Tuesday, October 27, 2015

At the Movies: The GOOD, the Intense, and the What? *spoilers ahead*


I've seen three very different movies in the last two weeks or so. Three that I didn't all love everything about, but liked. Which doesn't always happen for me. 

First up..THE GOOD:


You essentially have to be living under a rock not to know about this one - it's the talk of the town lately. A few things worth mentioning:

1// Epic casting - I mean honestly, it has everyone from Matt Damon (whom I've always had a soft spot for), Kate Mara, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Chiwetel Eijofor (HOW DO YOU SAY HIS NAME?)..I mean it's the darlings of 2015. And you don't hate them. In some movies where they cast a bunch of famous people, the movie just falls flat - it's just a reason to stick a bunch of people in one thing..no character development..but this one doesn't disappoint.

2// Sean Bean plays Mitch Henderson, who's in charge of something important (hey, the space jargon gets lost on me..sorry I'm not sorry!) - is in one scene and they make a Lord of the Rings reference and Sean's just so chill about it. Hilarious.

3// Matt has never been better. I mean, really, he is comedy, drama, anger, strength - all the good things. It may be his best, ever.

4// I never want to be in space. E.V.E.R.

5// I love that this movie made me think: man, what would I do in that situation? We won't ever get left on Mars or anything (which, some people I read genuinely thought that living/surviving on Mars is possible..I pity their mothers. And worry about what they're learning in school.) - but it makes you think - "what would happen if I was left..all alone". Spooky.

The second..THE INTENSE:


I really had no intention of seeing this one - at least not in the theaters. (my parents wanted to go, so I went!) It looked boring really. And I knew nothing about it - apart from the fact that he created Apple. Oops.

1// If this is true..Steve Jobs is a JERK. On an epic scale. Like if you look up douche bag in the dictionary, his face would be there. I heard from my mom that his family didn't want this movie made because it wasn't a fair or accurate picture of the person he was. Man, I hope that's true..because he was just MEAN.

2// Michael Fassbender did work. He was awful, crazed and methodical. I truly believed he was this epic mind who didn't know how to function in society - which is how I picture Steve Jobs. (it also makes me want to read a biography or something about him..maybe get some more information..?)

3// I had no idea that Jobs failed to get Apple off the ground the first time, was fired, tried to set up another company, crashed hard with the second one, and was given his job at Apple back. (which, is the long story short..and I just saved you $10.50. You're welcome.) But he ultimately saw failure as a next step - not stopping. He didn't give up. 

I read a quote last night that totally sums it up: "Failure is an event. It is never a person." Which hit me so hard square in the face. You're never the cause of whatever happened. It's never because you're dumb (you're not), you're not capable (you are)..whatever lies are stuck in you're head. It's just something that happens and you deal with it (however you can) and move on.

4// It's SUPER HEAVY on the dialogue side. Be prepared.

And lastly..THE WHAT?


This one I did want to see. I mean..BILL MURRAY. It just wasn't exactly what I expected.

1// Bill is his typical happy, beautiful little weirdo - and naturally, I loved it. I feel like he always plays the same type of character, but they're all different. I think it's just the magic of Murray. (which, should be a restaurant..The Magic of Murray. Bill, holler at your girl if you need help starting that restaurant. I'd love to.)

2// The music was awesome! Bill's character is a talent manager for Zooey Deschanel's character - and granted, it's a lot of Cat Stevens (I LOVE CAT) and Bob Dylan..but it also features Kid Rock (Bawitdaba is such a good jam..I don't care what you think of me after saying that), House of Pain (ahem, the song Jump Around), and Shakira. 

3// I loved the randomness of the casting - Danny McBride..Kate Hudson..Zooey..Bruce Willis..Taylor Kinney (to whom I would like to say..sup boy?)..but the true light of the movie (besides Bill, obvi) is a little known actress named Leem Lubany. She was smart, funny and sang like a little bird. I hope she gets some great feedback and projects from this one!

4// All that to say..I'd probably see this one after it comes out of theaters. It's not the most made well movie, and although it's entertaining in it's own way - it's probably not worth the $10.50. 

But whatever, Bill Murray 4 EVA.

What fun movies have you seen lately?

C

Monday, October 26, 2015

Monday's Mixtape: Oct 26, 2015


Bleh. Today was the worst. Let's just listen to music instead.

