Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Why I Hate Politics

Let me preface by saying that when I say politics, I don’t mean actual politics. I love the way our country is set up, how one person or group of persons cannot have all power, how there are checks and balances, and most of all, how the people of the country get to decide who they want to be their leader. I love it. I love that our country was founded by good men for these reasons. I love the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence and everything that they have brought us. I am a patriot through and through. If you ever doubt that, you’ve never seen me during the Olympics or on the 4th of July. Do I believe that as an American I am better than anyone else? Of course not. But I do very strongly believe that we have the most fantastic country on the planet. But I’m biased.
What I hate is the politics of politics. I hate the way political things have changed. Unlike a lot of people, I despise election years. I appreciate my opportunity to vote, knowing that it is my civic duty but also knowing it is a grand invitation to share my opinions on specific issues. My vote counts. My opinion counts. I get to have a say in the direction our country goes. But that is where the rose-colored glasses come off and I wish I could ignore the rest of it. I hate that political ads are always negative.  They always and without fail point fingers at what has been done wrong by the other guy. They are twisted and skewed to make the other guy sound like the vilest of people. They do not tell me anything about the man or woman they are being produced for, other than how he or she is different from this terrible, awful other guy.
And then there are the debates. Oh, how I despise the debates! Maybe it’s just me, but I happen to believe that somewhere in the world, it is possible for people of differing opinions to sit down with each other and discuss current and relevant issues with respect for those differing opinions and without someone having to be right or wrong. Whatever happened to agreeing to disagree? No one is going to see perfectly eye-to-eye with every single person they want to; does that mean they have to be enemies? No! So why do these debates turn so hateful and mean and rude and downright pointless? Does it actually tell us anything about the candidates? No. All it tells us is that they cannot get along. There is no respect. There is no politeness. There is very little class. That does not mean the candidates themselves are that way. But what we see are two grown men arguing for the sake of arguing before a divided people who are violently supporting their candidate and are willing to beat down any that don’t feel the same way.
Politics, in this sense, cause a huge divide the country, and, in my opinion, makes us look weak. If we can’t respect each other, it doesn’t matter who is in office. Someone will always hate them. Someone will always think they are the worst person for the job, if not on the planet. It doesn’t matter. There is so much hate involved in an election year, and it drives me crazy. People are so cruel. People get so caught up in the hate that they say things that do not represent how other people feel, even if they are for the same candidate. Everybody assumes that when one person says something awful about the other party or the other candidate, they are endorsed by the opposing one, or that is how the entire contingent of supporters feel. Why can’t we believe the best of people? Why can’t we acknowledge our differences of opinion and get on with life?
You don’t know these people. You know what we see on TV, and since the media NEVER skews reality, that must be the whole picture, right? Regardless of what you see on the news or hear through the oh-so-reliable grapevine, you don’t know them. You don’t know if the man is a liar or if he has been honest his entire life. You don’t know if he loves his kids as much as he seems to or if he brushes them off when the cameras are gone. You don’t know what he has felt in his life or how hard some of his decisions have been. You don’t know how hard their wives have had life by their side, fighting to raise a good family in this world that is headed straight for the sewers. You don’t know how their kids feel about having their fathers’ names slammed about like swear words, knowing that when they go out, someone will have something awful to say about him. You don’t know these men. Stop pretending that what you see or hear is actually what you get.
So how do we know who to vote for? If we ever get around to the issues ever again, figure out what you yourself believe. What you yourself want to have changed. And then you vote for the candidate who most closely follows what you believe. Religion doesn’t matter. Race doesn’t matter. Age doesn’t matter. Finances don’t matter. Shoe brand doesn’t matter. March Madness picks do not matter. Fast food preference does not matter. What matters are the issues. It’s unfortunate and very sad that the idea of what is best for America seems to have fallen by the wayside of “What is best for Republicans” or “What is best for Democrats”. We are all Americans. What is best for America?
So yes, I hate politics. Just like I hate contention. I hate rudeness. I hate disrespect. I hate ignorance. I hate a lot of things. But I love a lot of things, too. I love America. I love freedom. I love being able to choose. I love knowing that I have freedom of religion and speech and can bear arms if I want to and can be assured of a fair trial if I need one and that there is still the idea of the American Dream out there in the world.
When it comes time to vote, I will vote according to my own conscience. I hope everyone will do the same. Not because someone looks better on TV or because someone has the right amount of money or because someone has a stylish wife or because he likes Clemson or because his tie is pretty, his children well-groomed, his teeth straight, his car American-made, his background in education, finance, art history, or food services. Vote for the candidate whose opinions are close to yours and whose plan you are most comfortable with. And allow the people who are choosing differently than you the respect that you wish they would give you. If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. I learned that from Bambi as a kid. Thought other people did too. Guess not when it comes to politics.

