Just Call Me Ebert (or Roepert)

April 8, 2008 at 5:13 pm | Posted in Inspirational, Movies | 12 Comments

The way it has been going the past few days it seems that I may have a career brewing in movie reviews.

Wrong. I am just catching up on some much needed down time. This new non-working gig rocks. Let me bask in it for just a few more days until my life returns to a more normal existance.

So back to my obsession with my Netflix. I am on a quest to watch more classic or classic-book based movies.

Shout out to Ben, Woot, woot!

The latest viewing pleasure came in the form of Les Miserables, the 1998 version with Liam Neeson and Uma Thurman. I am a bit behind, I am aware. I knew not the story or the background of the musical, the book, or the movies. It was high time I opened myself up to this great story.

I have been reading some reviews of the movie and it seems that while some people were upset by the adaptation of the screen play for the most part it was a well-accepted interpretation of Victor Hugo’s book.

For a person of faith the themes in the story are remarkably insightful.

The themes of redemption and forgiveness are poignantly portrayed through the charachters in Les Miserables.

One of my favorite quotes begins early on in the movie by the Bishop:

Bishop: Now don’t forget, don’t ever forget, you’ve promised to become a new man.
Jean Valjean: Promise?  Why are you doing this?
Bishop: Jean Valjean my brother you no longer belong to evil. With this silver, I have bought your soul. I’ve ransomed you from fear and hatred, and now I give you back to God.

That is a poignant reminder of what our God does for us on a daily basis. He saves us from ourselves and the decisions that we make which serve to only turn our lives into ruin and detriment. Our own bad judgements, our own faults, our own wrongs, they have been ransomed and paid for. We have been given back to God. The Bishop’s portrayal of a man who is willing to forgive even in the face of the ultimate betrayal is a poignant reminder of the love and forgiveness that God exercises toward us, even in the moments when we are at our worst.

That one act of forgiveness sets in motion a series of events which transform the lives of not only Jean ValJean, but also on many others. He uses that momentous lesson in his life to change the lives of an entire town, rescue the lowest of the low by societies standards, and make the difference in the life of a child.

The compassion and the love that he shows those in his life is the most ultimate reminder of the love that God shows to His own children. Just as God does, ValJean loves the orphans, the sick, the prostitutes, and even those who seek to harm and destroy him. He refuses to see the innocent wrongly accussed, even at the risk of his own freedom. His patience is infinite, his love abounding, and his generousity is limitless. He refuses to seek harm against his enemies.

It makes you believe that we can be changed, that our lives can make a difference. Like the Bishop, who set out to make a difference in the life of only one man, he ultimately changed the world for the better for so many others through him.

We all need to be reminded that on a daily basis the small decisions we make actually make a difference in the lives of others for many years to come. Hopefully our decisions will effect others for the good. It is our own choice. It is our own responsibility.

Netflix Love & Other Random Stuff

April 6, 2008 at 3:02 pm | Posted in 20 Something Bloggers, Blogosphere, Movies | 16 Comments
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OR what could be more appropriately titled “Oh the link-love that can be found in this post.”

I am officially in love with my Netflix Instant View. While Hubby and Brother-In-Law 2 was raging it up last night during the Final Four, I was snuggly tucked in my bed enjoying some long awaited classics.

So, this weekend I have enjoyed this:

And this:

And in between listening to my new addiction Eisley:

Also, one of my Real Life Friends (RLF) just started her own blog so go say hello to Rosy!

And Megan from Tea and Cake Time – love her- was one of my first befrienders on 20sb back in the day and she awarded me a little award:

So I get to choose some of my favorites to award my blogging love to!

Mrs. Lilac – another RLF who has excellent recommendations on Life, Faith, Books, Recipes, Web links and so much more! She is an endless resource on so many great things, and so neatly organized as well!

Dana from Just Talk – She is a fellow 20sb who has my heart for teaching her kiddos everyday and relaying to us the funny stories!

