rd grade. We were dribbling a basketball across the gym and back, first with our right hand, then with the left hand. Although I am a lefty when I write, I'm a righty when it comes to playing sports. I lose control of the basketball when dribbling with my left hand and start to chase after the ball. I end up slamming into the concrete wall face first. My glasses get bent at the bridge. I think I was sent to the nurse's office since I had a little cut by my right eye and it was bleeding a little. No stitches... it wasn't that bad. I think I just bruised my ego more than anything that day.

-In the 7th grade, I was sitting in English class when I notice that a few of my classmates are talking about drinking beer. I try to act cool and involve myself in the conversation. I remember my classmate Jothan asking me how much I've had to drink and I think I told him like one or two beers, but that I wasn't an alcoholic or anything. For the rest of that semester, he would tease me about being an alcoholic... and every time I had wished I kept my mouth shut.

-Ah, freshman hazing. I was a victim of this rite of passage. I was in English class when a senior (Matt Brown, I believe) was delivering things to my teacher. He decided to pick a few of us freshmen to stand in front of the class. We had to sing and perform "I'm a Little Teapot." It was kind of fun but the entire time I was thinking "I hope he doesn't have a camera so this shows up in the yearbook or newspaper."

-Growing up, my Mom bought clothes for me that I didn't alway like. Back in the 5th grade, she found this polo shirt that was white with maroon, green, and orange leaves all over. It ended up being the shirt I wore on class picture day. Well... weeks after school pics, I'm wearing the shirt again. To my horror, a BOY in my class was wearing the same exact polo. This, to me, is way worse than showing up at some party where two females are wearing the same dress. I think this was the moment that I decided I needed to take an active role in what clothes I wore.

-In 2006, Brian (ex-husband) and I owned two cars; one of them was a Chevy Cavalier with a manual transmission. I wasn't a master at driving a car with a stick shift, but there was one particular day where I decided to take the Cavalier to work. The drive to work normally takes less than 15 minutes, and I left early in case I was going to have trouble on the way (mainly because it had been a couple years since the last time I had driven a stick... which was when I was first learning to drive such a vehicle). Yes, I killed it basically every time I had to stop. That I expected. What I didn't expect was for a few of my coworkers witnessing me killing it at least 3 times from entering the Home Depot parking lot to my final stop in a parking space. Yea, that day at work was fun since my coworkers seemed to enjoy my parking lot adventure.

-In English class freshman year, we read Romeo and Juliet. I was always one of the first to volunteer to read a part and ended up reading as the Nurse the entire time. So one day, my teacher, a few classmates and I were discussing dressing up for our roles for fun. My teacher, Mrs. Hall, looked at me and said I was perfect for the role of the Nurse since I had the bosom for it. Wow... my teacher is discussing my big boobs nonchalantly. After the initial shock of hearing this at school, I thought about it and would seriously audition for that role if given the opportunity!

Monday, October 11, 2010

My "Must Watch" Halloween Movies and Specials

Last night, I really got into the Halloween mood. It was clouding up outside, the temps were dropping, and I popped in a horror movie. Today, I was going to go outside and decorate the front of the house with Halloween stuff, but it's been raining all morning (and part of the afternoon). So instead, I decided to come up with several of the movies and specials that I try to watch each year to keep myself in the Halloween mood for the rest of the month. Maybe I can get a few others to get bitten by the "Halloween spirit," hehe.

Michael Jackson's Thriller

You can't have a proper Halloween without Thriller. Seriously. Words cannot even come close to the love and bond I have with this song and video. I listen to it all year round just for it's pure awesomeness. Oh, and you have to love Vincent Price's rap. Bravo for MJ for getting him involved in this song... it wouldn't be the same without him.

Garfield Halloween

As a kid, this was the scariest Halloween program ever. Even today, I still get a little bit of a chill when watching it. You can't get programs like this nowadays (believe me, I know... I am a parent after all). This is why I feel blessed to be a child of the 80's.

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Wow... a movie you can watch at Halloween and at Christmas (not to mention one of the few Tim Burton films WITHOUT Johnny Depp). I just love the beauty of this film; it mesmerizes me every time I see it. I do catch myself humming or singing the songs from time to time (and recently fell in love with the Fall Out Boy version of "What's This"). I also had the opportunity to meet Ken Page (the man who voiced the Oogie Boogie Man) when going to college in St. Louis. He was an alumnus of Fontbonne and came back to direct Godspell that fall. Very cool guy.


