Monday, January 11, 2016

Monday's Mixtape: BOWIE.

The world lost a great musical icon Sunday. 

And it only seems right that this mixtape is all things David.

1// Space Oddity

The man invented glam rock - and killed it. Or as the kids say, he slayed it.

2// Let's Dance

This one just makes me want to dance. I mean, it's totally the point, but the poppy melody and the funky sound always makes me want to stand up and dance.

3// As the World Falls Down (from "Labyrinth")

You can't talk about Bowie without talking about "Labyrinth". The 1986 movie tells of a young girl who wishes for her baby brother to disappear. She is to solve a labyrinth and get the baby back from David Bowie, who plays goblin king, Jareth. 

If I'm being totally honest though, it creeped me out just a bit. Loved it, and we watched it about a million times in my high school art class (my teacher was practically obsessed), but creeped me out.

4// Lazarus 

The last music video he put out before his death. It's creepy, and odd, and visually stunning. All of the things I know David to be. People are also saying it foretold him not surviving his cancer. I don't know if that's true, but it's one last send off. And he does it well.

5// Heroes

It's probably very cliche that this is my favorite song of his, and yet, I don't care. I think it's so beautiful and it's only right that it be anyone's favorite.

So goodnight Goblin King.
Goodnight Ziggy Stardust.
Goodnight David Jones.

You will be missed.


Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Book Review: "Why Not Me?" by Mindy Kaling

So, it turns out that I may not be done with this challenge - the 25 memoirs before I turn 26..because, I'd most likely consider Mindy's new book a memoir of sorts. I just may not complete the challenge before I turn 26. How about I give myself til the end of 2016..that might be easier. Anyway, we'll talk about that later.

From "In Why Not Me?, Kaling shares her ongoing journey to find contentment and excitement in her adult life, whether it’s falling in love at work, seeking new friendships in lonely places, attempting to be the first person in history to lose weight without any behavior modification whatsoever, or most important, believing that you have a place in Hollywood when you’re constantly reminded that no one looks like you.

Mindy turns the anxieties, the glamour, and the celebrations of her second coming-of-age into a laugh-out-loud funny collection of essays that anyone who’s ever been at a turning point in their life or career can relate to. And those who’ve never been at a turning point can skip to the parts where she talks about meeting Bradley Cooper."

First, I made the grave mistake of reading and not listening to the audio book of her first book, "Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?". Listening to this one in the car had me laughing out loud, cringing at some parts and scoffing in others. It brought the whole thing to life. I think I enjoyed it more hearing her read not only the book, but give background information along the way. You also get to hear B.J Novak (Mindy's real life bff) in parts. He's entertaining as well. 

Second, as I said, I laughed a lot. I also cringed a lot. And scoffed quite a bit. Mindy's brand of comedy makes me like her and dislike her at the same time. It really just depends on what she's talking about at the current moment. 

I really enjoyed her story of dating a White House Press Secretary (I think that was his title) and enjoying a behind the scenes look at the life and times of the President. And her commencement speech for Harvard Law (for the most part) towards the end of the book.

I did not enjoy her thoughts on her two weeks in a sorority. I have to keep reminding myself that I had a different sorority experience than most, but it really does sort of bug me when people have narrow views of what a sorority is, how it's run, and the whole "pay for friends" thing. When you aren't fully in something, you don't know what you're talking about.

I admire Mindy's confidence and her brassy attitude, but I also think she should mind what she says. At least some of the time. 

1// “I will leave you with one last piece of advice, which is: If you’ve got it, flaunt it. And if you don’t got it? Flaunt it. ’Cause what are we even doing here if we’re not flaunting it?” 

This is one that I really laughed at, but it's also a bit thought provoking. It kind of goes along with the old saying "if you don't love yourself, no one else will". I think everyone has days (weeks, months, years) where they aren't 100% in love with who they are (which is totally fine), but we forget that we're it. We're the only one of us..and why shouldn't that be celebrated?