Friday, August 10, 2012

48 Answers

Stole this from Celeste and put in my own answers. Feel free to do the same!

1. What’s the verb you want to spend your life with?

2. If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
Hmmm…. To know exactly what to say and when. That would come in handy.

3. What would you do with a million dollars?
Start a children’s center that had a park and a library and a little stage for plays and fields for sports. And I’d buy myself a baby grand piano.

4. If your life had a soundtrack, what are some of the songs that would be on it?
You’re The Inspiration by Chicago
Hello Again by Neil Diamond
We’ve Got Tonight by Bob Seger
Remember When It Rained by Josh Groban
A collection of songs from musicals
Anything by Il Divo or Andrea Boccelli or Alfie Boe or Jenny Oaks Baker

5. If you could vacation anywhere in the world for one month, where would you go?

6. Five of your favorite things?
Chocolate chip cookies, babies, hot chocolate, giggles, blankets

7. If you could have picked your own name, what would it be?
Hmmm… I have no idea. I really like my name

8. What is the funniest joke you know?
I don’t know it, but the one that Elder Scott told in our kitchen. I almost died laughing.

9. What would you do today if you knew you were going to die tomorrow?
Fly home and spend the entire day with my family. And play the piano.

10. What fictitious character is most like you?
Probably Belle from Beauty and the Beast. Loves to read, wants more from life, unabashedly enters a creepy castle….

11. What thought would you like to put in a million fortune cookies?
More adventures await you than you know.

12. If your life had a remote control, which button would you press most often?

13. What do you (secretly) wish you knew how to do better?
Sing spontaneously in public. Or do anything in public spontaneously for that matter.

14. If you could take in any 3 animals as pets, what would they be?
A dog, a dolphin, and an elephant

15. What is your biggest “claim to fame?”
My parents and my sister.

16. If you could win a shopping spree to any store, which would you choose? I would blow it all there.

17. What do you want to be when you grow up?
A writer and a mom.

18. Do you (or have you ever) collected anything?
I used to collect keychains. Now I collect foreign currency.

19. If you were a punctuation mark, which would you be and why?
An exclamation point. Life needs more excitement and enthusiasm.

20. What are some of your biggest fears?
Being alone. And massive thunderstorms. The combination of the two is the worst.

21. Which TV family would you most like to belong to?
Probably the Cosby show. I think I would have amazing abs from laughing so much.

22. What would you like your famous last words to be?
That was a great game.

23. What is the most common compliment people give you?
“You are so much like your mom!”

24. If you could swim in a pool of any food or drink item, what would you choose?
Chocolate milk. Yummmm.

25. Finish this sentence: “Love is…”
A process with glorious potential.

26. Do you have any scars? How did you get them?
I have a small scar on my left thumb from when I sliced it with a xacto knife in art class in elementary school.

27. What was the best day you’ve ever had?
Honestly, I have no idea. I think it might be coming up next week when my entire family will be in the temple together.

28. If you hosted a dinner party for 5 guests (anyone goes), who would you invite?
My grandmother, my grandfather, Andrew, Timmy, and Brigham Young.

29. Would you rather live under the ocean or on the moon?
On the moon. Too many bizarre creatures in the ocean.

30. If you had three wishes, what would they be?
To be able to cook anything I wanted, to fall in love forever, and to never gain weight. =)

31. What one work of fiction do you wish was true?
Austenland. I would love to go there.

32. Which friend (besides family) have you had the longest?
A toss up between the Rahlfs and the Guffeys. I think it’s a tie.

33. Who in your family are you closest to?
My mom.

34. If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would you pick?
My mom’s rolls. Yummmmm.

35. Where do you see yourself 20 years from now?
Hopefully married with some crazy teenagers running around.

36. If they made a movie of your life, what genre would it be? Who would play you?
It would be a comedy. A musical comedy. And I would be played by someone who can sing badly on cue and really well in her head.

37. Who is/was your favorite pet?
Sammie is my favorite pet. She is the best dog ever!

38. What is a favorite family tradition of yours?
CHRISTMAS EVE. It’s the best night ever.

39. What is one thing you learned today?
That I need to be proactive and do things instead of waiting for others to tell me what to do. That and I get bored really easily. But I didn’t learn that today.

40. What do you think is the greatest invention of all time?
The microwave. Where would I be without the microwave? But then, I guess I have to change it to the refrigerator. Where would ANY of my food be without that?

41. Would you rather be blind or deaf?
I think deaf. It hurts my heart to say it, since I love music so much, but I would HAVE to be able to see the beautiful things in the world that God has given us.

42. What is your biggest pet peeve?
Slow drivers!!!!

43. If you were President for a week, what 3 laws would you create?
Every day had a designated “nap time” that you could actually use for sleeping, or for some other quiet non-work related activity. Introduce a Bambi-esque rule for politics: “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” Improve the benefits for military vets and families.

44. What is your favorite room in the house?
My bedroom. Honestly.
45. If you were in a yearbook now, you would be voted “Most Likely To ______"
Go Crazy Before 35.
46. What sport do you enjoy playing/watching the most?
I enjoy watching swimming and volleyball and football the most.

47. What item would you put in a time capsule for someone to find 100 years from now?
A newspaper. Think of what crazy stuff they would see!

48. What about your life (to date) are you most proud of?
I haven’t lost it yet!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Thoughts on a Friend

Last night I had a dream about a friend of mine. At least, he used to be a friend. We haven't spoken in years, so I'm not sure what we are now. Not because we fought or because we changed or because anyone did anything wrong, it just...stopped. I moved away and we stopped talking. I tend to do that. Pick up and move and forget to hang on to what I had. It's not a very good thing to do. But severing ties is easy. It shouldn't be. But it is.
Anyway, this particular friend has been on my mind on and off for years, because he is one of the few people that I am no longer close to that I really and truly regret the distance. And we weren't even that close! But I always have felt that there was something more I could have done for him, something more that I could have BEEN for him that would change the way things are now. I have prayed for this friend night after night on and off for years and years, but I've never reached out again, mostly because I have no idea how he would respond. He doesn't need to know that I feel guilty about being absent, because I don't even know that I was missed. It's a conversation that probably doesn't need to happen, because life has changed both of us, and the woman I am is not the girl I was. But why do I still feel that tug in my heart, that "would have, should have, could have" feeling that won't leave me alone, the "what if" scenario that toys with my mind, bringing up imaginations of a friendship rekindled, or, in the best versions, was never lost.
Would it have made a difference to him if I'd stayed in touch?
If I had been there for him, even if he didn't need it, acknowledge it, or want it, would it have mattered?
I hate that I've abandoned people. I don't know if I really have, but it feels that way sometimes. It's like a reverse version of "It's A Wonderful Life", where my reality is the dark part and every now and then I catch glimpses of what could have been if I'd only been there or been involved or told him this or been more like that.
And he's not the only one that makes me feel this way. There are a few others. Every so often they come into mind, and I think, "I could have done more for him/her." I pray for all of them, individually. Not every night. But when they come into mind, I pray for them.
Because it's all I can do now.
So if any of you that are reading this feel let down by me in any way, shape, or form, I am so sorry. I have never intended to abandon anyone. I never wanted to hurt anyone, or let any friendship slowly shrivel and die away. It was just so easy. But know that I love you. Each of you. And if you want me to reach out, I will. I want to reach out and heal hurts that I've caused. Or hurts that just need some soothing, and maybe I can help. It's what the Savior would do and I want nothing more than to do what He would do.
I've lost a lot of friends. They're still my friends, I guess, if you count Facebook friends as actually being your friends, but it's in name only. Not real friends. Not anymore.

But last night, in my dream, that was all fixed with my friend.
And it was amazing.
Then I woke up. And I missed him.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

My Apology

Okay, so I felt bad today about my rude comments about Anne Hathaway, honest as they were. I thought, "Now what if she stumbled across your blog and read what you said about her? How would that make her feel?" I know, I know, it's silly, but I blame my mother. She always tries to see the best in people, especially when they are doing something that annoys me. Example: When someone is being a really stupid and inconsiderate driver, my mom will inevitably say "Maybe he's on his way to the hospital because his wife is having a baby". If it's a woman, "Maybe she's having a baby." It's always about a baby....
Anyway, not that Anne Hathaway will read my blog, but just to make me feel better, here I go.
I am sorry for being so rude about her performance in The Dark Knight Rises. My opinion on casting is not important, and I am sure that she did the best that she could. I said it could have been worse, and I still feel that way. she looked like she had fun with the performance, and since acting is her job, I think she should have fun with her roles.
I do not know Anne Hathaway personally, and so it is probably harsh of me to say that I do not like her. I'm sure she is a lovely person with a good heart and a strong devotion to the art of acting. I thought she was fun in The Princess Diaries, which was her breakout role, and I really enjoyed her in The Other Side of Heaven. Actually, I just saw One Day on TV the other day, and she was really good in that, too. And I do love Becoming I guess I don't hate Anne Hathaway. I'm excited to see her in Les Miserables because I heard a snippet of her singing on the preview, and she sounds good! Should be fun!
So, Miss Hathaway, if you ever read this, I'm sorry for my rudeness. I don't really dislike you. I hope you forgive me.
There. I feel better now. =)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Movie Review: The Dark Knight Rises

WARNING: The following review is the opinion of the author and no one else. There are tragic circumstances surrounding this film's release, and I will not be discussing them at this time. This is purely a movie review and should be taken as such.
I have been looking forward to this movie for a loooooooong time. I have loved this Batman series, and I just knew this one was going to be fantastic, if for no other reason than because it was one of the very few series that had a god 2nd movie. It's a fact of cinema that the sequels are always a letdown. This was an exception.
But this isn't the 2nd film, it's the 3rd. So.
It was fantastic.
The music was brilliant and evocative, and that is Hans Zimmer for you, so it was to be expected. The cinematography was excellent, which was also to be expected, given the other movies. The movie was a liiiiiitle long, but I never really mind that.
Christopher Nolan has done an AMAZING job with this franchise! New aspects to a hero whose stories had already been told! The man is a genius, and I am convinced that he will be making many more amazing films in the years ahead.
Dialogue was good, banter was fun, and the special effects were AWESOME. Did we have any doubts, really?
Now to the meat and potatoes:
Christian Bale. What. A. Hunk. Seriously, I could watch him all day. He could read the dictionary out loud and I would say, "Do it again." Sorry, but it's true. He was absolutely brilliant. He delivered a stunning performance, with a depth to the character that I hadn't expected at all. Dimensions previously untapped for our favorite caped crusader are what you will get from this movie. I've long been a CB fan, but this movie might have made me devoted to him for life.
Michael Caine. Oh, I adore Michael Caine. The man is fabulous, and not just because he's British [although that helps]. Alfred has always been on my awesome list, even when I watched the Batman cartoons. But MC puts such tenderness and wit into his performance of Alfred that it just makes your heart go "awwwwwww". I wish there had been more of Alfred in the film, but I guess it makes me value those moments even more.
Tom Hardy. Ohmygosh, he scared the bejeezes out of me. I wish I could have understood his dialogue a little better, but that kind of made him all the creepier. I was thinking "what did he just say?" and then he would do something that made me jump or made my jaw drop. One of the greatest bad guys ever. And THEN he has the GALL to make me feel sorry for him by the end! The nerve of some people.
Gary Oldman. Brilliant. Was there any doubt? The man is a genius and I love him. The end.
Morgan Freeman. Phenomenal. Of course. He's Morgan Freeman. He could read in any language on earth and it would be amazing. I love him.
Joseph Gordon-Leavitt. I still see him as the crying kid in Angels in the Outfield. Haven't taken him seriously since. Boy, did he prove me wrong. He was AMAZING. It was an awesome character and he totally delivered. Put him on your watch list.
Marion Cotillard. I have been fascinated with her for a few years, ever since she won the Academy Award. She was fantastic in this movie, but I had trouble buying the supposed romance between her and CB. It went from zero to WHOA in like 4 seconds, and the build-up was just not there. Maybe there are deleted scenes that will help me with that, but oh well. I can't fault her for the performance, because by the end, I was gaping in awe. literally open-mouthed. No spoilers here, so go see it and you will understand.
Lastly, and leastly [is that even a word?] Anne Hathaway. I do not like her. I do not like her as Catwoman. I could write an entire blog on my dislike of her [blog, not blog post. as in multiple entries] but I won't. I will say that she did better than I expected. I almost liked her. I honestly think that almost anybody else could have done a better job [almost....I think Kristen Stewart would have been worse]. But nobody asked me, and she wasn't trying to be sexy, so it was okay. Definitely had better chemistry with CB than MC, but that's cuz she was being fun and flirty. Whatever.
The story was awesome, but a little slow to get started. Once it gets started, however, you have to shake yourself and go "wait, what did I miss?!?". Nice little trick there. And the ending.....WOW. It took me completely by surprise, which is a little hard to do with me, I think, and I loved it. When the movie ended, I said out loud, "That was freaking amazing." It's always good to end a movie with that.
Now for my parental warning: THIS IS NOT A MOVIE FOR CHILDREN. I would think that the PG-13 would tell people that, but there were children in the movie theater when I saw it, and I just shook my head. It was an intense movie, and it isn't for kids.
Non-children, go see it. Go see it now. Amazing. I will see it again, and soon!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

