26 December 2010

Somewhere

This film has not yet been nominated for anything, but I did go see it today and that's during "awards season". So I shall blog about it and we'll see if it get a nomination in the future.

Sofia Coppola calls this film her tone poem for Los Angeles. She was inspired by stories of the bad boy actors living at Chateau Marmont and the film Paper Moon starring real-life father & daughter Ryan & Tatum O'Neal.

I did like it better than Lost in Translation, but even less happens in this film than in that one. It's very European in its style and pacing.

I remarked to my friends that I would have enjoyed it more had it ended in a fiery car or helicopter crash. The story didn't really end so much as stop. And in a film that's not intended for sequels, that really bugs me.

So you might want to wait to see this one on DVD. Unless you are a huge Sofia Coppola fan.

The King's Speech

Golden Globe Nominations: Best Motion Picture - Drama
Best Actor - Drama
Best Supporting Actress
Best Supporting Actor
Best Director
Best Screenplay
Best Original Score
BAFTA Nominations: Not yet announced
OSCARS Nominations: Not yet announced

Let me start by saying that every single one of these nominations is well-deserved and there should be some winners and more nominations to come!

From the script to the casting to the production design to the directing, all the techinal aspects are spot on. I especially love seeing a film based on a true story that I am familiar with that keeps me on the edge of my seat for how it is going to unfold. This film does exactly that.

You cannot go see this film fast enough! Do it! Now! Go! It's awesome!!!

Red

Golden Globe Nomination: Best Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical
BAFTA Nominations: Not announced yet
OSCAR Nominations: Not announced yet

The best part of this movie is the amazing cast. The story is a bit on the weak side. It's kind of a re-working of Shane and Grosse Pointe Blank.

But it was funny, and touching, and hit all the right notes. And it probably didn't hurt that I saw it at the dollar theatre so the movie and the concessions together were less than $6.

If you haven't seen it, I definitely recommend it!

18 December 2010

Burlesque

Golden Globe Nominations: Best Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical
Best Original Song - Bound To You
Best Original Song - You Haven't Seen The Last Of Me
BAFTA Nominations - Have not been announced
OSCAR Nominations - Have not been announced

Cher is in this film and I have seen every one of her films. But what happened to her face? Did she use too much BOTOX? Did she have bad plastic surgery? Every time she was on screen I had to shut my eyes. Her mid-film number is worth the price of admission regardless of the other faults of the film.

I liked Christina Aguilera and Julianne Hough in this film. And I liked the musical numbers. But the story holding them together was so thin and so trite. If this was one of the Best Musical or Comedy films, they must have really had to scrape the barrel (well, let's face it, they did - because The Tourist is in the same category and it is a drama).

I give this film a 3 out of 5.

Award Season Movie Rush Begins

I am a movie geek. I own a lot of movies. I watch a lot of movies. I have two degrees in Film. Of the 22 years I have been working, only 2 have not been in the movie business.

I am very interested in the awards season. I like to see nominated films in all categories and I like to watch the awards shows. I pay special attention to the Big Three: Golden Globes, BAFTAs, and Oscars.

Starting the Saturday before Christmas and continuing through Oscar night, I watch as many nominated movies as possible.

This year I decided to blog about each film that I see in the theatre.

Are you ready? Lets begin!

16 December 2010

2010 – The Year of the Tweet-ups

If you know me, and let’s face it you do or you wouldn’t be reading this, then you know that I love Twitter. Some might even say I am thoroughly addicted to Twitter. Thought in my defense, I have done the online quiz from @oatmeal and I am only 86% addicted to Twitter.
But Twitter has been an important part of my life in 2010 and so, as a way to re-cap my year, I am going to tell you about my Tweetups and the Tweeples I met at them.

The first, best, and most important Tweetup of the whole year was when I flew to Scotland to spend Spring Break with @GeekyMae. I had met her a couple of years ago on the Facebook wall of our mutual friend @aberforth. And even though we have had a very good friendship develop from that, we had never met in person. Not until the moment I saw her at baggage claim at Edinburgh airport. We had a great week, despite (or maybe because of) the freakish weather. I met lots of interesting people, saw all the interesting sights, and have loads of quirky stories to tell with each and every photo. To me, that’s the best kind of vacation. Mae and I found out that we are just as good IRL (that’s “in real life”) friends as we are Twitter/Facebook friends. Isn’t that the best when that happens?

My next Tweetup was much later in the year, in July, after ComicCon. I learned that @HellenaHeavenly was going to be in California for a while after Con so I invited her to stop in Burbank for lunch if she passed through. Which she did. It was my first time meeting someone I only knew through Twitter. But she was so much fun and we had lots to talk about over tacos.

