Bustin’ makes me feel good

Ghostbusters 2016 – Review (this review is safe from spoilers – yay!)

There have been a few franchise movies that came out recently that I think of as a bit of a nostalgia tour – The Muppets (2011), Jurassic World (2015), The Force Awakens (2015), and the latest installment – Ghostbusters (2016).  Some people have not enjoyed these updates, reboots, or whatever you’d like to call them, but I have.  I enjoy a good nostalgia tour, especially when there are cameos from the original movie’s cast or nods to the original characters or story.  But more than that, I usually love the new movie itself.  As the fans who write the nostalgic movies are often excellent caretakers of the original universe of the story and have a new, fun spin on things.  Ghostbusters is no different.

The story is similar and yet different from the 1984 original Ghostbusters.  And it’s taken far too long, in my humble opinion, for us to see an entirely female revamp of the movie.  And sadly, there were plenty of people who hated on the idea of a revamp and an all-female cast.  But this movie proves all of its haters wrong.

Ghostbusters excels at the characterization of the fabulous four ghostbusting women.  Their inter-personal relationships and interactions with each other are hilarious…not to mention interactions with the pretty, but inept male secretary, Kevin.  I giggled through out the entire movie (and left a firm fan of Kate McKinnon, who nearly steals the entire movie).  My one beef with the movie is at the very end of the climatic scene, it goes a little overly silly/cheesy (you’ll know it when you see it).  But other than that, the film was supremely enjoyable.  Check it out for a fun summer movie.:)

GoT fan theories

Get a fandom big enough, and you’ll get more fan theories than you know what to do with. As a writer or a writer for a show, fan theories have got to be a huge marker of a successful series.  As a writer, it would make me positively gleeful.

Also as a writer, and what I’d call and active reader/watcher, I can’t help but theorize myself.  There are times when I watch a show or read a book, and in my free minutes (of not reading, going to school, or working) I’ll puzzle through what’s coming next.  There are always a lot of possibilities, a lot of things that could possibly work.  But the question is, what is the one that makes the most sense and fits the story the best (yep, I really am that much of a nerd).

So, what are my theories on this – the eve of Game of Thrones Season 6 – Season finale??

  • Cersei’s trial – a whole lot of people are gathering at the temple in King’s landing and there have been whispers of stores of wildfire under the city.  Since she can no longer get a trial by combat, Cersei’s options are severely limited.  Being desperate and angry, her decision will be to burn it all down (literally).  Unfortunately, Tommen is there and wearing gold (remember the witch’s prediction of all of Cersei’s children dying before her and in golden shrouds?).
  • Dinner with Walder Frey – this is always a bad idea.  Robb can attest to this.  I’ve said before that Jaime can’t survive this whole series.  Is this where Jaime will meet his sticky end?  Maybe Arya will make an appearance or maybe Lady Stoneheart?   I’m not sure, but guests of the Frey’s don’t generally enjoy their dinners, just sayin’…

  • Jon’s parentage – this has been teased ALL season.  While it’s possible that they’ll continue teasing us (there will be a lot of ground to cover with Cersei’s trial), I’m hoping we get a peak.  Please?
  • Night King – we haven’t heard from/seen him in a while, maybe a quick appearance?

What will tonight’s episode of GoT bring?  Can’t say for sure, but I know it’ll be a long wait until next season.  And if last season is anything of a hint, we’ll be in for a serious cliffhanger.  Enjoy, only a few hours to go…

Battle of the Bastards

Nope, that title is not a nod to the current state of many political battles, it’s about the latest installment of Game of Thrones Season 6 – Episode 9.  There are spoilers below, so if you don’t want to be spoiled, stop reading now….

Recap – Many of the last few episodes were set up chapters – moving the characters along and moving the story along, but at a pace that recent fans who binge-watched the whole series earlier this year (me) found slow.  Writers, why must you tease!

Until episode 9.  And boom, we learn a lesson that should be added to the top of the life lessons for GoT: always remember to feed and care for your pets.

Thanks for the public service announcement, Ramsay.

I could summarize the events of the episode for you, but really, I want to talk about how the #1 hated character on the show (at least for the last few seasons) died.

Done in by his starving dogs – animals he used as a means to kill, hunt, and terrify people – at the hand of the woman he raped, abused, and tried to break.

And her walk away from it was my favorite part of the whole episode, as just a hint of a smile twitched at her lips (and she practically strutted).  Ah GoT revenge, you are so sweet.

I’m all for it.  And I’m glad Sansa got her revenge (as many of us hoped she would). But…the killing by the dogs. <sigh> As a writer, I get it.  Really, I do.  The neat and tidy wrap-up, the symmetry in the story, the “master” being killed by his instruments of torture, perhaps even a statement of the limits of loyalty even by the most loyal beings in the world..all of that are not lost on me.

