Category Archives: Movies

Karry-no-key

I did karaoke once. That was enough, for me, and for everyone else’s aural health. I think I had conjured up a romantic idea of the experience from movies such as 27 Dresses and How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. Supposedly, you can impulsively grab a microphone and start belting out a song without any preparation, and even if you don’t have a great voice and are somewhat off-key, you’ll still sound okay and look adorable. ๐Ÿ˜

Wrong! You have to start with a decent voice, know the song, especially when to start and stop, and have a sense of music generally. Which I do not. Otherwise you’re just filling the room with a cacophony of noise. It’s not fun for me to remember how awful I must have been. ๐Ÿ˜–

Though they don’t even know, I accept the gratitude of all future ears I won’t harass with my terrible “singing.” ๐ŸŽถ๐Ÿ˜œ๐ŸŽถ

Rockumentaries & Things

I love musical movies… Hair, Chicago, Walk the Line, The Sound of Music, My Fair Lady, Across the Universe, Mamma Mia (1 & 2), The Lion King, Grease, Fiddler on the Roof, etc. There are lots I haven’t seen and still want to ~ Meet Me in St. Louis, for heaven’s sake!

But that’s not what I came here to talk about today. Lately I’ve seen a bunch of rockumentaries, which is a class of movie I’ve avoided in the past because it seemed eh boring, like something from the History Channel. But first I watched one on Joan Jett and it was interesting! Last summer I saw The King in Long Beach and enjoyed that too. It was more an overview of the times than a laser-focus on Elvis, but even so. Good stuff, despite the history content.

Then I meant to see Bohemian Rhapsody on my Movie Pass, but it died so I didn’t. I watched it on Prime for $6 last month though, and it was great! I’ve always loved Queen’s music. RIP Freddie.

Next I went to see Rocketman. Wow. It was incredible. Taron Egerton did such a fab job portraying Elton John. The music. The costumes. All spectacular. And Elton as a little boy was just heartbreaking too.

Last weekend I saw Yesterday, which isn’t in the same category because it’s a romcom with a fantasy element, but regardless it’s entirely themed on The Beatles, so I say it goes in this post. I dare you to disagree! I loved it, btw. Super fun and adorable. Lots of Beatles’ songs throughout to keep a fan happy.

Yesterday I saw Echo in the Canyon, which is about the California music biz in the 1960s. Jakob Dylan interviews a bunch of old-timey musicians and plays clips of their songs, and he also recreates some of their tunes himself. He’s super talented… wonder where he gets that from? I’ve loved him since the first Wallflowers album, so I may be biased there. I highly recommend this movie to all music fans. Honestly, Jakob needs to do a sequel because there’s just so much more!

During the previews to Echo, we saw that there’s a new movie coming out in August sort of like Yesterday but without a fantasy element and themed on Bruce Springsteen. Guess who is gonna put Blinded by the Light on her must-see list?

๐ŸŽถ๐Ÿ˜€๐ŸŽถ๐Ÿ’–๐ŸŽถ

A Chewy Post [socs]

Chewbacca is the name of a Star Wars character and that’s pretty much all I know about Star Wars. I saw the first one. That’s it. But once I dreamt or hallucinated that Darth Vader was made of fire. I told people that, and they said I was nuts, and he is not made of fire. Okay. But I really did have a vision of it. There is a black car in my parking lot, a Dodge or something, with the license plate VAAADER, and that’s clever. But driving sucks and I wish I could just take a convenient bus or choo-choo train. So tired of traffic, insurance, the DMV, and parking problems. Blargh. ๐Ÿ˜œ

Sunday Morning Cat

Hi, it’s me Gatsby. Mommy is busy, so she said I have to answer these questions from Fandango even though I was taking a nap in the closet.

1. Do you like blue cheese? 

Sure, give me a chunk and I’ll bat it under the fridge.

2. Coke or Pepsi? 

No thanks. Water is my bev. ๐Ÿ’ฆ

3. Do you own a gun? 

My claws and teeth are enough. ๐Ÿ˜บ

4. What flavor of Kool-aid? 

Gross!

5. Hot dogs? 

Dogs are dumb, whether hot or cold. ๐Ÿถ

6. Favorite TV show? 

I prefer silence so I can hear any bug that needs killing. ๐Ÿ•ท

7. Do you believe in ghosts? 

Of course. I usually chat with them around 2AM. ๐Ÿ‘ป

8. What do you drink in the morning?

Water. ๐Ÿ’ฆ

9. Can you do a push-up? A single push up?

I can do lots of push-ups and all sorts of athletic maneuvers. I’m in great shape!

10. Favorite Jewelry? 

All of it. Leave it out at your peril. ๐Ÿ˜บ

11. Favorite Hobby? 

Napping. ๐Ÿ’ค

12. Do you have ADD? 

Well, I can stay very focused on one spot for a very long time unless… BUG! String! Someone touched my tail!

13. Do you wear glasses? 

No, but I’m happy to take yours. ๐Ÿ˜Ž

14. Favorite cartoon character? 

Felix the Cat.

15. Three things you did today?

Ate a crunchy, snuggled with Mommy, went back to sleep. ๐Ÿ’ค

16. Three drinks you drink regularly? 

Water x 3. ๐Ÿ’ฆ

17. Current movies? 

Mommy saw Yesterday yesterday and loved it. ๐ŸŽถ

18. Do you believe in magic? 

Kitties are magical! ๐Ÿ’–

19. Favorite place to be? 

At home.

20. How did you ring in the New Year?

Probably napping. ๐Ÿ’ค

21. Travel? Where would you go? 

I don’t like to go anywhere and neither does Mommy.

22. Name five people who will most likely read this? 

Mommy, Fandango, Keera, Sadje, Jim.

23. Favorite movie? 

Silent ones.

24. Favorite color?

I don’t see colors.

25. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets?

They don’t sound cozy, but I could claw them up, which would be fun. ๐Ÿ˜บ

26. Can you whistle? 

No, but I can howl like a wolf. ๐Ÿบ

27. Where are you now?

Home.

29. Favorite food? 

Chicken crunchies.

30. Least favorite chore? 

I beg your pardon. ๐Ÿ‘‘

31. Best job you can think of? 

Napping. Killing bugs. Yelling at birds who dare come near my window.

32. Whatโ€™s in your pockets? 

You mean the big pocket under the sofa? Pens that Rawry sent. Chapstick. Empty toilet paper holders. My fluffy toys.

33. Last thing that made you laugh? 

I’m happy when Mommy plays with me.

34. Favorite animal? 

Mommy. ๐Ÿ’–

35. Whatโ€™s your most recent injury? 

Mommy keeps me safe, so I never have any.

36. How many TVโ€™s are in your house? 

One.

37. Worst pain ever? 

When my food bowl was 3/4 empty. ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

38. Do you like to dance? 

Sure! I have mad moves to my own music.

39. Are your parents still alive?

I don’t know.

40. Do you enjoy camping? 

I’m not allowed in the grass. ๐Ÿ™„

We Donโ€™t Want Him

Nicholas Sparks is trending because he refused to accept an LGBTQ ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ club in the Christian school he founded and there’s some ongoing litigation yada. Apparently part of the case has been settled, and he has the legal right to be intolerant, so that’s cool. I more or less support keeping it legal for private clubs to arbitrarily let in and keep out whom they please, as opposed to landlords, employers, public schools, etc. (Whether they should get tax breaks is a different issue.)

Just because something is legal however doesn’t make it good or right. It’s also legal to cheat on your wife. But that’s not what I came here to discuss today. If you don’t already know, Nicholas Sparks is a writer, a hugely bestselling writer. His books have been made into movies. You’ve surely heard of The Notebook? Well, there you go.

In the frenzy to bash Sparks, people have been conflating his books with romance novels and dumping on the whole genre. Now, I don’t mind bashing Sparks ~ I made a yucky ๐Ÿคฎ face on Twitter myself. I can’t stand his sterile prose ~ and that was before I knew he was super religious. Now my review of Safe Haven from 2013 makes a lot more sense.

But let’s be clear: Nicholas Sparks is not a romance novelist. He says himself he isn’t one, and he is correct. He writes general fiction (“love stories”) with romantic elements. It’s an important distinction, peeps! To be a romance novel, a story must have a Happily Ever After ending. If you want to bash the genre, go ahead. If you want to rag on Sparks, for his politics or his writing or both, have at it.

But please don’t lump Nicholas Sparks in with romance novelists. Cuz that just pisses me right off. ๐Ÿ˜ก๐Ÿ’ฅ๐Ÿ”ฅ He’s not welcome in our club. On the whole, you will find the protags in romance novels to be a tolerant lot, or they become tolerant as the story progresses.

I note that in The Daily Beast article I linked in my first sentence, Sparks bags on the whole romance novel genre because he’s a stupid ass who has read none of the books he’s criticizing. Romance novels are not about “the taming of a man” ~ if anything, they err on the side of misogyny, even though they are written largely by women and mostly from the POVs of the female protagonists. What they are, are fantasies of what it would be like if an alpha hero fell in love with you and wanted you more than anything on this earth, and indeed would do anything on this earth to make you his own. And he succeeds. That is what romance novels are and why those of us who love them, love them. โค๏ธโค๏ธโค๏ธ

Sparks can stick with his yawningly vanilla pudding Ken-doll heroes because there is obviously a market for bland safe smooth love too.

^^^ The sexual excitement level in a Sparks’ novel goes from zero to pudding.

Sunny Side Up

The lovely Mrs. Wayfarer nominated me for the Sunshine Award. Thank you! ๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ’–

I’ll answer her great questions, but I don’t do nominations myself. Everyone who likes and comments here brings me a bit of sunshine and I’m grateful for your support. Thanks for reading my posts! ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒป

โ€ข Where do you find the inspiration to write your blogs? 

Lately my inspiration comes mainly from the prompts around Blogville.

โ€ข When was the last thing youโ€™ve done something for the first time? 

I downloaded the coloring app last week. It’s been very relaxing.

โ€ข If you were a superhero, who would you be? 

Catwoman.

โ€ข What is one simple thing (or person, place, event) that never fails to brighten up your day? 

Seeing a cat.

โ€ข What tradition in your family or country do you always look forward to? 

Halloween costumes.

โ€ข What blog (and whose blog is it) inspired you to take action? 

The Haunted Wordsmith inspired me to begin hosting prompts too.

โ€ข What is your favorite TV show?

Of all time? Probably The Sopranos.

โ€ข What movie can you watch over and over again and make you feel the same way every single time? 

When Harry Met Sally.

โ€ข What is your favorite holiday destination? 

Northern California.

โ€ข When was the last time you laughed so hard you had tears in your eyes? 

Probably when talking to my daughter.

โ€ข If you had the power to change anything in the world right now, what would it be? 

Terrible instant virus takes down McConnell, POTUS, and VPOTUS, and then mysteriously disappears. Nancy Pelosi becomes POTUS.

More from Rory

Todayโ€™s topic is โ€ฆโ€ฆโ€ฆโ€ฆ.. Conversation Starters

How much did the polar bear weigh?

She refused to say.

What was the last funniest film you saw on the big screen?

Wow, I had to do a biggie search to find this. It was Book Club, a year ago,when I first started the now-dead Movie Pass. The rest of the films I saw with MP were dramas or musicals. Or movies that were supposed to be funny, but weren’t. I’ve seen funny movies since then on TV, of course.

What do you think of tattoos โ€“ do you have any?

Some are okay on other people, but I don’t have any.

If you are wasting time, what is your best way to achieve this with 100% success?

Phone games.

If every time you walked into a crowded room a piece of personal intro music played, what would yours be? [Provide a link please]

Who is your favourite celebrity? [Why?]

Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Because she’s brilliant and dedicated to doing the right thing. Also, she drives the rightwing nuts bonkers. Bonus!

Are you an organised person or live by the chaotic theory?

Organized.

What are 6 annoying habits other people have?

Chronic lateness, tailgating, running stop signs & red lights, speeding in general, jabbering in elevators, being huge fucking hypocritical liars.

What time do you normally retire for the night to sleep?

Midnight lately.

When was the last time you pulled an all nighter?

I never do this. Maybe back in college.

When you go out, what is the one thing you simply cannot leave home without?

Keys. Gatsby won’t unlock the door for me if I forget them. ๐Ÿฑ

Physical books or Ebooks which is your personal favourite to read and own?

Ebooks. Physical are a waste of paper and space imo.

During a number two trip to the toilet, how long are you in there for?

Not very long.

What was the most interesting news story you have seen this week?

That the reason cats fuss when their bowl is still half full of food is cuz they don’t like when their whiskers touch the sides of the dish.

Why was it interesting?

Because cats, duh. ๐Ÿฑ

Where was the worst place you have ever been stuck for longer than an hour?

On the road to Northern California on July 4th, 2013 without air conditioning in my car.

If you were going to change your name, what would your new name be?

“Anonymous Mega Millions Winner”

What is the silliest fear you have?

My fears are not silly! ๐Ÿ˜›

What is your guiltiest pleasure?

The coloring app.

Mystery Solved!

I confess I have been nominated for a Mystery Blogger Award!

Yep, it was me. I got the nom (with some others). From Carol Anne. Thanks! ๐Ÿ’–

I’ve already done a bunch of these, so I’ll dispense with the intro and links/tags, and just answer Carol Anne’s questions.

1. Do you like soda?

I like Coke and diet Coke.

2. Are you a procrastinator?

Not usually.

3. Do you have weird dreams?

Not lately.

4. What is your daily routine like?

Pretty boring. Working, writing, waiting on the cat.

5. Do you like binge watching shows?

If I enjoy a show, I will binge it usually. I’m very hot/cold. Normally I find shows boring quickly, so if I like something, I really REALLY like it!

The last show I loved was Game of Thrones. Like many fans, I had some criticism of the final season. But as a finished product, the show is up there with my other faves: Breaking Bad, The Sopranos, Six Feet Under. I had criticism of those shows too, off and on.

Recently, I binged the first season of Dead to Me, which I liked a lot. But one season is too little to pass judgment on.

That’s all, folks. ๐Ÿ™‚

Music & Movies

My cat hates YouTube. Whenever I search for a song for one of the music prompts he gets so mad. I try to be considerate of him, but sometimes I just have to play a snippet!


He judges me.

The other day, when I was in the middle of a series of weather-related migraines, I replied to a question about music by saying I could easily give it up. I was thinking that I mostly only listen to music in the car these days, and while that’s pleasant, it isn’t a necessity. I don’t usually play music at home because I’m writing there, and I like to write in silence.

But when my head was better I felt guilty about my answer because I enjoyed a whole bunch of tunes on Saturday. At game night, my friend had on an oldies station and all my favorites kept playing. It was incredible to listen to these great tunes from the 60s and 70s, some of which I hadn’t heard in years.

Also, I had forgotten about movies! I love movies, and music adds so much to a film. In fact, some of my favorite films are musicals! Here are some of my favorite songs from my favorite musicals:

Chicago (so hard to choose!)

Walk The Line (again, every song is so good)

Hair (watched this a million times!)

The Sound of Music (love this song, made even more poignant by the fact that he becomes a Nazi and betrays the family)

Fiddler on the Roof (I get more out of this every time I watch)

My Fair Lady (sexist, but still enjoyable)

Grease (so much fun!)

Mamma Mia (this is from the sequel, which was hilarious and sad)

Cabaret (scary but great)

The Lion King (best Disney film imo)

~*~

THW Movies

THW Music

FPQ23: I Burn Whole Cities

Fandango provocatively asks…

โ€œHow do you manage or deal with stress? Is there a specific strategy or approach that youโ€™ve found to be particularly effective?โ€

My post title comes from the HBO show Game of Thrones where dragons have been known to release stress by destroying cities with fire. I am not a dragon, alas, though I have gotten vicarious pleasure especially during stressful times by reading A Song of Ice and Fire and from watching the show.

In general, I find that losing myself in a fantasy world of a novel or movie for a few hours is a great way to deal with stress. I do prefer movies over series, or series that have finished, because I don’t want to have to wait for the next season (and these days, that can be so unpredictable), which ends up leaving me at the mercy of people yapping online about the show and giving their predictions. Annoying!

Depending on what the stressful even was, I may wish to talk about it privately, with a daughter or a friend. I’m careful what I say to whom these days though, so as not to end up with more stress from the convo itself. I may write about the situation in a diary for my own clarification. I find the act of writing words on a page/screen to be therapeutic.

For immediate relief, deep breaths work. For a 24 hour period, repeating the mantra that “this too shall pass” helps a lot. If I can’t sleep, there’s always the Valium or Benadryl last resort. It’s really bad not to sleep because then I’ll feel even worse the next day, which will increase my stress. Cuddling my kitty and spending time alone at home usually helps me feel better.

Here are some stress management techniques that are supposed to help but do nothing for me:

1. Exercise. I know it’s good for me, but it makes everything hurt more and I end up with a (worse) headache.

2. Taking a vacation. Way out of my budget and I would be completely stressed about the money I spent.

3. Glass of wine. This is a migraine trigger about 50% of the time.

4. Music. This is tricky because a lot of songs pull up sad memories for me. I have to be careful about music. Plus, Gatsby doesn’t like it. Mostly I only listen in the car.

5. Sex. With a man? This was generally the cause of almost all my stress and giving it up has reduced my anxiety to nearly zero.

Dracarys! ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ”ฅ