fifty shades of horrible.

So, as I have divulged previously, I am a reader. I picture the story as a movie in my head and get lost in the words. However, I get nervous when filmmakers decide to cash in on a best seller. Don’t get me wrong, the movies basically raised me. While my parents were working, I was watching movies- yet I just can’t handle a bad adaptation from book to silver screen.

There is one exception: Fifty Shades of Grey.  Now, I know I wrote about my experience reading it, but I never told you my honest opinion on this work of fiction.

Putting all of Stephen King‘s work aside (because there is no need to explain how his cocaine-infused brilliance could never be depicted in film- you all know the films are a shy comparison), and forgetting how most of the fun plot lines in J.K. Rowling‘s Harry Potter franchise were omitted (where is Peeves?!), I actually put effort into forgetting the horrible prose of E. L. James in the hopes that the movie MIGHT be halfway decent. This would be the ONLY instance where the movie could be better than the book. I was wrong. BOTH are horrible.

It has been a while since I read the books. I read all three of them in a week, with the last book taking the longest. I remember actually wishing it would end, but refused to be a quitter. I read until the end and believe I threw it. Done, I say! Be gone with you forever!

Not quite.

Side note: I have a strange memory, where I remember mundane details that no one else would bother. I’m fantastic as a trivia partner, but it makes it hard to slip anything by me. I know they compare “50” to Twilight, but she literally steals scenes and lines verbatim from the Thomas Crown Affair (circa 1999, not 1968) too. It drove me insane reading it. 

This morning Brad had to work early, so I decided to get up and be productive. What shall I do today? I shall go see a movie! I saw that there was a 10:05am viewing of “the film.” Fuck it, I’ll go. I saw Sex and the City and Pitch Perfect by myself, why couldn’t I see this one? I shot a text to Brad- announcing my plans and off I went!

the evidence.
the evidence.

I walk in to the movie theater and immediately feel like a pervert. Instead of going to the teenagers in the little box to buy my ticket, I go to the kiosk. No shame if no one knows, right? Now the thinking begins: do I get popcorn for a 10am movie? I haven’t had breakfast yet, so this counts? I walked towards the ticket-checking chick, who then lets me know that she doesn’t know if it’s good, to which I finish for her “because you are not 17 yet are you?” Inside thought: ahhh, I’m old. I’m that old 30something chick going to see the mommy-porn movie and I’m not a mom! 

I have to say that the previews were better than this movie. There was no chemistry between characters and about 45 minutes in I wanted to leave. I decided to stay. I waited a little longer- this hurts.  The casting was bad. The acting was “acting” (you know, when you can tell they are acting) and I just wasn’t lost in the movie. I didn’t expect to be running out- grasping for Brad to take me after, but I expected to feel something. Nothing. Watching this made me feel bad that Brad wasn’t staring in this movie! Why would I want to watch this cold, young horribly cast character, when I have the real deal at home?

I finally looked at my phone: 12:05! I had sat here for two whole hours and this flick is nowhere near done! I stood up, grabbed my water and left. I will NOW be a quitter with this franchise. This is two hours of my life I cannot get back.

Lesson learned: When every single one of your friends tells you they have no desire to see a movie, listen to them. There is a reason you are sitting in there alone!

I shall now finish my weekend Fifty Shades mortified, ashamed and appreciative that this book is finally behind me.

The End.

 

snooze.

if only it were this easy.
if only it were this easy.

I have never been a great sleeper.  Even when blessed with mono through high school and into college, I wasn’t a great sleeper.  If I nap, I wake up groggy- and can’t seem to get out of the dazed state.  If I am woken suddenly, then I am in a horrible mood (and might just let you know how much noise you are making through the old fashion way of yelling at you). I’m a light sleeper, so if even the smallest noise should grace my ears- I’m up.  When I wake up, I can NEVER fall back asleep right away, unless medicated. In college, I had a phase where I would fall asleep anytime and anywhere- this includes the following places: while in the front row of a lecture of a CEO from a major NYC ad agency, while studying in the library, during class, sitting straight up (while watching a movie), come to think of it- I fell asleep during every movie I ever tried to watch back then.

