Posted in Pop Culture, Word Therapy

Friday Favorites: We Survived 2017

The older I get, the more the cliché rings true: Time flies. For once, I am glad 2017 flew by. There is the government and its unending mission to destroy those who need help, numerous personal life changes, and my kids refuse to stop growing no matter what I say. I am grateful, lucky, and happy for many reasons. Below are my favorite movies, tv shows, and books of 2017. Are they are on your list? What were your favorites?

Favorite Movies:

Get Out-Get Out is on the short list to be an Oscar nominee for good reason. Jordan Peele directing, outstanding cast, and a story that will be burned into my brain forever. It scared the hot tea out of me with its brilliance.

It-I watched the miniseries of Stephen King’s It as a kid. I can still see Richard Masur’s severed head in the refrigerator. So when I saw the trailer for the movie version of King’s novel you would think (incorrectly) that I would run the other direction. I was all in for the delightful cast of kids (Finn Wolfhard as potty mouthed Richie made me giggle every time he talked), handsome-underneath-all-that-makeup Bill Skarsgard as insane clown Pennywise, and the dread I knew I would feel watching the film. It didn’t let me down or the full crowd that showed up for the 10 am showing on opening day.

Lady Bird-Greta Gerwig’s story of teen Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson made me want to run home and hug my daughter so tightly. I lost count of all the moments where I said to myself, “That is so going to be Scarlet and I.” Christine’s relationship with her mom Marion (Laurie Metcalf) is complicated, heartbreaking, and most of all, loving. Both actresses Sairose Ronan and Metcalf deserve Oscars.

The Shape of Water-On my short list of directors where I don’t need to see the trailer to want to see their new movie is Guillermo del Toro. Pan’s Labyrinth and The Orphanage are two of my go tos when I am asked to recommend a superb story with a dark twist. The Shape of Water is an adult fairy tale where every scene I felt like I was floating. Each shot is dreamy, Sally Hawkins is our princess, and del Toro’s long time collaborator Doug Jones is the fish man she falls in love with.

The Big Sick-Even when a movie makes my favorite list, that doesn’t mean I will be able to watch it over and over again. But with The Big Sick I know it will be added to the rotation of movies that I will find on a Saturday/Sunday afternoon, stop whatever I am doing, and watch the evolution of the love between Kumail (Kumail Nanjiani) and Emily (Zoe Kazan). It is based on the real life story between his wife and him. Its honesty will make you laugh and cry.

Favorite TV Shows:

Jane the Virgin-Still a (mostly) light, funny, and sweet show about writer Jane and her family, Telenovela style. Everybody is a standout but Jaime Camil as Jane’s father Rogelio steals every scene he’s in.

Gilmore Girls-I started bingeing this show about mother Loreli (Lauren Graham) and daughter Rory (Alexis Bledel) over the summer. I needed a show that I can have on with the kids around and something to balance all the dark stuff I watched. It’s portrayal of family is the most genuine one I have seen on television. Writers never try to make Lorelai’s relationship with her parents better to give its viewers all the feels. They also don’t take hard situations in the story lines and provide happy endings. My daughter has gotten hooked with me and I love that she gets to see a young girl who reads everything (just like her) and works hard become a Ivy League college student.

Favorite Books:

Little Fires Everywhere-This story of two very different families who are on opposite sides of a custody battle made me question my privilege and how it influences my decisions. Celeste Ng’s story was touted all over social media by all authors and is a Good Reads choice for 2017.

The Hate You Give-I continue to read, listen, and learn.

The Glass Castle-When I first tried to read this true story of Jeannette Walls I put it down because of how sad it was. But once I read that it was being made into a movie with Brie Larson, I gave it another shot. I finished it within a week, not allowing myself the patience of wanting to find out what happened to her family and their unconventional way of life.

I hope you have a go to list of things that make you happy and you get to enjoy them over the weekend. Thanks for reading!

Posted in Pop Culture

Friday Favorites: Getting through the week

The news. Friendships. Local water parks that would rather treat you like garbage than give good customer service. These past couple of weeks have felt like somebody is pushing my head under water, letting me come up for air for two seconds, and then pushing me back under. Anxiety, depression, and life can be fucking unfair. But you don’t want to hear/read me whine like a teenager. Even I get tired of feeling sad. When I have those moments I stop and think of the first thing that is making me happy. It sounds so obvious but being grateful for what I have does not come easy. This is what’s currently getting me out of my head:

Movies: Get Out and Cars 3

Get Out is an intense horror film from Jordan Peele about an interracial couple going to the girl’s parents house for the weekend. It is uncomfortable and claustrophobic with social commentary that will open your eyes a little bit or a lot.

Cars 3 is the latest cartoon from Pixar. It returns us to the story of Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) and how he is being left behind by up and comers like Jackson Storm (Armie Hammer). It is sweet and nostalgic with predictability that I didn’t mind. And it made me miss Paul Newman.

Movie Trailer: Stronger

Jake Gyllenhaal stars in this film about the Boston Marathon bombing. He plays Jeff Bauman, a man who loses his legs in the blast. My girl Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black) plays his love. The trailer is heart wrenching and made me want to see it if only for people coming together in the aftermath of the terrorist attack.

Book: Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare

This young adult book is the 11th in The Mortal Instruments world that Clare has created. It is fantasy with warlocks, fairies, vampires, and a super human race called the Shadowhunters, which the stories mostly focus on. Lord of Shadows is number two in The Dark Artifices series and focuses on Julian Blackthorn and Emma Carstairs. They are parabatai, a bonded pair of Shadowhunters and best friends. There is a war coming between the Shadowhunters and the Downworlders and it is their job to try and stop it. Clare has created a world that takes you all over the world and places you’ve never dreamed of.

TV Show: @Midnight

Chris Hardwick of Nerdist, Talking Dead, and any other show you can think of that he might host created this Comedy Central game show. Guests such as contestants from RuPaul’s Drag Race, comedians, actors, and even Kenny G come on to play categories like HashTag Wars. It’s silly adult humor mixed in with current events and it makes me laugh at least a few times in the 30 minutes it plays. I started watching it after we cut the cable a few weeks ago and I have come to look forward to it every night.

What are you watching/reading/listening to these days? I want to know what is getting you through the day/week/month!

Thanks for reading!