Danielle from New Mommy Rant – she does great product reviews from everything to do with Vegan living to Mommy musts.

Just Jamie from My Life Imagined – One of my most recent finds and I always look forward to reading what she puts out there.

Tara from Tied Together With A Smile – Also a new favorite and always inspiring or funny!

Oh, and also, Chickbug, is taking votes for her virtual book club discussion book choice for April. I am first-timer with this and if you want to get in go and drop her a line! I know a few of you have mentioned wanting to do a bookclub and don’t have the resources so here is your chance! They do an online chat once a month via Chickbug’s blog – let’s do it!

Ok people, what are you doing blog surfing? It is a beautiful day so get out in it!

Stop-Loss

April 3, 2008 at 9:53 pm | Posted in In the News, Issues, Military, Movies | 22 Comments
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My head hurts. I have one of those incessant, throbbing headaches. The kind of headache that is brought on by only one thing – uncontrollable crying.

About a week ago I asked Amz to go with me to see a movie. I told her I would need support. Of course she went.

I didn’t want to go with Hubby. It is not a movie he needs to see, but I did. I had to. I couldn’t not see it. Amz sat by me and we both cried. I sobbed so hard that I shook the chair I was sitting in. The scenes in the movie were so real and vivid to me.

It is no secret how I feel about war and my thoughts on a nation full of young veterans. As for the present day situation, I still feel like we have a ways to go.

Unfortunately, I could relate to so many things in this movie. I remembered putting my loved one on a bus to go to a war. I remembered having the dreaded, “this is what happened over there” discussion. I remembered thinking how long can the nightmares last? I remembered being that girl. That girl who just wanted to be with the man that she loved and who didn’t care if that meant moving to Canada or Mexico, or leaving everything behind.

I was disturbed. I was angered. I left questioning. Again.

I would highly recommend that you go and see the movie Stop Loss.

It is the story of a group of young soldiers and friends. They return home from a deployment to Iraq only to learn that the stop-loss policy, which keeps soldiers enlisted once their contracts have been fulfilled, was sending them back to the war in which they just left. It follows many different points of view.

One solider, the squad leader, is angered. He refuses his enlistment and proceeds to fight the government and the policies for which he fought for.

His friend, who is suffering from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and trying to come to grips with another deployment for which he feels a responsibility to complete.

A wounded friend, whose life was saved by his comrades in the heat of battle. I am so glad they did not sugar coat his story. The wounds and results of war are sickening and they portrayed the loneliness and his attempt to continue in his life eloquently.

Another soldier, who suffered so greatly from the effects of battles, was left to deal with his demons with no aid, no help, and no support from the very people who placed him in the war which sickened his mind. His demise is heart breaking and statistically accurate. Do you know how many war veterans come home only to commit suicide when they cannot re-adapt and rejoin civilian life? The numbers are shocking.

From someone who was directly effected by the conditions of the stop-loss policy, I think they gave an accurate portrayal of the men and women who are fighting this war and the toll that the war and the policy took on the enlisted me and women and their families.

The one thing I felt that wasn’t portrayed accurately was the fact that they brought the main characters home for leave and then immediately stop-lossed their contracts. In real life, or at least with our experience with Hubby and with most of his comrades, they made sure that he received news of his stop-loss while he was in Iraq, only one month before his enlistment was up. He went on to serve for twelve more months in the sand due directly to stop-loss. We later learned this was done specifically to keep soldiers from going AWOL and refusing to return to the military.

The scenes of the men suffering with PTS were the hardest for me. We experienced it firsthand. I remember the first time that I realized Hubby was not dealing well with readjustment to civilian life. He had just returned home from Iraq and a friend of ours had given us tickets to the Monday Night Football game. I watched him as he watched the crowds warily. He seemed to be somewhere else. While on patrols he had been forced to be suspicious of crowds, of people, of everything. Then the fireworks and the celebratory cannons almost made him hit the deck. He went into sheer panic mode for about five seconds. It was one of the scariest moments of my life. For a few moments, he was gone. Transported to a time and a situation with mortars, sniper fire, and road-side bombs. They would do construction near our apartment and the rumblings from the explosives would send him into a moment all his own. He always dealt well with the episodes, but there was always the moments of fear and confusion that he just couldn’t snap out of.