Funny story: The first time I saw Braveheart, my college friend Brandon was CONVINCED I was going to watch a movie, without falling asleep.  I was sitting on the floor and he was in his bed, an arms reach away.  Every time I would start to doze off, he would WHACK the top of my head and yell “WAKE UP, SCHMIDT!” Abusive? Perhaps. Effective? Definitely.  End result?  I have seen Braveheart. Thanks, Brandon.

it's all for nothing if you don't have freedom, err, and sleep.
it’s all for nothing if you don’t have freedom, err, and sleep.

I think too much, so my mind is never at rest.  I referenced my picky sleeping needs a while back, but needing the perfect comfort is only half my problem to a perfect sleep. Trust me, as annoying as it is to read this (I realize I sound high maintenance), it is more annoying to live through and experience personally.  I need the steady sound of my fan (even in sub zero temps outside), the perfect amount of blankets and my pillow just right: soft, but not flat, cold,  not rough to the touch and cushioned the back of my head into a perfect cup.  Good God, who the hell do I think I am?  It’s frustrating! 

Side note: before all you health nuts go crazy and judge my lifestyle (as I realize that affects sleep), know that I work out almost every day, do not drink coffee, and eat right (by whatever standards “eating right” are these days: no red meat, gluten free, organic, etc). I don’t eat sweets because I gave them up for lent (and slept this way even before giving them up), I haven’t been drinking since Brad gave up alcohol for lent (Okay, I have had some wine a couple of times, but a glass here and there does not make me an abuser of the stuff), and I go to bed reasonably early (8-9pm nightly). It’s probably stress related.  I digress.

Well, I have a new observation/frustration that I thought I would address: the snooze button. We’re all guilty of abusing it. We set our alarms for that perfect time, with our list of what we must accomplish in order to begin the day. However, come morning: birds chirping (don’t even get me started on nature sounds), cue soft music, and then it happens: the ALARM. Immediate response: snooze. You rest and relax as you realize you have more time to sleep, like finding a $20 in your ski parka, then just as your eyes shut again, ALARM. This process goes on and on for the next half-hour or so, completely debunking your original “get up and at ’em” plan from the previous evening. So I ask this: why not just set the alarm for when you know you will get up?  Why put yourself through the pain of the ups and downs of the snooze, alarm, snooze, alarm cycle?  The whole thing seems like torture to me. Then again, we are human and drama is in our nature.

I’m not going to name names, but a certain someone did it for a whole hour this morning. If he were not so damn cute, and if I wasn’t happy about the fact that he was staying in bed longer, I would have complained- or even yelled.

worst invention, indeed.
worst invention, indeed.

End result: an hour lost of sleep, is an hour of snuggling gained.  Either way, I’m smiling.

ho ho ho: the movie edition.

Allo my lovelies! Right now I wish I was home, watching some Hugh Grant infested British holiday movie. Actually, any holiday movie works for me, but I thought it would be fun to share my personal favorites!  Since I am a romantic mush, and could go on for pages, I will keep it to 10.

Side note: Most people will give you the classics like, “It’s a Wonderful Life” or “White Christmas,” but I am nothing, if not honest.  I’d like to love those movies as much as some, but I just don’t.  Don’t judge- I know some of you watch the WHOLE “A Christmas Story” marathon! And that is nothing to brag about! 

1. The Holiday.  I just love this one. I don’t know if it’s the traveling, the cast or the music, but it all just works- kismet.  The writing on this one amazes me, and the characters are so relate-able to every woman who has gone through a break-up and then got the pleasure of a healthy, loving new relationship. I could watch this movie during a snowstorm, every time. If you haven’t seen it, I suggest you add it to the top of your list.

holidays are about falling in love, i certainly agree with my 2 year anniversary coming up on 12/23!
holidays are about falling in love. i certainly agree with my 2 year anniversary coming up on 12/23!