Ok, I know. Another Tim Burton film. But come on! It's an awesome one... one that I catch myself watching every time it's on television. I can't look at minature models of towns without referring to this film, lol. I honestly wish Tim Burton would go back to the late 80's/ early 90's and realize that his films had a lot more quality back then, and then get back there (except that Big Fish and Sweeney Todd were excellent recent films of his). Oh, sorry I got the Banana Boat song stuck in your head...

Roseanne: Halloween Edition

A couple birthdays ago, my Mom gave me a Roseanne DVD with all of the Halloween episodes. I love it! This is what you call a creative family! Watching these always inspire me to go all out when decorating for Halloween. Whenever I become a homeowner, I will have my dining room and living room completely decked out for the entire month of October. I also try to "think outside the box" with costumes like they do. I can never get a good enough idea, but one of these days I will.


I still remember sitting in the movie theater watching this for the first time. I wanted to live in a house like that (and would probably jump at the opportunity even today). I was a preteen then, and Devon Sawa was one of my first celebrity crushes. The dancing scene still makes me smile. You also have to appreciate the Ghostbuster's cameo in the beginning :-)

It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

Ah, the Peanuts gang. You cant have a holiday without them having a special. This one isn't my favorite Peanut's special but still enjoyable for the season. Poor Charlie Brown, he got a lot of rocks in his bag. And seriously... who has rock lying around for kids??? Strange people....

Everybody (Backstreet's Back)

This one should not be a suprise to anyone that's known me since I was in junior high. The Backstreet Boys were my boys back then... and seeing this for the first time was one of the most exciting things for me as a teen. I can still do (almost) all the dance moves in the video, hehe. *As I am typing this, I am putting my copy of the CD single in my DVD player to blast loudly*

I know there are some of you reading this wondering "Where are all the slasher flicks and horror movies? There are none on here!" That list I am saving for another rainy day....

Monday, October 4, 2010


I have this guilty pleasure that originates back to 2004, and it's all Gwen Stefani's fault!!!

Not only was the song awesome, but the music video left me wanting more. This is where the Harajuku Girls came into play. Gwen had recruited four Asian women to be part of her solo image, aka the Harajuku Girls. Each girl had a nickname: Love, Angel, Music, and Baby. Their image was what I considered to be modern, fun Japanese fashion. Turns out that my thoughts on that was pretty damn accurate.

In Tokyo, Harajuku is referred to an area around Harajuku Station where young people gather to socialize and dress in many different styles, including gothic lolita, cosploy, punk, hip hop, among others. It is also widely known as the fashion capital of the world and many fashion designers started their careers in that area. As for fellow Americans like myself, the term "Harajuku Girls" was created to refer to teens that dressed in the fashions in Harajuku.

Going back to Gwen's Harajuku Girls. They were such a hit that they developed their own following, shortly picked up by the retail world. Gwen had her own fashion line established, but added the "Harajuku Lovers" line. It included clothing, dolls, cameras, cell phone charms, and fragrances.

When I saw this ad for the first time in 2008, I was jumping up and down with excitement! I *** HAD *** to have the collection! So naturally, I ask for it for my birthday/Christmastime. I did not recieve them, but that's ok. When working at Cargo Largo, I came across some of them and ended up purchasing one of the scents for less than ten bucks. Shortly after, a Harajuku Lovers watch. I now own 3 of the 5 scents, thanks to Target picking up the line and then clearancing out a couple of them (I thrive on finding stuff on clearance... hey, if I can save money then that's an added bonus).

This summer, as I was taking my son school supply shopping at Target, I come across an amazing find:

Harajuku Lovers school supplies??? NO WAY!!!! Of course, this was before I was hired at my current job so I could not splurge :-(


Several hours ago, while just walking around at the Target on State Line, I found some of the supplies on a clearance endcap. Yes, I bought them. Did I need them? No, but I wanted them. Besides, I spent less than $3 so I don't feel that was worthy of feeling guilty about my impulse purchase.

I am just in love with the whole Harajuku phenomenon (for the lack of a better word). One of these days, I will actually dress this way, to make myself look good and (yes I admit it) to make some of my close guy friends drool, hehe. I also would like to go to Tokyo someday and venture around the Harajuku area.

I heart Harajuku!!!