1// Hello by Adele


I'm not the biggest Adele fan - never really have been - but I do sing a mean "Skyfall"..in my car. Anyway, I was super surprised by this - and have been listening to it on loop for like three days straight. Whatevs.

2// Alive by Sia


YES.

3// Hotline Bling by Drake


One: Beige turtlenecks
Two: His dance moves

Golden.

4// One Time by Justin Bieber


Threw you for a loop there, huh? 
This song doesn't get old.

5// Renegades by X Ambassador


I love whatever is happening with this guys voice/sound/whatever. It makes me interested in whatever he comes out with next.

Hope your Monday was better than mine!

C

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

I LOVE YOU TAYLOR SWIFT!

Almost a year ago, a friend and I told each other we'd buy tickets to Taylor's upcoming (well..a year away!) concert - and he bought them. I was pretty ecstatic. Elated. Really pumped. 

Fast forward a year - and whew, a lot of things changed. Including my date to the concert - and THANKFULLY my wonderful partner in running (and crime..we'd be a pretty sweet crime duo..just saying), Dara, accepted my offer and came with! We talked about it a lot in the weeks leading up to it - including a few countdown texts like this:


And then October 17th came. She picked me up in her little car and off we went to Jerry World (you know, where the Cowgirls..I mean, Cowboys play). We stopped for dinner at this little bar (aptly named Grease Monkey) about a half mile from the stadium that offered a shuttle to the stadium. A bacon cheeseburger AND I wouldn't have to pay $60 for parking? (yes, that's the truth..they were charging 60 BUCKS for parking..rude) 

SOLD

WE MADE IT!

We arrived about two hours early (we thought traffic would be horrible..it was, you know, later on in the night..ha) and headed up to our seats. We were about 7-10 rows from the top. Which, I totally didn't mind..I just wanted to be there. We sat in our seats for a little while, basking in the "calm before the storm" - the storm being 60,00 other people - before walking down to meet up with my friend Hannah.


Hannah and I were in the same sorority in college and I was even in her wedding last fall! That was actually the last time I saw her - she up and moved to Colorado pretty soon after! She's a lucky girl. I'm glad we got to see each other for a few minutes.

After the trek downstairs, we made our way upstairs and took our seats!


(if you're wondering..yes our shirts say "Shake It Off" - I found them on Etsy!)


The show began with an adorable little 17 year old named Shawn Mendes. Shawn sings "Stiches", which has invaded the radio waves completely.

video

Besides being cute, the kid can sing. He was up there, just him and guitar and did his thing. Can you imagine being 17 and playing a show (let alone an entire tour) of 60,000 people? I'd be freaking out a little..but he managed with grace.


I got a panorama of the stadium lit up with phone lights during Shawn's set. I thought it was pretty cool myself.

Next up was Vance Joy. 

video

Vance sings another little song that you may have heard of this summer, Riptide. You might have, you may have not. If you haven't, you've been living under a rock. I also really enjoyed his set! And loved his cover of "Stay With Me". He's coming back in March, and Dara and I are talking about seeing him again. He's that good. And really attractive. AND has an Australian accent. So..there's that.

AND THEN:

The crowd went NUTS. She opened with "Welcome to New York" - which, I'll admit isn't my favorite song (at all) on the 1989 album..but I was singing to it regardless. I read somewhere that she sang all but two songs from the album. I didn't exactly keep track..I was just lost in it.

video

And, in the spirit of her tour, she brought out Ellie Goulding as her celebrity guest:


She was..okay. She sang "Love Me Like You Do" and while I sang every word (like I do every time), I'm a little over the song - so it was a dull moment in the concert for me.

BUT..

The whole thing was just electric. Surreal. She's literally everything you'd think she'd be and more. I don't even have enough words for it, honestly. I mean, the woman spent 15 minutes in the middle of her concert to stop and talk about being yourself and being happy. (the speech is somewhere on Youtube..google it, it's worth a listen) She knows exactly who her audience is - it's little girls who hate this about themselves and don't fit in anywhere. It's the 25 year old who identify (a little too much) with the different relationship woes she's had. She's been in their shoes..in my shoes..the shoes are just a little more expensive.

I'm thankful that there are role models for little girls like Taylor Swift. Someone you can actually look up to. She's not going out partying every night or going off the deep end on purpose..*ahem, Miley*

She's just trying to do what she does and be a good person. The kind of person that writes personal Christmas letters to fans (and hand delivers them!) and dances really horribly at award shows. The kind of person that gives $50k to one of her back up dancer's nephews because he's battling cancer and the bills are piling up. 

I love her - and I'm going to keep loving her. There's enough bad things happening in the world, and none have to do with Taylor Swift.

I was just really happy to be there, with one of my best friends, enjoying my first (and not my last) Swift experience..

*sigh..*

C

Monday, October 19, 2015

Book Review: "Seriously..I'm Kidding" by Ellen Degeneres


Howdy there! Ellen's book is number 9 on my "25 before 26 Memiors" list - and boy, was I excited to dive into this one!



Per Barnes and Noble.com: "Sometimes the greatest things are the most embarrassing." Ellen Degeneres' winning, upbeat candor has made her show one of the most popular, resilient and honored daytime shows on the air. (To date, it has won no fewer than 31 Emmys.) Seriously... I'm Kidding, Degeneres' first book in eight years, brings us up to date about the life of a kindhearted woman who bowed out of American Idol because she didn't want to be mean. Lively; hilarious; often sweetly poignant. 





Imma be real honest here: I love Ellen. And I hated her book. I didn't hate it, hate it - but I kind of had more expectations of it - and it sort of really let me down.

First, I thought it was going to be more of a memoir - it wasn't. Sure, she gives out all kinds of advice and tells stories, but it's really just that. It's chapters of her saying whatever comes to her mind - it never exactly flows. 
I'm still considering it one of my memoirs because it comes from her voice and it's considered a memoir at the library. Whatever the library says, goes. Am I right?

Secondly, I just couldn't get into it. I laughed out loud at one liners and found it an easy read (like really, really easy), but I wasn't into it and might have skipped two of the last three chapters. Oops. 

And last, but not least, I'm glad it's over. I can move onto other things.


I do have a few favorites, naturally, because Ellen is hilarious. No matter how much I did or didn't enjoy the book - there are things to be learned from in it!

1// "It's hard to understand failure when you're going through it, but in the grand scheme of things it's good to fall down - not because you're drunk or near stairs."

When things get rough, our vision is cloudy. There's no real light coming through because we're so thick in the mud and mire. But it's also a learning experience. Life would be entirely too clean if we didn't have anything bad happen to us, ever. 

2// "We're all different people and we're allowed to be different from one another. If someone says you're weird, say thank you. And then curtsey. No, don't curtsey. That might be too weird. Bow. And tip your imaginary hat. That'll show them."

Ellen is the poster child for "be you, boo boo!" and most of the time, I love it. She's a walking talking advocate for the rights of others - gay, straight, bullied..I mean, the woman wants to save us all. And she believes that we're all important and different, which, we should all get behind anyway. Get out from behind your prejudice and love, people. And bow. While tipping you're imaginary hat.

3// "Maybe at some point we won't have to break success down along gender lines. Maybe we don't have to say a man did this or a woman invented that. Maybe we'll just be able to say this wonderful, smart, creative person did something extraordinary and that will be that."

I think this is a great reminder for what we're going through in this country at the moment. Women are fighting for their "right" to be equal to a man (which..we already have, by the way..) instead of focusing on doing something. We want the recognition and win more than we want to just do the work. Who gives a crap if a man or a woman does something? I just want to celebrate the good stuffs. I'm tired of fighting for something that's already won.


Read it if you're a fan of Ellen. That's really about all I got for ya. I wanted to like this way more than I did, but that wasn't the case. I'm still going to be a big fan of Ellen and a lot of what she stands up for, but maybe sticking to watching her on TV instead.

C

Sunday, October 18, 2015

28 Years.

If you were to ask me at any given time who my favorite people were, I'd say my parents. Every time. (follow quickly by my brother and sister, my sister in law, and the babes) And in this day and age, it may be the uncool thing, but they're my best friends. I don't call someone my age when I have an issue or a problem, my first number in my phone is my mom. The second, my dad. That's usually the order in which I call.


Yesterday was their 28th wedding anniversary. That's three kids, one daughter in law, one grandson, two granddaughters. It's 5 states and one country. It's the loss of a brother and a father. It's countless times of fixer-uppers and eating dinner in camping chairs and a plastic table. 

It's being best friends.


Being privy to 25 years of that marriage, I've learned a few things - not only about marriage, but about being a human. A nice human at that - and I'd like to share those things. Things that my parents have passed along to me, and I hope, if God blesses me with children, that I'll pass along to them.

1// If you must fight, fight behind closed doors.

I can count on one hand how many times I've heard my parents disagree - and that's only because I was listening at their door. To the best of my knowledge, my parents never fought in front of us. They may have disagreed, but they never had shouting matches. They saw the importance of solving things without us - and coming back out of the room united again - and that made a huge impression on me. 

2// There's always time.

There have been many times when I'll call my parents on a Friday afternoon and they're in a totally different zip code than they were an hour before. If we ask, they come - even if it's that morning. There's always time to come see one of us when there's been an off day. Always.

3// "Who's your best friend?" 
"Your dad."

I asked my mom one time this question, expecting a different answer. Other moms have gaggles of girlfriends. Other dads have "buddies". And while my parents have more of a social life than I do, they still would rather hang out with each other than anyone else. They are proof that marrying your best friend is the only way to go.


4// Love your brother. 
Love your sister.

Being the middle child hasn't always been easy (what? You haven't heard a middle child say that before..weird.) and I haven't always loved my big brother and younger sister like I should. But my parents never let us be anything but kind to one another. Sure, we had fights and said mean things to each other in front of my parents, but they knew the importance of the three of us having a strong relationship. We needed each other, even if we didn't care for one another all the time - and I think life would be a lot harder if I didn't have Ryne or Hannah.

5// Moving isn't that hard.

If you know anything about our lives, you'll know I've lived in quite a few places. Because of that, I've never truly been scared of packing up and moving. Yes, there are definitely lonely nights and times I wish I lived closer to any of them, but there's always friends to be made. There's always clubs to join and participate in. Moves are only as hard as you make them.

6// Eat right, exercise and get some sleep.

The secret to life (and marathon running) is to take care of your body. It's making sure that you eat (mostly - because..ice cream. And cheeseburgers.) right, exercise often and get enough rest so that your body functions normally. My parents have always instilled in us that the way you treat your body is how it's going to react. If you eat crap, you'll feel like crap. If you don't exercise, you feel like crap. And if you don't sleep, you feel like crap. You don't have to eat kale every meal, run for 4 hours a day and go to sleep at 8 pm every night, but setting yourself up to succeed in those areas of your life will lead to better things every single day.


7// Who cares what other people are doing?

My parents have always supported our dreams, because they've supported each others dreams. They've moved across the Pacific Ocean and built straw bale houses. They've gone back to school in their late 30's and hiked for 5 days in the Grand Canyon. They taught us that dreaming is essential and going after those dreams makes life better. And you know what, other people not being on board of those dreams? Who cares. It's not their life. Its yours.

8// Give, give, give. And be generous about it.

Our family has never been rich by any means. My parents have worked their asses butts of my entire life, and we've always had the essentials. (THANK YOU FOR THAT!) And through times when things were tight, they still gave. They gave of their time, their talents and I've even watched my father pick up the tab for 20+ family members at a restaurant. I remember that being a big moment in my head - how could he afford that? Because he knew (and knows - they knew and know) that God will provide. And whether it's picking up a tab or helping friends of mine move, they're always the first to sign up and do whatever is necessary - out of joy and love - because that's who they are.

9// You are strong, you are loved.

This has been a mantra that has been repeated and repeated to me for a long time. When things get extra tough, it's the quite whisper in my head. It's the reminder that whatever is happening at the present moment, that can be overcome - and someone is going to be loving me regardless of the outcome.


10// You are never alone.

I remember a conversation I had recently after a friends wedding with my mom. I had spent the evening before bed crying and having a terrible time with you know, being single and alone and all that jazz. My mother, never one to mix words, looked me straight in the eye and said "Look at me..you are NEVER alone." She went on to tell me that I would always have my dad and I would always have her, and I would always have the Lord. Trying to push those people away wouldn't ever help me - it would only create the feeling of loneliness - so I had to let people in. (which has never been something I'm good at. I like walls.) I have to let those people, and many others, see my heart, love me well and let me love them too. That wasn't changing, so fighting it wasn't going to do me any good. Loving people is the only way to go through life.


Quite frankly, that doesn't even scratch the surface of what my parents have taught me. Not even close. But I think the most important thing they've taught me is love. Love myself, love the people around me, love the Lord. 

I'm thankful that my poppa spotted my mom on their college campus that many years ago and decided she was the one. I'm glad they wrote letters and went on adventures. That they met each others families and decided they wanted one of their own. I'm glad they had my brother, sister, and me. I'm blessed to be loved by them, and to get to love them.


They are, hands down, the two greatest people walking this Earth - and I wouldn't be who I am today without them. 

I love you mommy and daddy.
Twenty eight and counting,
C

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Words on Wednesday: Oct 14, 2015


A jolt woke her up. The coolness of the cab window eased the smack it just endured by the cabbie slamming on his breaks. Realizing he had done this, he peered into the mirror and said, "Sorry miss." She blinked, gave a little head nod in acknowledgement and closed her eyes once more. She couldn't wait to be free of this vehicle, even if it meant seeing him.

The snow looks like it's slowing down, she said when she opened her eyes again. Three more blocks. Two more blocks. One more block. She was going to see him again.

The cab slowed to a crawl and halted a little more than five feet from her front door. Their front door. The one that kept the world out from their hideaway. Their kingdom. Their life. She was going to see him again.

Him. Him. She thought. The snows falling faster again. Him. He was everywhere, and nowhere at the same time. She was going to see him again.

She climbed the seven steps that led to that door, put her key in the lock and opened it. Warm air enveloped her and she slipped inside. She took off her outerwear piece by piece, delaying the meeting for a little while longer. She was going to see him again.

She hear the familiar scoot of the chair from his spot at the head of their table. The one they bought at a flee market in the South somewhere. The one they shipped that came in several big boxes. The one she knew every inch of, because he always sat there - and she wanted to be anywhere he was. She was going to see him again.

He stood in the doorway to the kitchen. One thumb hooked in his left jean pocket, and the rest of his body fell in lazily. He had a uniform: jeans, a white tshirt (one she always stole when she could), a sweater (most likely from his mother), and boots. She was seeing him again.

As he stepped toward her again, like he had so many times before - she knew she never wanted to leave him again. Dropping her baggage, she embraced him.

She was with him again.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Book Review: "Eat, Pray, Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert + a mixtape!


I'm pretty exhausted, so this one may be shorter than I mean it to. We'll see.

Today's review (and number 8 on my 25 before 26 list!) is of "Eat, Pray, Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert. And since it's Monday - I'm including some of my favorite road trip songs - to keep in the theme of trips!



From the author's WEBSITE: "This beautifully written, heartfelt memoir touched a nerve among both readers and reviewers. Elizabeth Gilbert tells how she made the difficult choice to leave behind all the trappings of modern American success (marriage, house in the country, career) and find, instead, what she truly wanted from life. Setting out for a year to study three different aspects of her nature amid three different cultures, Gilbert explored the art of pleasure in Italy and the art of devotion in India, and then a balance between the two on the Indonesian island of Bali. By turns rapturous and rueful, this wise and funny author (whom Booklist calls “Anne Lamott’s hip, yoga- practicing, footloose younger sister”) is poised to garner yet more adoring fans."


You know, I wanted to totally hate this book. It's been yielded and gushed about for so many years, and I wanted to dislike it out of protest..because I'm a brat like that. But I didn't hate it. I skipped over a few parts about her views on God and heaven, etc, because they didn't line up with what I believe - which is to say, she can believe whatever she wants..I just don't want it in my head and in my heart. That may be my only complaint, BUT - I also think her views say a lot about her heart. What she's searching for, what she learned, who she points to - it's all there, it's just..a little off.

Gilbert, after years in New York, with the perfect life and perfect job and perfect man, finds herself on the bathroom floor crying. And crying out. She didn't want to be where she was anymore. I think we've all been in that situation once or twice. She decides to take a trip to three different places: Italy (for pleasure aka EAT), India (for devotion aka PRAY) and Bali (for balance..which ultimately ends up being LOVE). She explores each country for three or four months, and learns a multitude in each place. Making a complete transformation between the dark, dark lows (of divorce, stress, anger, etc) to the light, light highs (love, pleasure, security, life). 

Essentially it's her journey to find God. And hopefully find herself in the process. And wouldn't you know? She finds both.


Since the book is split up in three parts, I'm going to give quotes from each part separately from one another..hopefully giving you a bit of background of each stop on her journey - in her own words.

Italy: PLEASURE/EAT

1// "But why must everything always have a practical application?..Is this lifetime supposed to be only about duty?"

Elizabeth wants to learn Italian because she finds it to be beautiful, but finds herself questioning whether or not it's important or useful. I think we all struggle with parts of ourselves that want to learn things and dream big dreams because they're not "practical"..but that's more of a reason to do something. This lifetime is NOT just about duty.

2// "But the very fact that the world is so challenging is exactly why you sometimes must reach out of it's jurisdiction for help, appealing to a higher authority in order to find your comfort."

See what I mean about her intentions? Change sometimes in that sentence to ALWAYS, and you've got it made, my friend. Always reach for God..even when it's difficult. Even when the world is challenging. 

India: DEVOTION/PRAY

1// "Never did have much of a career path," he says, "Never could do anything but the hustle."

Never in my life have I heard a better description of me. Of my work habits or ethic. Of how I feel about working in general. I love the hustle. I don't know how to do much other than the hustle. The older I become, the less likely (in my mind) I am to have an actual career, and I'm okay with that. Thankfully I'm allowed that kind of thinking and who knows, maybe in that hustle I'll find something I truly enjoy..and stick around for it.

2// "If you clear out al that space in your mind that you're using right now to obsess about this guy, you'll have a vacuum there, an open spot - a doorway. And guess what the universe will do with that doorway? It will rush in - God will rush in - and fill you with more love than you ever dreamed...Let it go."

While I'm not personally hung up on any sort of man right now, someone reading is - this one is for you. Let them go. Let it go.

3// "There are only two questions that human beings have ever fought over, all through history. How much do you love me? And who's in charge? Everything else is somehow manageable. But these two questions of love and control undo us all, trip us up and cause war, grief and suffering."

I'll let that one soak in.

Bali: BALANCE/LOVE

1// "Why they always look so serious in Yoga? You make serious face like this, you scare away good energy. To meditate, only you must smile. Smile with face, smile with mind, and good energy will come to you and clean away dirty energy. Even smile in your liver."

Now, I don't believe very much in energy and the like, but I think it's a good reminder here to be "glass half full". That phrase "look good, feel good" applies to your face, mannerisms and life outlook too. If you're at least attempting happiness, good things come. Make an effort..and remember to smile..even in your liver.

2// "And love is always complicated. But still humans must try to love each other, darling. We must get out hearts broken sometimes. This is a good sign, having a broke heart. It means we have tried for something."

Behind the ooey-gooeyness and cheese of this statement, there's a lining. It speaks volumes to trying. To walking up to someone and creating a relationship. It's not always easy, but that's not an excuse not to try. Trying is better than not participating. Always.

3// "To lose balance sometimes for love is part of living a balanced life."

Again, cheese..but..I can't help it. It's true.


If I had to give you one quote to get you to read this book, it would be this:

"I'm not interested in the insurance industry. I'm tired of being a skeptic. I'm irritated by spiritual prudence and I feel bored and parched by empirical debate. I don't want to hear it anymore. I couldn't care less about evidence and proof and assurances. I just want God. I want God inside me. I want God to play in my bloodstream the way sunlight amuses itself on water."

I think her sentiments on faith and God ring true. She's searching for what my heart aches for every single day. I'm not looking for skepticism and proof and a pastor to lead me places. Sure, I need to be led, that's good and dandy, but I just want God too. I want God because that's the only thing that is there when I can't see. You know that feeling? When you're so enveloped in grief or anger or darkness that you can't find a grip to grab? There's always a few moments there, and then light. Glorious light..amusing itself on water. Because that's who God is. He's sunlight and grace and truth. 

If you're searching, I'd give this one a go. Not in the way that you should believe everything she says, but there are some things that I wanted to jump up and down for - and about. She has it right, I thought - and it's covered in travel logs, pizza and Asian countries. Give it a go, but don't forget the truth in the process.

AND - like I promised..


1// I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For by U2


This is my absolute favorite road trip song. You cannot go wrong with this song.

2// If It Makes You Happy by Sheryl Crow


I truly believe that you can't not turn this song up and sing it at the top of your lungs. Doesn't matter if you're male, female, old, young - it's got that power.

3// Son's Gonna Rise by Citizen Cope


This one makes me want to put one hand out the window and ride the wind with my hand..you know what I mean, don't pretend you don't.

4// Oops I Did It Again by Britney Spears


Oh you don't jam to the Princess of Pop when you're riding in the car? I don't believe you.