All New

I'm sitting here in my apartment bedroom at my little, but already crowded, desk, my knee is shaking up and down restlessly, a movie is playing, and my eyes are wandering to my clock every few seconds, wondering if it's time for bed yet. Am I tired? No. But I want it to be tomorrow. Badly. Because I hate waiting. And tomorrow, the waiting is over.
I got here on Thursday, and had a bit of an adventure with my apartment. It's all better now, and I don't want to drag it into cyber-space, but suffice it to say, it was not QUITE ready for me yet. That was fine, I had an entire weekend to get settled. So Friday the parents and I came over and started the process of moving me in. Oh my goodness, was it a lot of work. It took all day Friday and half of the day Saturday just to get boxes and suitcases empty. And that wasn't even the organizing process. My parents left Saturday early afternoon, and I worked really hard to be busy the rest of the day, and it worked. Until about 7 pm. I had done everything I could think of, and I was alone in my apartment. My roomies don't come for a few weeks, but there is still one girl here. But last night, I was alone, and it was not good. I started to freak to myself about being in a new place completely on my own without friends or family to help me or take care of me. Twenty-six years old and I was more scared than I had been when I went off to BYU at 18. I had no idea what I was getting into with my assistantship, not to mention the whole grad school thing. And then there was the prospect of church on Sunday. I was desperate to have friends there, so that it wouldn't feel so lonely here. I knew that once things got under way with work and school I would meet people and there would be real purpose to my being here, but that seemed forever away. I wanted to call my mom, but I knew that if I heard her voice, I would dissolve into helpless sobs that she wouldn't be able to do anything about. So we texted. Thank you, technology. She helped me get to the root of what was really bothering me, and then I came to the realization that I should have come to years ago. I needed to take care of myself in all aspects, and I had forgotten the most important part. I was moved into my apartment, had bought groceries, brought my textbooks, and picked up notes from my new job. I was following the promptings the Lord had given me about school and location, but I had forgotten that the biggest part of following His plan is to put everything in His hands. I was still trying to hang on to everything, to control everything, and the unknown expanse ahead of me was absolutely terrifying. I wasn't sure that I actually could stop the worrying and the fear and the panic that was starting to set in. No one was here to tell me things would be okay. I'd received a priesthood blessing from my father before he left, and there were some amazing promises and assurances in there. But those all seemed so far away. What was I supposed to do here and now, when I wasn't close enough for a mommy-hug? I went for my first thought: youtube. I went to the MormonMessages channel and clicked on the first video I found. It was one of the new Bible videos about the Savior, and He was teaching the beatitudes. My tears came back as I heard Him say "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled." I thought, "That's me!" I wanted to do what God wanted me to do. I wanted to be what He wanted me to be. I felt empty and I wanted to be filled. Then He said "Ye are the light of the world, a city that is set on a hill cannot be hid... Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father, which is in heaven." I have a responsibility here to be a light, to be an example. I couldn't do that if I was filled with worry and fear, especially when they were all so needless. But how was I supposed to get rid of them? I watched more movies on there: clips from general conference, message videos about getting through hardships and loving whatever comes, a brief clip of the prophet speaking just so I could hear his voice. I read the comments on Facebook that people had made, and one of my favorite women said this: "Bloom where you are planted. God sent you there for a reason. Find it, love it, and you might find a miracle." How I wanted that to be true! I wrote down quotes from what I was hearing, and posted them all over my room. "The simple secret is this: put your trust in the Lord, do your best, and leave the rest up to Him." (Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin). "Some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don't come til heaven, but for those who embrace the Gospel of Jesus Christ, they come. It will be all right in the end. Trust God and believe in good things to come." (Elder Jeffrey R. Holland). "We can live with perfect hope and a feeling of peace. We need never feel that we are alone or unloved in the Lord's service because we never are. We can feel the love of God. The Savior has promised angels on our left and on our right to bear us up and He always keeps His word." (Henry B. Eyring) Trust God. Leave everything up to Him. We are never alone. It was so simple, and yet I hadn't done it. How could I have forgotten to trust the One who had sent me here? I was ashamed of myself, and I knelt with my heart aching. I knew I had been stupid not to trust Him, and that it was silly to be so worried when He was in charge, but that is what happens to us mortals. So I poured my heart out to the Lord, and I told him that I would turn my worries and my fears over to Him, that I would put my trust in Him because I knew [and I DO KNOW] that He has a plan for me here. He told me in the blessing, and I knew that if I went forward with faith, that I would be protected. I would flourish. Even if the road ahead is hard, I can keep my head held high and my heart full of faith because He is guiding my steps. I never realized this before, but it is REALLY HARD to take that step out into the darkness, with the unknown ahead of us and no light to guide us more than that one step. But I have also learned, in the few hours of my being here, that if it were easy, there wouldn't be a reason to do it at all.
So. I am going to be patient here, in my new apartment, in my new city, in my new job, in my new school, in my new ward. I am going to put one foot in front of the other on this path that God has put me on, because I know He is taking me somewhere great. There are lessons to learn, people to touch, and rough edges that I need knocked off so that I can become refined and more fit for His kingdom here and to come.
Anyways, my apartment is now officially home. I have referred to it has such already multiple times. It's a little too quiet, and a little too lonely, but that will change. I went to my new ward today, and it was incredible. Tiny and mighty. But it will grow as students come back. Not that it needs to. I was filled today and I honestly a truly believe that this is going to be one of the best times in my life. Easy? No, not at all. In fact, I'm sure it won't be. Fun? Could be, should be, that's up to me. Worth it? Absolutely, and without a doubt.
It's a new adventure, a new challenge, and hopefully, a new me.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Movie Review: Brave

*WARNING: As usual, this review is the opinion of the author's and no one else's. I speak for myself and no one else.*

I have been wanting to see Brave ever since I first saw the preview for it. Ever since I knew there was a Disney/Pixar collaboration on a Celtic themed movie. I am a very passionate lover of all things Celtic, and so I was destined to love this movie from the very beginning. I shall try to be as objective as possible in my review, but you must know that I loved it.
First of all, the graphics were phenomenal. I think that Pixar films are getting better and better as far as their graphics go. As the daughter of a professor of computer graphics, I have long learned to appreciate the detail that goes into a film like this. The scenery was beautiful and really did look like Scotland as I remembered it.
The characters were wonderful. They were all voiced by actors I love. Emma Thompson as the Queen was brilliant, Billy Connolly as the King [I'd love it anyway, just cuz we have the same name], Julie Walters as the witch, and then the killer trio of Craig Ferguson, Robbie Coltrane, and Kevin McKidd as the lords; it was all brilliant. I wasn't familiar with Kelly Macdonald who was the voice of Merida, the princess, but she was perfect. My favorite characters were probably the three princes, brothers of Merida and the most adorably rascally mischievous little buggers since Fred and George Weasley.
The story itself could have been fleshed out a little more, but since it is a Disney movie that was made for an audience of children, I'm not going to make too much of it. If they'd added more plot lines or details, the movie would have been longer and the kids just don't have the attention span for longer.
I loved loved LOVED the music, but then I adore Celtic music. Patrick Doyle was the composer and he is one of my favorites, and he's a Scot, so it was just a brilliant move. The vocalist [I do not know her name right now, but I am finding out] who had a few songs in the film was AMAZING. The tone of her voice was pure and very Celtic and I loved it.
I really enjoyed the theme of the movie, that we decide our own fate and that our bonds with our family and friends are important, not just for us but for our future and the future of those around us. Very heartwarming movie and I ALMOST cried. I would have done, but the loud talking children broke me out of my moment.
It was also a ridiculously funny movie. Almost slapstick, but I found it so unpredictable in its humorous moments that I was pleasantly surprised. I love a movie that can make me laugh without being crude or vulgar or just plain stupid. This had none of that, which I appreciated.
Now for my warning: parents, if animated naked rears bother you, don't take your kids. It's Scotland, so there's nothin under those kilts, and....there's a few surprises. I thought it was hilarious, but there you go. Other than that, you're safe as can be. There might be a few parts that scare the really young or really timid, but it's not that bad at al.
All in all, I loved it. I thought it was spectacular. It was like taking a trip back to my beloved Celtic lands of Scotland and Ireland, but without the fresh air. I mean, come on, the movie had haggis! Only those who have actually enjoyed that delicacy can appreciate the humor in it. Merida was a wonderful character who grows a lot, and it was refreshing to have a princess be the main character, and not have her looking for a prince. She is a strong, independent young woman, and the lessons she learns could stand to be learned by many women, young and old, in today's world. And the men as well.
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to buy the soundtrack and get lost in it.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Movie Review: Snow White and the Huntsman

*WARNING: This review is the author's opinion, and does not represent any other perspective but hers. The author has been known to be eccentric [or artistic] in her taste in movies, and others [particularly in the author's own family] will disagree severely with this review.*

I will be the first to admit that I was hesitant to see this movie purely on the fact that Kristen Stewart was in it, and I am not a fan of her acting. Or "acting" would be the proper way to say it, I think. I saw the Twilight movies. All of them. The best thing I can say is that she is getting better. Still, I wasn't sure about this one. But a brave friend saw it before me and told me that I had to see it.
I was so glad that I did!
Charlize Theron was a revelation. She was absolutely brilliant. Oscar-worthy. Creepy and beautiful and haunting and magnificent. It was worth the trip purely to see her portrayal of the evil Queen. The pure depth of her acting was astonishing, and I actually had moments where I pitied her character, which was completely unexpected.
Chris Hemsworth was phenomenal. I mean, I never had any doubts on that score, considering what a brilliant actor he is, not to mention gorgeous. He played a tormented widow brilliantly and his transformation into a loyal protector was absolutely perfect, and it was fantastic to see.
Kristen Stewart...was actually quite good. Would I call her 'fairest in the land'? No. But I came to appreciate that she really is a beautiful girl, and she really does have potential. I wouldn't have thought that she could pull off the meek and innocent character, but I absolutely believed it. I liked her. Never thought I'd admit that in a million years, but there it is.
The music was gorgeous, but when it's James Newton Howard, you can't go wrong. I bought the soundtrack the moment I came home.
The dwarves were awesome, the scenery was perfect, and the supporting characters brought the story more depth, which was exactly what was needed. The cinematography was stunning ad artistic, which I really appreciate.
Now.....there was a sudden ending, which left things a liiiiittle unresolved, but I can appreciate, as a movie lover, the change in format. Now that I've had time to mull things over, I actually like the way it is left, open ended and open to interpretation. The audience can choose their own ending however they like.
It should be noted that this movie is not for kids. It is intense and a little graphic, and there is some partial nudity. Nothing to cover eyes about, but still. Language is clean, as far as I remember, which is always refreshing. But I do not think you should take your kids to this one. It ain't Disney.
All in all, I think this movie is underrated by critics and movie goers. Or maybe it just appeals to a more artistic audience with less demands. Like me.
Does this mean I'll see more Kristen Stewart movies? No way. It does mean that I will give her a chance, barring Twilight movies, to prove herself again. It means that I was pleasantly surprised by a film, and I hope that I can have that experience again.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Me in Movies

So I had an idea. I wanted to try and describe myself in a series of movies I could find on youtube. Why? I don't know. Probably part of this whole "starting over" process I'm about to begin. But still. Let's try it, shall we?
First, the romantic.
Oh my goodness, I love this's just beautiful.

Second, the sports fan.
I still get chills at this one. I was there. On the sidelines. The. Whole. Game. It was awesome.

Third, the musical fanatic.
Ugh. So good. Gives me chills.

Fourth, the Disney junkie.
Soooooooooooo awesome.

And finally, and most importantly, the Mormon.
I love these men and their message. I know that it is true. I love my Savior, Jesus Christ, and I know that He lives.

That's me in a media nutshell! Let me know what you think...

Friday, March 30, 2012

New Adventures

I know it's been forever since I have posted anything on here....but that's mostly because I was in the middle of a bunch of things that I couldn't really talk about. Now, however, I can.
I am going to West Virginia University in the fall for grad school.
In being completely honest, I'll have to admit that WVU was not my first choice. It wasn't even my second choice. But it is without a doubt the BEST choice.
1) They want me. They were so excited about my resume and the possibility of my coming there that I got a little punch drunk off of it. It's hard to not want to be somewhere when people really want you there.
2) This is where the Lord wants me. How do I know? I asked. How else do I know? He took the decision out of my hands and made it the only option. I am supposed to go to WVU and that is that.
3) It feels right. I didn't know it would, but now that things are falling into place, it really does feel right.

So there. I'm moving to Morgantown, West Virginia. I'll be there in July, so I'll be working before school starts. Which brings me to the rest of it. I'll be working with the WVU track, cross country, swimming, and diving teams. I know, perfect, right? Not even funny how perfect this place will be for me.
Is it near a big city? No. Do I need a big city? No......but they are nice. I am near cities, which works enough for me.

So I'm moving. Again. But it'll be good. And if you guys are going to be my friends through all this, you need to know one thing: West Virginia University is in West Virginia. Not Virginia, West Virginia. They are two separate and distinct states. I will not be in WestERN Virginia, I will be in WEST Virginia. Get the picture? Get the difference? It's a big deal for West Virginia. So get it right!

Also occurring in my life recently: Jenny got engaged. WOOT! I know, right? Craziness. But Christian is a cool guy and they are insanely perfect for each other, so I am seriously all for it. Like it was up to me anyway, but whatever. So I'll be back in the LAF in August for the wedding, and I am stoked.
The other major event, which happened a mere 7 hours after the aforementioned one, was that the twins came. Quinn and John Thomas are the most beautiful babies ever, and I love them. They are healthy and fun and complete our family. For the time being. You know how these things work. Anywho, I'd like to see them more, but work and distance makes it hard, and I'm moving to West Virginia, so it's gonna get worse. I don't know if I can take this! Ugh.

Funny irony: all three events listed here occurred within 13 hours of each other. Literally. I am not exaggerating at all. Almost exactly 13 hours. Craziest weekend ever.

Basically, adventures are on the horizon. Tackling them, one by one, should be very interesting.