2// "But my secret is: even though I wish I could be thin, and that I could have the ease of lifestyle that I associate with being thin, I don’t wish for it with all of my heart. Because my heart is reserved for way more important things.”  

I wish this was my thought process on more than one occasion. In fact, I wish that was my very first instinct. It's not, most days..but, at the end of the day, I do know there are more important things. And that's what my heart is really, truly super obsessed with..not the pounds or the curves or the way my jeans don't fit some days. It really isn't that important. 

3// “Work hard, know your shit, show your shit, and then feel entitled. Listen to no one except the two smartest and kindest adults you know, and that doesn't always mean your parents. If you do that, you will be fine.” 

You will.

I don't think you should read it. I think you should listen to it, number one. It'll make the whole thing a lot more enjoyable. Think of it as "me time".

Second, I think you should read it because it's funny. Because Mindy says things you aren't willing to say yourself, and she (although this is really not that true) is a real person. She isn't going to give you bullshit, and I like that about her. 

It's a short book that keeps you interested and gives you something to chuckle about during the day..what more could you want? In fact, maybe save it for a summer, read by the beach read. That sounds really nice.


Friday, January 1, 2016

At the Movies: Best of 2015 + some runner ups!

Friends, I love "Best of.." lists. I love countdowns. I love the feeling of "man, this list is awful..BUT I HAVE TO FIND OUT WHAT'S NUMBER ONE!" - when I could most likely just Google it. And ten bucks says I'll most likely disagree with whoever decided number one was number one. So, instead of disagreeing..I complied my own list this year. My favorites - not in any particular order. Let's get started!

1// Star Wars: The Force Awakens

You're probably all like "uh, duh..I knew you were going to put that first.." - and well, you'd be right. I actually had a whole post planned for this movie, and went to Boston for Christmas (another post I will eventually do), and sort of forgot to.

Things I liked: 
1. the leads - John Boyega and Daisy Ridley are adorable, new faces and seem to genuinely be excited to be in the Star Wars franchise. So likable.
2. HAN SOLO. But, obviously..again. He's my number one crush of the century. Such a babe.
3. the comedic timing. JJ Abrahams likes his "action comedies", and The Force Awakens didn't shy away from that.

Things I didn't like:
1. Adam Driver being serious. If you see him in anything else, he's the biggest goofball. It's just a bit unnerving. Although, I did like his portrayal..I just was expecting him to make fart noises behind someones back or something.
2. It followed a bit to closely to the original stories. I don't know if this is a set up to the next part, or if they're just going to pick material from the originals. We shall see.
3. A certain characters which I decided I hate JJ Abrahams. 

2// Creed

You can check out my full review HERE! - but just know..I LOVED IT. Michael B. Jordan is spectacular and super attractive. Sly is funny and he STILL has it. It fit in perfectly, albeit the 2015 style of it, with the others and I can't wait to see another. Oh, I'm definitely hoping they make another! *crosses fingers*

3// The Hunger Games Mockingjay Pt 2

I did not think I'd like this one as much as I did. I am always a little hesitant to see movies made from my favorite books, but I think that Francis Lawerence (the director), J-Law and the rest of the crew made it possible for me to enjoy one of those books-to-movies movie.

Things I liked:
1. J-Law and Josh Hutcherson's chemistry. In real life, I think Jennifer would end up with Liam Hemsworth, but Jen and Josh love each can tell. The final scene..*sigh*
2. It stayed fairly true to the book.

I didn't like:
1. Finnick and Prim. But that's more Suzanne Collin's fault. I'm still mad at her for it.

4// The Martian

I also did a little review on this movie, which you can see HERE! 
My favorite parts had to have been the casting and the comedic side of the story.. From Matt, to Kate Mara, to Chiwetel Eijofor - everyone is solid. It's always a bit of a struggle when directors cast a bunch of huge, huge names together, but this one definitely doesn't disappoint.
And I wouldn't have had nearly as much fun on Mars alone for years as Matt did, but he kept his sanity by his sense of humor. This movie would have been a complete ass kicking without it.