Next, I had a coffee date with @katerz1. Kate lives fairly close to me, but it was the first chance that we had to meet in person. We had such a long chat that day that I was afraid that her hubby would be annoyed with me. We also had a lunch date several weeks later. And we are planning more fun things to come!

Next, I met @rebisCA at Wootstock at Largo, also accompanying me were @faffertime and her boyfriend. I didn’t get much chance to chat with Renee because the show was going on, but she will also be included in future plans with @katerz1. In fact, we already have a tweetup planned for January!

My last tweetup of the year was to #stlcttu in St. Louis. This was an awesome major tweetup!! It was there I met @beautifulmind1, @devtony, @watchout4snakes, @_amylw_ @angellio, @TheOtherEstevez, @TheKillerShrew, @DataLoreB4, @HollyHollows, @incognito117, @aura322 and @triefy. We saw the Cinematic Titanic show, did some sightseeing, stayed up all night drinking. It was great fun!! If you want to guarantee a good time, these are the people to invite!

So, if you are on Twitter, you should follow all of us, including me, @anastasiam. If you’re not on Twitter, you should think about it. I have 245 followers (today anyway). They live all over the world. We have great fun. We send each other silly presents. We watch sporting events and films together and tweet while we’re doing it. We give each other moral support through tough times. And sometimes we get to meet in person.

And that’s what it’s all about.

08 June 2010

Primary Election Day - The Decline To State Dilemma

Today is Primary Election day in California. As a Decline To State voter, I have a choice of three ballots: Democrat, Republican, or Non-Partisan.

I'm still trying to decide which one to choose. I will probably not choose Non-Partisan. I want to vote for offices like Governor, Senator, Attorney General.

Most of the candidates that I like in this election are Democrats and most of the ones that I don't like are Republican.

A friend and I were discussing this last night. We both don't want Meg Whitman as governor and all the bad things she says in her ads about Steve Poizner make him appealing to moderate independents like me.

I'm leaning towards choosing the Republican ballot so I can vote against Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina and hopefully keep them from the general election.

I'll keep you posted.

27 March 2010

Habakkuk 2-3, Zephaniah, Mark, Ruth, 1 Kings 1

This is my last post before I leave for Spring Break.

I will try to post while I'm away.

If not, I will catch up when I get back.

25 March 2010

Matthew 4-28, Joel, Nahum, Habakkuk 1

Two more days worth.

It's good to read the Gospels as Palm Sunday and Easter draw near. I especially enjoyed the translation of Matthew.

23 March 2010

Galatians 3-6, Obadiah-Micah, Haggai-Malachi, Matthew 1-3

Two more days worth. After finishing Galatians, I decided to read some of the smaller books that I had skipped over in the Old Testament. Easter is fast approaching and I am so enjoying this practice that I wanted to try and read as many books as possible before Easter.

Speaking of Easter, I will be on vacation from Palm Sunday to Easter and may not have time to blog even every other day. But I will be keeping notes and blogging when I get back.

20 March 2010

Zechariah 10-14, Acts, 2 Corinthians, Galatians 1-2

Wow that's a lot of reading for two days, isn't it?

I must say that the epistles are far easier reading than the Old Testament books. So many of the verses I know by heart.

It's nice to revisit them though.

19 March 2010

Ezekiel 29-48, Zechariah 1-9

Two days worth of reading. As soon as I finish Zechariah, I am moving on to the New Testament.

16 March 2010

14 March 2010

Isaiah 27-62

Noting my readings from yesterday and today.

12 March 2010

Isaiah 12-26

Just a short post to note what I read this morning. And to get back into Lenten mode after yesterday's political rant.

11 March 2010

Meg Whitman Does Not Care About California

You may remember my post from the last Presidential campaign about Sarah Palin girl - the dear friend who intended to vote for McCain simply because Palin was his running mate.

Well, not much has changed in the intervening months.

The other night we were out and I mentioned how happy I was to start seeing ads and tweets for Steve Poizner because I just couldn't stand Meg Whitman.

After all, Meg couldn't be bothered to register to vote until she was in her 40s. She just didn't get around to it because she was busy.

My friend said that she really likes Meg Whitman and was planning on voting for her.

I"m sorry, but that is ridiculous! How can you vote for someone who never voted herself! She never registered to vote before 2002!! Once registered, she rarely voted!!

Regardless of where you stand politically, you are an idiot if you don't exercise your right to vote. Meg Whitman should move to China and leave California to those of us who care enough to exercise our constitutional rights.

Come the gubernatorial election, I sincerely hope that you vote NO for Meg Whitman. I don't really care who you choose to vote for, as long as you vote and as long as you vote for someone who cares enough about this country to exercise their right to vote.

Thank you.

Psalms 147-150, Isaiah 1-11

This morning I finished off Psalms and moved on to Isaiah.