Only about a year ago did the nightmares subside, but that is many years of traumatic stress. I am thankful that my husband came home to me. I am thankful for the people who prayed for him. I am convinced there were angels watching over him at many times. He was not treated fairly and he was not alone. There are many others like him.

I am just glad that their story is finally being told.

Just For Fun Friday

March 28, 2008 at 10:40 am | Posted in Fun Times, Just for fun, Movies, Music | 19 Comments
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It’s FRIDAY! In preparation of a fabulous weekend I wanted to give you a few things to smile about before we all head off to get on with our lives.

This weekend the countdown is officially over, what countdown you say?

RENT!

In T-minus 36 hours me and a few of my best lovlies will be enjoying a great show!

I have been singing along to my Ipod in preparation in for it all week. Isn’t it amazing how you sound so incredible with the music turned up so loud?

In honor of a great show and Just For Fun Friday, here is one of my favorite songs from RENT. Actually it is probably my 3rd or 4th favorite, but I would like to keep it PG!

If you do not feel something when you watch this you need to check your pulse.

Apparently there are a ton of other Rentheads out there.

Also, a little fun movie fact for you: The guy with the dark curly hair sitting by Joanne is an original Newsie!

Your favorite RENT song? Do it!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Two Months Five Days

March 25, 2008 at 5:05 pm | Posted in Friends, Fun Times, Movies | 25 Comments

Until . . . .  

Oh, you want to watch this, I am sure.

Finally, we learn Big’s full name. 

I am obviously a Charlotte.  Who are you?

Way to Go Lindsay Or The One With the Slutty Teeny Boppers

March 16, 2008 at 6:37 pm | Posted in Movies, Thoughts | 10 Comments
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Friday night following my announcement at work, I went to meet my two girls Amy and D to eat dinner and catch a movie. We ate at Wolfgang Puck’s and caught up over some yummy Spinach and Mushroom Pizza and New York Style Cheesecake (very sinful – bad Wolfgang, bad).

We headed over to the theatre to catch a movie. It was cute. Predictable. To the point. I tend to like them that way.

Following a pleasant evening we were headed for the door when we saw them.

Headed straight for us were two of the most provocatively dressed 10-12 years olds I have ever seen. They walked right through us mind you. We were three people wide, they were two wide. They were much smaller, but their attitudes and over stroked self-esteem parted us with one glance.

God help their teachers at school.

Their ego just about knocked us over. If that didn’t do it the haze of hair products and over-applied perfume was sure to do us in.

Teeny Boppers. Slutty Teeny Boopers. Or as a friend of mine once called them H.I.Ts.

Hoes In Training.

That might not have been correct though because they portrayed nothing in training. Everything about them shouted the, “been there, done that, bought the T-Shirt” mentality.

I shudder to think.

Seriously, ten to twelve year olds. OK, maybe the oldest was close to thirteen. That is a stretch.

As they sashayed through us and we got a close-up glimpse of the latest Fredrick’s of Hollywood line in lingerie, I failed at keeping my jaw off of the floor. I would have loved to have taken a picture to prove to you the audacity of their ahem, get-ups, but I would never have posted it for fear of being reported for possessing and posting sexually explicit pictures of children.

Get-ups. Now that is an appropriate word. There was a lot of things going up. Did you know that they make a Push-up Bra for a size 30A? I now do. The cleavage on these little teenies was like nothing I had ever seen. Somehow they managed the cleavage and got a teeny bit. In D’s words, it was more like, “let’s push my titties together and see what happens.” Just enough to get attention apparently.

Bad attention. Very bad attention.

“My Momma would have slapped me across the face if I attempted that,” said D.

Oh yeah, can you even imagine, the Preacher’s daughters looking like that?! Not good.

But these little girls did it.

As I watched them walk away all I could think was, “Who in their right mind bought those children these clothes?”

They did not buy it with their babysitting money. They did not mow a lawn or have a paper route. They were not old enough to possess such responsibilty. Someone with a credit card and a bad sense of judgement supplied these children with their stripper-worthy attire.

And. they. should. be. shot.

I tried to give the parents the benefit doubt. They probably bought that thinking she was going to wear it as an undershirt or boy shorts. But the closer I looked I realized there is no way you could purchase any of the items they were wearing separately and it look appropriate on a child even if it was done with leggings and/or multiple layers.

One girl was wearing something resembling a tube top with nothing underneath to make it cute like leggings or tights. Just a tube top people, as a dress. And it was 50 something degrees outside.

The other girl was wearing a slinky little dress with a V-shape cut that revealed no bra and way too much of this little girl. Any sudden movement of the arms and all her business would have been on display.

Both had heels higher than most I myself own. And they were working it. Who taught them to walk like that?! Perhaps too much ANTM.

Sad. So Sad. Infuriating. Disgust. So many emotions.

Sad because no one obviously told these girls that they were better than that. That they should respect themselves more and not to mention protect themselves from the perverts that inhabit this world in search of their next victim.

Infuriated that someone allowed them to dress and act that way with no correction or boundaries.

Disgusted to think that this is what the Lindsays and the Brittanys of the world are contributing to our society. Disgusted by the gross old men who watched them with their wandering eyes. Disgusted that obviously no one told them that they loved them more than to allow them to walk out the house that way.

God help us all.

Put some clothes on your children people.

I Gave In

March 4, 2008 at 1:51 pm | Posted in Advice, Family, Movies, Tech Gal | 7 Comments
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I don’t ever do things just because everyone else is doing it. It is a old trait that I never really grew out of. My parents taught me to be independent-minded and think for myself and it has kept me from a lot of drama in my day. I am usually the person who sits back and judges a situation fully before I dive in. I figure that if it is worth waiting for it will be there when I am ready to take advantage of it. (Case in point Hubby also falls into this category.)

It usually takes me just a tad bit longer to splurge on extras, but when I do I am hooked. There has been one thing I have been resisting to join and I think I am the last in the universe to jump on the bandwagon.

Finally, I gave in. I couldn’t resist anymore. I had to.

I joined Netflix.

I miss watching movies. Weekly. When I was a teenager I lived at the movie theatre and at “C’s” house watching tons of movies. Well, Hubby is not really a movie buff. He prefers to do more constructive things and while I can’t argue with the fact that he wants to change every single light fixture in my house, sometimes I just want him to freakin’ sit down and relax a minute and watch something that is not ESPN related.

And. We. Are. Going. To. Do. It.

We will enjoy watching movies together if it kills us. He has so much catching up to do and I am going to rejoin the land of imdb fanatics.

My current queue look something like this and my first choice, Once, is due to be here tomorrow! Thank God it is Spring Break and I actually have time for some guilty movie pleasures!

  • Michael Clayton
  • Becoming Jane
  • Away from Her
  • Why Did I Get Married?
  • La Vie En Rose
  • American Gangster
  • Gone Baby Gone
  • Becoming Jane
  • Into the Wild
  • Casablanca

Any suggestions for those of us who have been left behind the past few years?

Let’s Break from the Heavy Stuff

February 24, 2008 at 6:28 am | Posted in Movies | 3 Comments
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and pause for a moment of silence in great anticipation of . . .

satcteaserth.jpg

. . . being “Carried” away.  Girlfriends everywhere unite. Only 2.5 more months!

 Somehow we will be patient until the day comes!

I want to make me and my girlfriends shirts with our corresponding “character” names.

Don’t hate.

I desire to be more crafty. I long for the time to be more crafty.

I am so a Charlotte. No questions. It is so obvious.

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