The only thing I didn't like that the man with a family went back into space like that. I mean, come ON. After all of that and you STILL went back? You're crazy.

5// Inside Out

Pixar always does a good job. I haven't been disappointed in much of anything they've put out, but this one has to be one of my favorites. I actually saw it twice in theaters, I liked it that much.

I liked:
1. The characters/the actors they chose as voices. I mean, y'all know my love for Amy Poehler goes far and wide, but Mindy Kaling as Disgust? Lewis Black as Anger? Phyllis Smith as Sadness? Awesome. Every single one.
2. The positive message that while you can have emotions and let things out - there's still a time to learn to control the emotions. To beat them sometimes. And to just ride them other times. Kids need to know that.

I didn't like:
1. Well, I cried during the part where she lets her imaginary friend go..that was tough. I never had an imaginary friend, but love that that leaving your life is always hard.

6// McFarland USA

A powerful, powerful story of "it's not alway who you are, but what you become". Small town runners find their true potential in their running coach, played by one of my absolute favorites, Kevin Costner. It made me smile and cheer and laugh and cry. I loved it.

7// Jurrassic World

Straight up, I saw this because Andy Dwyer is my dream man. And I stayed because the movie was awesome.

8// The Intern

If I had to choose a favorite movie of the year, (and this may surprise you) but it definitely would be this one. Catch my full review HERE!

I liked:
1. Robert and Anne's chemistry. I really want them to be best friends in real life. Someone tell me they are..that's my wish for 2016.
2. The rest of the cast. A motley crew of characters - seasoned vets, new up and comers and some I've never seen before - but it mixed well and I don't think they dropped the casting ball once.

I didn't like:
1. Anne's husband. But you'll really have to see the movie to see why.
2. That it ended. I need a copy ASAP.

9// The Maze Runner: Scorch Trials

Another review that I did this year - you can catch it HERE! 

I liked:
1. Dylan O'Brien
2. Dylan O'Brien
3. Dylan O'Brien

Oh, you thought I'd say something else? No. Sorry. I'm..not sorry. And honestly, the only thing that I really didn't like was that they sort of strayed from the book. No, they definitely did stray. It was quite different. Not necessarily in a bad way - because I think it's a solid second effort (nothing like boring Insurgent..which, you'll see, didn't even make my list), but it's different. 

10// Cinderella

When I was going through the list in my head, I was like "WHERE'S MY ROMANCE?" I didn't just add Cinderella as my romance (to round out the list). I thought it was beautiful, clever, and just the right touches to be a Disney classic. I was never really a fan of Cinderella (the original from Disney), because I was true to Beauty and the Beast, but this one converted me a bit. Especially the part where her mother said "have courage and be kind." That rung through my little head all year. 

Well, that's that. My favorites for the year. I did, though, have a few that didn't quite make the list, but I still really enjoyed. My runner ups include:

1. American Sniper
Bradley Cooper's performance was pretty powerful. Even with that fake baby.
2. Furious 7. 
I actually did a review on it - which you can check out HERE! My love for Fast and the Furious movies is big time. I just liked a few a little bit more than it this year.
3. Pitch Perfect 2
I liked it. And then I really didn't. It was incredibly funny - especially with the Green Bay Packers - I just didn't get into it as much as the first one. The first one trumps the second in every way. Except in the Green Bay Packers category.
4. Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
Another that I wrote a little something about. You can read it HERE! I think it's the best Mission Impossible movie so far, and I can't say enough good things about it - but like with Furious 7, I just liked a few movies a bit more.

And with that, I can't wait to see what 2016 holds in the world fake babies, super hunks, fast cars, Disney princesses and a galaxy far, far away...