I love these passages in Isaiah and how they tell of the coming Messiah. I didn't love how The Message translated the familiar "His name shall be called..." Prince of Wholeness? This is better than Prince of Peace? I think not.

10 March 2010

Psalms 28-146

My pattern seems to be to blog every other day even though I am reading every day.

So, over the past two days I have read these Psalms.

The only one that was really striking to me in this translation was Psalm 50. This Psalm talks about how God doesn't NEED any thing from us. He created the universe so we can't give him any thing that he didn't create already. The only thing he needs from us is to turn to him for help and to offer him our praise.

You see, he gave us free will. And that means that we have to choose whether or not we worship him. When we make that choice, and choose him, it is like a feast for God with much celebrating and rejoicing.

I think that is a perfect idea to reflect upon during Lent. Lent is like the period of time between creation and decision while we are wandering in the wilderness. But Easter is coming, the feast day when God will celebrate and rejoice with us that we have turned to him.

08 March 2010

2 Chronicles 30-36, Job, Psalms 1-27

Once again, this is two days worth of reading. I enjoyed this version of Job, but I am not enjoying the Psalms in this translation.

One of the things I like about reading the Psalms is the poetry of them. They have a rhythm to them that I find helps me to remember them and to take comfort in them in times of trouble.

I will finish reading the Psalms but if you are not familiar with the Psalms, please do not read The Message translation of them. Get yourself the NIV or the King James. Enjoy the poetry of these verses.

07 March 2010

2 Chronicles 12-29

Since I didn't blog this yesterday, I wanted to make a note this morning of what I read yesterday. More stories of the building of the Temple by Solomon.

Off to church now!

05 March 2010

1 Chronicles 11-2 Chronicles 11

Once again, I didn't blog yesterday so these passages represent two days worth of reading.

I am really enjoying reading 2 Chronicles more than 2 Kings.

03 March 2010

2 Kings 23 - 1 Chronicles 10

Kings and Chronicles cover the same period of time and were written by different people about 100 years apart. Similarly to the Gospels, they relate the same stories from different perspectives. I skipped 1 Kings. Maybe I will skip 2 Chronicles?

Stay tuned...

02 March 2010

1 Samuel 28- 2 Samuel 24 & 2 Kings 1-22

I went to bed last night without blogging what I read yesterday. The Samuel passages were from yesterday & Kings was today.

Being history books, these contain a lot of names and battles and such. But also exciting and memorable stories of the children of Israel.

Good reading!

28 February 2010

1 Samuel 10-27

Today's passage is the story of David. Well, it's the beginning of the story. How God works was manifested in that this passage also went along with the sermon I heard in church today, even though this was not a passage read in church today.

But all the passages, and the sermon, and the conversations that I had today with church friends fit together in an illuminating puzzle.

Life is an amazing journey.

27 February 2010

Deuteronomy 28-34 & 1 Samuel 1-9

I forgot to blog yesterday's reading so I'm combining yesterday's & today's.

I found the end of Deuteronomy to be quite moving and a bit sad. It's funny because I know these stories and I've read the Bible hundreds of times but somehow The Message makes them more compelling.

And even though Sundays in Lent are mini Easters, I'm keeping up my reading on Sundays so that I can really make it a new habit.

25 February 2010

Deuteronomy 8-27

Today's reading included one of my favourite passages in the whole Bible. A sign of Hesed and a foreshadowing of salvation by grace, God instructs the Israelites that every seven years all debts will be forgiven and all slaves set free.

I was reminded of the beautiful song "Jubilee" by Michael Card.

Click here to listen to it.

24 February 2010

Numbers 23-Deuteronomy 7

I was struck by the Introduction to Deuteronomy which compelled me to continue on with that as my next book. According to Peterson, Deuteronomy is the longest sermon in the Bible, if not the longest sermon ever. One last chance for Moses to instruct the Israelites before they cross into Canaan without him.

I never really looked at Deuteronomy in that light before and will try to keep that in mind as I read it.

Exodus 39-40 & Numbers 1-22

I forgot to note what I read yesterday. Too busy watching the Olympics when I got home I guess.

I don't really have any comment on these chapters, but I want to keep track of what I am reading each day.

22 February 2010

Exodus 9-38

Wow I read almost the whole book of Exodus today. It was actually kind of fascinating. Almost a page-turner!

One thing really bothered me though. Several times throughout this book, there is a reference to dolphin skins. Dolphin skins are even used in the construction of the Tent Of Meeting. I thought maybe it was just the version (The Message) so when I got home tonight I checked the NIV. It says "sea cows" and in the footnotes "dugongs". Thankfully, I have an unabridged Websters.

dugong - n - Any of a genus of large tropical sirenian mammals that live on the shores of the Indian Ocean and feed mostly on seaweed.

So I'm still wondering how the Israelites wandering in the desert are going to have dolphin skins or sea animal skins of any variety. