Tag Archives: reviews

Six Degrees 5 [blogcarnelli]

Kevin Bacon

Welcome to Blog Carnelli! This is a fun, no-pressure, no time limit prompt. The idea is to use the six degrees of separation concept (that everyone is only six or fewer people away from Kevin Bacon) to connect books, movies, and songs.

In our last episode, about 75 years ago in September 2020, we ended the list with Tommy James’ “Draggin’ the Line.” Today we will begin with…

1. Borderline Personality Disorder and other poems by my friend Doug X (ebook available on Amazon). This collection is a short, witty, and insightful read. I’m a big fan of Doug’s poetry and comedy. 🤩

2. Next up is Romancing the Stone starring Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas. This 1984 movie is one of my favorite romcoms! It’s so meta because Turner plays a romance novel writer who meets Douglas while on a wild adventure in Columbia in search of her sister. He’s very far from the “perfect man” she envisions as a soul mate…

Romancing the Stone

3. We continue with Evelyn, After by Victoria Helen Stone. Wow, what an intense novel! I could not put it down. Even though the plot seems far fetched, Stone creates characters that drive it perfectly. Throughout the story, I kept thinking things could not get weirder, but they did. And wonderfully so. 🙃

4. This leads into “The Morning After” by Maureen McGovern ~ a powerful song that was used in The Poseidon Adventure film. I’ve always enjoyed its strong message of hope. Besides winning Best Original Song in 1972, it went on to be a No. 1 hit single in 1973. 🥳

5. Now we have Maureen Stapleton playing Estelle in The Money Pit, a hilarious 1986 movie. Tom Hanks and Shelley Long star as a married couple whose “bargain” dream house turns into a nightmare. Estelle sold it to them.

Money Pit

6. Naturally this segues to the Talking Heads 1983 song “Burning Down the House.” The lyrics sound ultra serious but make no sense at all, which is fun, if you’re in the mood for that kind of thing… 🤪

If you’re so inclined, why not pick an item from my list above and DO THE CARNELLI on your own blob? 😍

See ya like whenever…

~*~

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

HallChall19: Movie

 Vampire

Last night I watched a funny “documentary” about a vampire roommate situation called What We Do in the Shadows. It wasn’t scary, just hysterical. Apparently there is also a series with the same name. A more “serious” vampire movie I enjoyed decades ago was Dracula, starring Frank Langella. He’s such a good actor. There’s a spoofy film I rewatched several times as a teenager ~ Love at First Bite, starring George Hamilton and Susan Saint James. It cracked me up back then, but idk if it stands the time test. Note: I haven’t watched or read any Twilight material. 🧛‍♂️

My favorite vampire/horror movie is Dark Shadows, which stars Johnny Depp. It has a stellar cast, is super funny, and is also very sexy. It’s basically a lurve story. Another fave scary movie is The Skeleton Key, starring Kate Hudson. Love her! The Others, starring Nicole Kidman, is great too. These are more psychological horrors than gore, but they are still gripping. Maybe more so! 😬

Scarier still are the psychological dramas that simply feature people doing horrible things to others because that can actually happen. And it has…

~*~

Written for Tourmaline’s Challenge

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Six Degrees 4 [blogcarnelli]

Kevin Bacon

Welcome to Blog Carnelli! This is a fun, no-pressure, no time limit prompt. The idea is to use the six degrees of separation concept (that everyone is only six or fewer people away from Kevin Bacon) to connect books, movies, and songs.

Today I’m starting with the last item from my Six Degrees 3 post. That was the book Wesley the Owl by Stacey O’Brien. I’m using the author’s name Stacey to connect to the first entry in this post.

Stacey Wiedower wrote 30 First Dates, a fun romance novel about a blogger (yay!) who decides to go on 30 dates with 30 different men before she turns 30. It’s part of the “bucket list” of experiences she wants to check off, and she shares her adventures with her readers. I think we can all relate to this book in some way. This is a romance, so we can expect the HEA, and the book delivers, but not too predictably.

The movie 50 First Dates stars Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler. Now, usually I dislike watching the characters that Sandler plays, but Henry is an exception. He’s really sweet in this! Drew as Lucy is funny and adorable as always. The twist in this tale is that Lucy had an accident which robbed her of her short-term memory, so every day Henry must think of a new way to woo her. Lucy also has a very (over)protective family who is watching out for her, and Henry has to get on their good side too. The movie was filmed in gorgeous Oahu and was directed by Peter Segal.

What do you think I’ll chose next? Of course! It’s “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover,” written and sung by Paul Simon on his 1975 album Still Crazy After All These Years.” Supposedly, this song was motivated by Paul’s divorce and his decision to address the breakup in a lighthearted manner. The song seems pretty cute with all the rhymes of male names, but I take it somewhat seriously as well. It can be hard to leave someone… you can feel paralyzed, like there’s just no way to deal with the logistics of it. A friend may point out the various ways it’s possible for you to end the relationship, but ultimately you need to summon up enough emotional energy to get it done.

In 2001’s Legally Blonde, Reese Witherspoon’s character Elle Woods uses a breakup to motivate herself to go to law school. She takes her silly blonde self and her cute puppy across the country from sunny SoCal to staid New England. Initially, Elle enrolls in order to be close to the jerk who dumped her, but soon she discovers that Harvard Law is actually the right place for her as she begins to hit the books and impress her professors. This film was directed by Robert Luketic.

Reese played June Carter Cash, Johnny Cash’s second wife, in Walk the Line, a 2005 musical/drama directed by James Mangold. Joaquin Phoenix played Johnny. I love this movie so much! All the music is wonderful and Reese & Johnny knock “Jackson” out of the park. There’s a lot of sadness mixed in with the great music. Wonderful film.

“Draggin’ the Line” is a 1971 song written and sung by Tommy James after he left the Shondells. It’s been speculated that the song refers to drug usage (especially after “Crystal Blue Persuasion”), but Tommy said no… it was simply about having to go to work every day. This view holds up too, since the song also mentions “checking the line,” possibly referring to setting up power lines back then.

Okay then. That wraps up my fourth post on Blog Carnelli. I hope you enjoyed it and will join in with your own.

~*~

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Super Jumbo Deluxe Combo Post

Park bench in the rain with colorful lights

Time slid by like reflections smeared by the rain. Each moment seemed compelling until it was replaced by the next one, like a picture inside a kaleidoscope. She felt as if she were a mere park bench in a painting, observing her own life but not participating in it, still having trouble transitioning to this new way of living, working, being. There were smiles, of course, such as last weekend when she saw her friends again. They watched a movie outdoors, and it was L.A. Story with Steve Martin, which she thought she should like, but it was vaguely disappointing. Her instincts protested against all the grabbiness by the various characters, even though it was done in the name of comedy. That’s supposed to excuse a lot of unacceptable behaviors, isn’t it?

Maybe it was her, her habit of craving stability and sameness in a world gone mad. Perhaps it was time to fling off her fears and dive into the chaos, as she had done when younger. But that was a road to nothing ultimately, and while she didn’t have an overwhelming sense of regret for her choices, they hadn’t led to anything great either. But maybe greatness wasn’t the point… maybe a better method would be to appreciate each moment fully before it was washed away in the rains of time bla bla bla. As her favorite quote went: life is short; eat dessert first.

That thought reminded her of one of her favorite books: The Unbearable Lightness of Being. She had read it several times, and it was such a great study in the intricate differences of perspectives. When they cast Daniel Day Lewis as the lead, she’d been pleased. He so perfectly matched the image in her mind of the philandering doctor in the book. The movie itself was good, but it couldn’t live up to the book’s greatness because there was no way to bring in all the crucial nuances of the narrative.

The Glass Castle, on the other hand, had disappointed her with the lead. This was one of her favorite books and yet Brie Larson as Jeannette didn’t feel right at all. There was something off about her voice, tone, and looks. She’d never envisioned J as an adult Manhattan snob the way she was portrayed by Brie. There was a strong undercurrent of angst and loss in the book’s Jeannette, not this smoothly perfect adult. However, Woody Harrelson as the raging alcoholic father was a perfect fit. She decided that casting was an onerous task and she would certainly find it tough. There were so many factors to consider.

In any case, she had a family beach day to look forward to tomorrow, which would probably end up as next week’s smile. But how was it possible that over half a year had passed in this strange limbo? She didn’t want to spout cliches, but she had the eerie sense that the ending was rushing toward her like an out of control semi-truck on a slippery downhill slope. Or perhaps it would be a warm gentle fog of nothingness as the colors all blended into one…

Eat dessert first

~*~

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Written for Trent’s Weekly Smile.

Written for Fandango’s Provocative Question 84.

Written for Fandango’s Dog Days of August 26.

Written for Eugi’s Weekly Prompt ~ Transition.

Image credit ~ lovethispic

Six Degrees 3 [blogcarnelli]

Kevin Bacon

Welcome to Blog Carnelli! This is a fun, no-pressure, no time limit prompt. The idea is to use the six degrees of separation concept (that everyone is only six or fewer people away from Kevin Bacon) to connect books, movies, and songs.

Today I’m starting with the last item from my Six Degrees 2 post. That was the novel My Trashy Romance by Terry Black. I’m using the word black to connect to the first entry in this post.

1. “Paint It Black” by the Rolling Stones. This 1966 song has darkly themed lyrics about depression and death. It’s one of their greatest hits, maybe because most people can relate to feeling hopeless from time to time.

2. The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro. This is a suspense novel centered upon a Degas painting that the heroine has been commissioned to reproduce. She suspects that the piece is itself a forgery and becomes involved in a tangle of lies and thieves.

3. Faking It by Jennifer Crusie. This romance novel is a fun romp through the world of art fakes and forgeries. Tilda, the heroine, and many other characters are constantly pretending to be people they aren’t.

4. We’re the Millers, a film starring Jennifer Aniston. This comedy centers on a drug dealer who needs to go to Mexico and pick up a shipment or else be killed. To be inconspicuous, he recruits a stripper (Jen) and a couple random teenagers to pose as a family.

5. “Fly Like an Eagle” by Steve Miller Band. This 1976 song talks about revolution and the impoverished. Yet, despite these heavy themes, the narrator would prefer to simply fly away to the sea and be free of it all.

6. Wesley the Owl by Stacey O’Brien. This is a heartfelt story of a little broken bird and the biologist who cares for him his whole life. It’s a love story and it’s wonderful. I highly recommend it.

Okay then. That wraps up my third post on Blog Carnelli. I hope you enjoyed it and will join in with your own. Since I want to keep track of my connections in order not to repeat any, I created this handy little table in Word. In real Carnelli, if you repeat any item in a round, you are out of the game.

~*~

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

New Prompt ~ Six Degrees

Kevin Bacon

I found the 6 Degrees idea at my friend Davida’s blog, but I’m going to tweak it a bit. She links to a prompt that asks us to describe 6 books, each connected to the previous one in some way (a word in the title, the same author, a theme, etc.). That reminded me of a super fun game I’ve played called Carnelli, which uses books and movies. Since I’m pretty flexible with rules, I’m going to allow songs and poems too ~ anything written, basically.

Blog Carnelli is what this is, my friends, and I hope you will join in. Take any one of my 6 items and start your own Six Degrees post (no time limit)… or take one from another player. Can you just begin your own from scratch? Sure, why not! We can use the tag #blogcarnelli to find each other.

If you’re wondering what is the deal with Kevin Bacon, click here. Okay? I’m gonna start! 🤩

1. Hollow Man. This is a 1980 movie starring Kevin Bacon as an arrogant creep of a scientist working on an invisibility serum for the military. There’s also a love triangle involved with Elisabeth Shue. The movie is violent and somewhat predictable, but hey Bacon.

2. Leaving Las Vegas. This is a 1995 movie starring Nicolas Cage and Elisabeth Shue. The story centers on the relationship between an alcoholic man who has lost everything that mattered to him and a prostitute. Sad, but great.

3. The Glass Castle. This is a 2005 memoir by Jeannette Walls, where she chronicles her childhood with an alcoholic father. I found it utterly engrossing. There’s a movie version, but it’s not nearly as good as the book.

4. “Heart of Glass.” This is a 1978 new wave song by Blondie. It was written by group members Debbie Harry and Chris Stein. Though the music is upbeat, the lyrics are focused on mistrust and heartbreak.

5. The Heart Goes Last. This is a 2015 novel by the wonderful Margaret Atwood. It’s a dystopian romp where you have to agree to be a part-time prisoner in order to have a modicum of security. Thought provoking!

6. “Folsom Prison Blues.” This is a 1955 song by Johnny Cash told from the point of view of a prisoner. The guy is lamenting his loss of freedom when he hears the train go rolling by. A classic! 🎶💖

So, there you have it. My first Six Degrees #blogcarnelli post. More will come along at random… looking forward to yours!

~*~

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

“Emotions Are Overrated”

pointless meanderings

This is a subheading in Mark Manson’s book, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. I totally vibed to this section. He talks about emotions being “feedback mechanisms” that notify us when something is right or wrong for us in our environment. Like eek a snake… fear! Or mmm a cupcake… happy! Those are simple ones obviously, but even the more complex ones are feedback too and it’s less stressful to consider them as such. Oh, I’m feeling anxious, why? And then I can logically go through the things in my environment that are making me feel out of control. Which are all the things, but still. It’s helpful (for me)!

You know where it’s super useful? In dealing with unpleasant stuff online. Look, someone said a mean thing to me and I am feeling all sorts of sad and bad and rage. Instead of immediately acting on that, I think about why I’m feeling those things. Is the comment partly true? Are there things I could do better ~ I’ll work on them! Is the commenter just a trolling jerk trying to get a rise out of peeps? Most of the time this is it and the correct response is to ignore, mute, block, or sometimes simply make a silly joke to defuse the situation. Responding heatedly only encourages more of the same. This is a hard lesson for some people to learn, but my online presence was born in the flames of Usenet, so I usually can step back.

This dovetails with the other way I like to think about emotions ~ the train metaphor. I strive to envision my mental landscape as a serene, calm, beautiful place with lush gardens, fluffy clouds, pretty butterflies, and sparkling lakes. There is also a train track and periodically an “emotion car” comes through. The car could be full of anger or sadness or joy or hope. But whatever it is… it will pass. Sometimes it’s a long-ass train, car after car of yucky emotions, but even so, eventually it goes away. So very important to keep in mind, for me anyway. I realize it’s just a fancier way of restating “this too shall pass,” but that phrase isn’t evocative for me like the train image.

We like to think of the negative emotions as transitory, but as it turns out, the positive ones are too. At least for me. I can’t sustain joy 24/7, nor would I want to. If every hour was filled with balloons and candy cars, that would get dull. Unfortunately, back when I was “dating” (barf), I and the men I dated wanted constant happiness. If we weren’t feeling awesome all the time when we were together, then obviously something was wrong and we should bail. That’s pretty unrealistic. I think our expectations are set by the media though, which says you need to feel continuous joy in a romance or it’s wrong.

The romances and romcoms I grew up with had this trope. No matter what obstacles life put in the way, the “perfect” person for you would vanquish them so that the relationship could be bliss 24 hours a day. But no one has relationships like this. What happens after the happily ever after ending? That, as my friend Don noted on FB, is the interesting story. That is where the story really begins.

“A fixation on happiness inevitably amounts to a never-ending pursuit of ‘something else’ […] And despite all of our sweat and strain, we end up feeling eerily similar to how we started: inadequate.” ~ Mark Manson in The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

~*~

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Image originally found on Pixabay.

After Midnight

I don’t have any photos illustrating the color for today’s prompt from City Sonnet, which is midnight blue. I do have a dark blue sweatshirt I could take a selfie in, but it’s too hot. So, I present this cheat pic…

Midnight Sins by Lora Leigh

I rarely give one-star ratings because if a book is that bad, generally I won’t finish it or review it at all. But I did finish this one, probably because of all the hot secks, and it was awful. Apparently I read two more of hers, just to be sure. 🤣

~*~

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Image courtesy of Goodreads.

30 Day Film Challenge 4

I found this fun challenge at Sandmanjazz. As I did with the books (not the bingo, but the 30 days), I’m going to do these movies in blocks. So instead of a post a day for 30 days, I’ll have 6 posts total. Here’s my fourth set of films…

16. Life of Pi has a number in the title and is a great film besides (haven’t read the book). I recommend seeing it in 3D.

17. Not a huge fan of animated films, but I did enjoy The Lion King and also Frozen. The music made them standouts. 🎶

18. A movie I think about a lot is When Harry Met Sally. It seems so romantic but in fact is full of drama and angst. The relationship between Jess and Marie (side characters) is actually closer to my ideal.

19. Her is set in the future and while it’s not my favorite film, it certainly was intriguing regarding the nature of relationships.

20. Blade Runner was scary (also set in the future). I loved it!

~*~

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

BINGO CARD DONE!

[Previous update here.]

Remember this? 😂 It’s been a while, huh? Welp, doing nothing takes up a lot of time!

For my final book of this challenge (a book of my choice), I picked our own Ashley Peterson’s Managing the Depression Puzzle. I wasn’t sure this book would have a lot of relevance to my life, since my episodes of depression haven’t been “that bad.”

I was wrong. I found tons of helpful info throughout Ashley’s book. That’s part of the reason it took me so long to finish ~ I didn’t rip through it like I do a romance novel. I wanted to stop and think about various sections. The other reason is because of games on my phone, which I’ve been playing a lot at night to destress from the news of the day.

But I learned from MTDP that I don’t have to feel guilty about these games. So what if I haven’t finished writing my novel? It’s better to practice self-care and keep myself out of the abyss. (I have made progress on Ghosted, don’t worry, just not as much as I meant to.)

I may post more thoughts about some parts of MTDP that resonated with me deeply, probably in a Pointless Meander. Yeah, yeah, I know I haven’t posted more ideas on Mark Manson’s book as I said I would. But I need to keep up with my daily goals in Spider Solitaire.

Five stars to MTDP! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

~*~

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Image credit – Kriti & Ariel