2. Love, Actually. Aside from a woman in my office who doesn’t watch movies, I don’t know a person who has seen this movie who doesn’t love it. It’s wonderful. So many fun story lines, so many truths, so much fun awkwardness. I feel like the truth and awkwardness makes this movie what it is. Love, actually is all around.  (watch) Cue Cards Scene, Andrew Lincoln

3. Bridget Jones Diary. I could watch Bridget every day. She’s wonderful in her imperfections.  A close friend of mine, Laura, and I have a deep relationship with this movie and will often quote lines, short of something else to say.  The usual “Ahh, Perpetua” is a favorite.  I think a common theme in my first three favorites is relate-ability.  Needless to say I love Bridget, just the way she is. Oh! And i just found this post from 2011 that Laura helped me construct about movie lines (some touching movies I mention here). 

4. Elf. Elf is silly and funny and lovely.

5. The Family Man. I love this movie. Nicholas Cage usually creeps me out, but in this one- he rocks it. Ever wonder what your life would have been like if you didn’t get on that plane, go to that school, make that move, etc? This paints a picture of “what if” that makes you think about what’s really important. There are some funny one-liners, but mostly this movie is full of great life lessons that I certainly appreciate. “I choose us.”

6. You’ve Got Mail. I’m a sucker for a good romantic comedy (obviously). This is a light-hearted, funny, sweet, romantic, typical Hollywood movie that I love.  Funny, when this came out, the words “you’ve got mail” was so new! Now it’s archaic. Still, although the plot is predictable, its very enjoyable.

7. Just Friends. In the days before we realized that Ryan Reynolds had one movie personality (that probably mimics his own), this was unique.  I laugh a lot in this movie: from the creepiness of Chris Klein, to Anna Faris knocking it out of the park, per usual. Favorite scene is when Ryan’s character is looking for his ice skates and comes across his snow globe collection.  Next time you watch it, pay attention to that scene; it’s funny and subtle.

8. While You Were Sleeping. It’s hard to imagine Bill Pullman (well, for me anyways) as anything other than Loan Star, but he works the leading man in this flick. Sandra Bullock is great. I love her. It’s a feel good movie about family, which is something I will always appreciate.  They come in all shapes and sizes!

9. Home Alone (1 and 2). Self explanatory. I like that he knew who he was, had wit and the best advice ever. Favorite scene:

Bird Lady: The man I loved fell out of love with me. That broke my heart. When the chance to be loved came along again, I ran away from it. I stopped trusting people.

Kevin McCallister: No offense, but that seems like sort of a dumb thing to do.

Bird Lady: I was afraid of getting my heart broken again. Sometimes you can trust a person, and then, when things are down, they forget about you.

Kevin McCallister: Maybe they’re just too busy. Maybe they don’t forget about you, but they forget to remember you. People don’t mean to forget. My grandfather says if my head wasn’t screwed on, I’d leave it on the school bus.

Bird Lady: I’m just afraid if I do trust someone, I’ll get my heart broken.

Kevin McCallister: I understand. I had a nice pair of rollerblades. I was afraid to wreck them, so I kept them in a box. Do you know what happened? I outgrew them. I never wore them outside. Only in my room a few times.

Bird Lady: A person’s heart and feelings are very different than skates.

Kevin McCallister: They’re kind of the same thing. If you won’t use your heart, who cares if it gets broken? If you just keep it to yourself, maybe it’ll be like my rollerblades. When you do decide to try it, it won’t be any good. You should take a chance. Got nothing to lose.

Bird Lady: Little truth in there somewhere.

Kevin McCallister: I think so. Your heart might still be broken, but it isn’t gone. If it was gone, you wouldn’t be so nice.

10. Babes in Toyland. This movie I watched a a child. My father loved Laurel and Hardy movies, and this is the one I remember most.  Barnaby scared the bejesus out of me, but Dee and Dum won in the end! I haven’t seen it in years, so I might seek it out this holiday season.

I’d love to know your favorites!  Merry Christmas!

halloween candy.

bring it on.
bring it on.

Okay, it’s official- I’m totally drinking the fall Kool-Aid.  All this fall talk got me thinking about other things I loved as a kid during this time of year.  Let’s stick to really, really important topics for this post: Halloween and the candy situation.

I don’t care who you are or where you grew up; Halloween for kids is a big deal. Candy is an even bigger deal.  Candy is awesome all the time, but when you are a kid- it’s like currency.  Halloween was like the festival of awesomeness when I was a kid.

Side note: Halloween was NOT the festival of awesomeness in the third grade. My first pet, Blanche, died while I was trick-or-treating with my friends. (Courtney, if you read this, there is no need to comment on the details of this event) I digress…

ANYWAY- I remember it clear as day: I would dress up as whatever princess, Cabbage Patch Kid, cat or bunny that I decided upon for the moment. Pillow case in hand. Dad on site with his pick-up truck (we would ride from street to street in the bed of it). Friends in place….and we were off, a-candy-hunting-we-would-go!

The difference in candy houses are easy to describe:

Type 1: Typical lollipop basket, Whoppers, M&Ms, Tootsie-Rolls, Smartees, Nestle Crunch bars, Starburst and Skittles are your usual give-a-ways. We appreciate you because you add to the collection, but you are not my favorite house.

Type 2: The jerks or the house that usually gets the “seriously? come on!” response. You know what’s there- raisins, Good-N-Plenty, apples, popcorn balls, mini toothbrushes and toothpaste and Raisinettes are in your basket. We typically are warned of your presence on the block and avoid you at all costs.  Then, through a strong use of WOM we carry-on the message. You do not deserve to have your light on.  Traitors.

Type 3: The trusting house. Sure…leave your basket of goodies on the porch with a note that says “please take only one.” We’ll listen.  Actually, this one is funny. A colleague of mine was speaking how his father was so patient, that he would dress up as a scarecrow and actually sit on the porch with said sign, holding the bowl of candy. As the kids would dare take more than one he would warn them of the rules, thus scaring the shit out of the dishonest child. Cruel, but fully as hell.

Type 4: The COOL house. You have Reese’s, Twix, Milk Duds and Snickers. We love you.

Type 5: The rich house. You have full size candy bars. Can we live with you year round?

*NEW* updated 10/14 Type 6: The haunted yard! I can’t believe I forgot about this little gem of a family. I KNOW you remember this house.  This family went above and beyond the call of duty by creating an experience before you receive your treats! Fake grave stones, skeletons, creepy themed music, spider webs, etc. As a kid this house scares the ever loving shit out of you, but as you grow, you see that it’s not so bad.  What is bad at every age? The person who jumps out and yells “BOO!” before you get to the house. This house better always have Reese’s.

Am I missing any?

When I would get home with my friends, we would sit in my basement (it was the TV room), turn on whatever scary movie (I don’t know why Elvira is popping into my head, but she is) was on TV and then go for it.

i recall this lady introducing every scary movie of my youth. so wrong.
i recall this lady introducing every scary movie of my youth. so wrong.

Business time: Candy was now emptied on the ground for organization, inventory and trade.  I took this so seriously. Reese’s and Snickers obviously got the most stock value, along with the full size (that usually were not in the pot for trade, as that was like gold), then down from there- the items from the bad house (if I partook) were usually tossed aside and then eventually thrown away, if not pawned off on my father.  I remember my parents would pretend they were looking for razor blades or poison, which usually just meant they wanted some and, as a parental rule, didn’t have to ask first. 

Last year was the first time I lived in a neighborhood (vs. a city) and was able to pass out candy.  I was so excited, but honestly, kinda nervous.  Would I do it right? Thankfully, Brad guided me through this process, and it went off brilliantly.  What would I do without him?  Actually, let’s be honest, being a skilled ex-trick-or-treater, I probably would have handled it just fine, but it was more fun with him. Then again, what isn’t?  🙂

happy friday!
happy friday!