But…

I would have almost rather seen Sansa get her hands dirty on this one.  Granted, her hands aren’t all that clean, she did release the dogs and she did stay and watch the beginnings of Ramsay’s demise.  But, and maybe it’s because I’m used to Arya’s hands-on approach, I would have liked to see Sansa do the complete dirty work.  It would have helped bolster the story of Sansa taking charge of her destiny, taking care of things herself, and her growing power.  Or maybe she’s taking after her mentor (and the devil she recently made a deal with) – getting rid of people without doing any of the nasty bits herself…

What say you, fellow fans?

To sir, with love

Return of the summer music series – stuck in the car with Leesha

Summer has returned, and with it comes those long road trips accompanied by “are we there yet?” and “do we have to listen to this song?”  Or in my case, scream-singing lyrics (with lots of solos), discussing the meaning of songs, and random song factoids.

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Today’s song – “To Sir, with Love,” by Lulu is in honor of the school year being officially over…unless you’re a grad student torturing yourself with summer classes (why did I think that was a good idea?).

I’ve had a lot of professors and teachers over the course of my life, but (as with many of us) – there’s one teacher who really made a difference.  The one who believed in you and pushed you to do more than you thought possible.  For me – it was a high school teacher and his name is such an excellent novel character name – Captain Jim (he was in the military before becoming a teacher).  The subject?  Dreaded math.  The back story: other teachers told me and three other girls that we were hopeless in math and therefore should take an “easy” statistic class our junior year to fulfill our credit obligations.  He was an excellent teacher and saw something in us that the other teachers missed.  We excelled in AP Statistics and our senior year, took AP Statistics II, Pre-calculus, and Calculus (yep,  that’s not a typo, it was in the same year).  As for me…well, the girl who was told she couldn’t be taught math, now does math for a living.

Thanks Captain Jim (and all the teachers like you), you really did make a difference.  To sir, with love.

Those school girl days of telling tales
And biting nails are gone
But in my mind I know
They will still live on and on

But how do you thank someone
Who has taken you from crayons to perfume?
It isn’t easy, but I’ll try
If you wanted the sky
I would write across the sky in letters
That would soar a thousand feet high
To Sir, with love

The time has come for closing books
And long last looks must end
And as I leave I know
That I am leaving my best friend

A friend who taught me right from wrong
And weak from strong
That’s a lot to learn, what
can I give you in return?

If you wanted the moon
I would try to make a star
But I, would rather you let me give my heart
To Sir, with love

In case you didn’t know, “To sir, with love,” is from a movie with the same title about a teacher making a difference in an inner city school…and shamefully, I haven’t seen it yet. But Amazon is shipping it to me…so the problem will soon be fixed.  :)

Review: Every Day

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Rhiannon rings like a bell through the night
and wouldn’t you love to love her?
Takes to the sky like a bird in flight
and who will be her lover?
All your life you’ve never seen
woman, taken by the wind
Would you stay if she promised you heaven?
Will you ever win?

I had to download that Fleetwood Mac song after reading Every Day, by David Leviathan.

Every day is a YA book about A, who wakes up every day as a guest in someone else’s body.  They’re always the same age as A is, and a person’s body plays host to A for only a day.  Then they go about their lives with no memory of A kind of borrowing their body for the day.  A has made peace with this way of life, vowing to never deviate from each person’s routine.  That is until A meets Rhiannon, while in the body of her boyfriend.  Then every day, in whatever body A wakes up in, A’s goal is to see Rhiannon.

<Sigh> This book’s premise was really interesting and fairly early on in it, you really feel for A – who is literally all alone in the world, without family or friends.  All of that changes when A meets Rhiannon and feels that bolt of electricity all of us has felt at some point in our lives.  And like a lot of us, A can’t ignore it.  As a writer, I kept trying to figure out how David Leviathan was going to bring the story to an end in a way that would satisfy me.  I’m not giving anything away, but he does a really good job of it.

5 out of 5 stars, but I’ll warn you…in addition to downloading (playing and singing) Rhiannon by Fleetwood Mac, this book may also make you think and possibly wreck you a bit (as many books do)…until you find the next great book to get lost in.

Urge Cookies and other weird food facts

As I’m over 30 and have a job that requires me to sit on my growing posterior all day, I’ve decided to do that thing that most adults do over the course of their lives: DIET. <hiss, boo>   That has to be my least favorite four-letter word.

Which reminds me, why haven’t they come up with some sort of metabolism shot that would allow me to continue my unhealthy lifestyle and still squeeze into a size 2?  I can see it now – “I’ll have a coke, burger, fries, and a side of metabolism booster shot, please.”  :p Hey, we can all dream…

But as that’s not happening anytime soon, and because I’m hungry, I give you – weird food facts:


#1. Graham Crackers were originally created to stop “carnal urges” including the kind you do by yourself.  Because apparently these urges can be tamed by eating crackers.   Hmm, interesting theory, I wonder what the old creator of graham crackers would think of the gooey goodness known as smores? :p

#2. Eggs aren’t refrigerated in the United Kingdom, but you still need to refrigerate the ones you bought in the refrigerated section of a U.S. grocery store.

#3. Saffron is one of the most expensive (and possibly THE most expensive spice) in the world. I know this to be true, as I spent a fair bit of money buying some in an awesome market in Barcelona.

#4.  For the newly health-conscious like me, beets can turn your pee and poo red (learned that one the hard way).

#5.  People have been paid in chocolate…well, kind of.  According to an article at the Smithsonian.com, it was sometimes used in place of wages during the Revolutionary War.  Also, it can help you recover from being around Dementors and in dealing with real-life annoying people (who may also try to suck the life out of you).

There you have it.  If you’re dieting like me, I feel your pain.  If you’re not, eat something in my honor.:)

Hold the Door

<Game of Thrones spoilers below, you’ve been warned>

Ahead of tonight’s episode of Game of Thrones, let’s briefly review what happened last time:

  • Sansa tells off Little Finger (yay!  Queen of the North!)
  • Sansa and Jon are leaving Castle Black, with new threads Sansa made (you work that needle point, girl)
  • Tormund Giantsbane is smitten like a kitten (and we love it)
  • Arya gets an assignment from the faceless men
  • Renaissance ice zombies are on the move
  • Bran’s direwolf dies
  • We find out Bran-muffin and his time travel are the reason Hodor says Hodor😦

Speaking of which, we also add to our GoT life lessons:  always try to hold the door, it is after all, the polite thing to do.

Theories and questions for the next few episodes:

  • 2 direwolves (Ghost and Nymeria) are still alive.  Please George R.R., no more direwolf deaths
  • Will Arya be able to complete her mission?  I say 50-50 odds.  But wouldn’t it be neat if Nymeria shows up and her appearance helps Arya decide if she really wants to be a faceless man?  If not now, I’m hoping Nymeria shows up at some point, it would make Arya’s story arc even more interesting.
  • Bri-mund amusement to continue.  And why not?  It’s our much needed glimmer of giggles and comic relief in the stark landscape of GoT (points to me on the pun).
  • Bran-muffin will discover the truth of Jon’s parentage (though I’m guessing this won’t happen until close to the end of the season)
  • Sansa and Jon aim to unite houses of the North under their banner – I think Little Finger and the Knights of the Vale will meet them at Riverrun to join forces.
  • Oh and King’s landing – are we going to see the takedown of the barefoot creeper known as the High Sparrow?  I certainly hope so.

Just a few more hours to go until the next installment of Game of Thrones.  Are you ready?

The Unburnt

Game of Thrones Season 6, Episode 4 Review


Before we get a new episode of Game of Thrones today, let’s review the top lesson learned from last week’s episode – 

Pay attention to how people introduce themselves. 

If someone’s name is Holly the plumber or Steve the vet, I feel like you know what’s in their wheelhouse. So, if someone’s name is long and has in it “….the Unburnt” maybe don’t be rude to them in a small, flammable room filled with little pots of fire. 

Just a thought:)

Also, how amused am I with Tormund Giantsbane trying to seduce Brienne of Tarth during dinner? So amused. Looking forward to more amusing bits on this season’s Game of Thrones (as I attempt to watch while on vacation in Europe). 

The Alchemist

Book Review of “The Alchemist,” by Paulo Coelho

After years of meaning to (and buying a few copies), I’ve finally read The Alchemist.  It’s been said that you often come across things when you’re ready or when you need it most.  At any time in my life, I probably would have enjoyed the story and the words of wisdom found within these pages. But the timing of reading this couldn’t have been better, as I continue to rebuild my life and pursue my dreams. 

Brief summary 

After having the same dream twice, a shepherd boy (who loves to travel), sets out on a journey to realize his “personal legend,” or his life’s goal. 

Review

I love good stories, quotes, and words of wisdom and this book has all of these things. But it’s also a book that reaches the reader on a deeper level, stirring you and reminding you to always listen to your heart and to search out your own personal legend.   Five out of five stars and if you haven’t picked up this book, I strongly recommend you to do so.:)

Some of my favorite quotes from the novel

“Tell your heart that the feared suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams…”

“Every search beings with beginner’s luck. And every search ends with the victor’s being severely tested.”

“…when we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.”

“…at a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what’s happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate. That’s the world’s greatest lie.”

“To realize one’s Personal Legend is a person’s only real obligation.”

“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you achieve it.”

There you have it….it’s never too late or too early to chase your dreams. So, go do it.😉