5// Hold My Hand by Hootie and the Blowfish


This one is specifically for the Bergren family. We love us some Hootie.

Hope your Monday was just fine!
And remember always..always smile from you liver,

C

Thursday, October 8, 2015

At the Movies: "About Alex"


Funnily enough..this is becoming more of an entertainment blog - without meaning to. I guess I thought it would eventually become about things I loved..and I love movies.

Today's wonderful film is called "About Alex".
*spoilers ahead*


Another take on the traditional "Brat Pack" movie, "About Alex" stars many of today's greats. Max Greenfield, Aubrey Plaza, Jason Ritter..there's talent all over the place. The story starts with Jason Ritter's character, Alex, filled to the brim with the evils in his head - tries to kill himself. His "Brat Pack" (if you don't get that reference..go watch an 80s movie) college friends assemble to his aid - including his best friend Ben (played by Nate Parker). 

Normally I go into 5 reason you should watch, but I'd like to be a bit more wordy about this one. 

It's funny, and sad, and heart breaking. Each character confronts their own demons after one of their own couldn't. Alex lives, and the house becomes a way for them to come together again - and break apart better.

When you go to college, you're almost forced to be friends with people. You have the same classes, you walk to the same buildings..you're friends out of necessity - not love. But, thankfully, after a few months - friends you're not sure of kind of fall to the wayside and you find your tribe. It may not always happen like that, but it did for these friends. And then one day, the day after graduation, you all scatter. You become serious and find your own worlds..other people..and those friendships who meant so much to you when you were 20 and 22, don't mean as much as they used to. Those people don't always fit into your every day life anymore.

This is where our story opens up. 

There's always an Alex - in every story. There's always going to be one human who feels too deeply. Wants to much. Has hardships and unlikely things happen to them. And, we can't always be there. We can't always hold someone up when they can't hold themselves. 


So what do we do when we have the realization that we can't? We, as humans, are meant for relationships. Even the most "I hate humans" type of human desperately wants someone. Anyone. A hand, a caress, a talk at 3 am..we all want that. And then something happens and were shocked into the realization that we can't be that for everyone.

It may not be an attempt. It may be a follow through. I don't mean that in any way that is cruel. I know dark places. I know we all have darkness. And I won't ever know that kind of darkness. At least I hope not..

This movie highlights matters that were not all comfortable talking about. Mental health is not an easy subject, but all we can do is try. Try to come together. Try to be there for someone..anyone. Try to not let it get to that point. And forgive ourselves when we can't. 

Because we all know that we can't.

That's what's good about grace though. And tribes and love. When we can't, they can. Whoever they are. Whatever they are. And when they can't - God can. But more importantly, God can all the time. Faith in that makes life a little livable. 

This story may not be the easiest representation of life. It may be harsher and brash - and full of cuss words..but at it's core, it's grace. It's the people were put into this life with - and loving them regardless. Come hell or high water


The term "ride or die" comes to mind. There are always going to be people that you'll do anything for - regardless of babies and promotions and miles. Those things aren't as big of obstacles if you don't let them be. That's the best part of the human condition though. We're relational and when we find those that we can't help but love, were there. 

Were able to love from miles away.
Were able to go months or days or years without talking, and when you do - nothing could be easier.
Nothing.

See it. Be sad. Be happy. And be reminded of your own story.
Be reminded that someone loves you even if they aren't there every day.

Come hell or high water,
C

Monday, October 5, 2015

Monday's Mixtape: Oct 15, 2015


It's not Throwback Thursday, but I'm definitely feeling some old jams today..enjoy!

1// After Tonight by Justin Nozuka


I love this song. I think it's because it's one that I can keep up with. You know, like in rap songs when you try your hardest to learn the words because it makes you feel that much cooler? Yup, this is my speed..ha.

2// Existentialism on Prom Night by Straylight Run


This video is terrible..but the song is just enough middle school angst that I loved it.

3// Overboard by Justin Bieber


What? It's good. Don't judge me.

4// The Hardest Thing by 98 Degrees


LONG LIVE SWEATER TURTLENECKS.

P.s. Can anyone name the other people in 98 Degrees besides Nick Lachey and his brother? Don't worry, neither can I. 

5// Boston by Augustana


My baby sister is currently road tripping to her new home in Boston, so this one is for her! Love you, HB! 

C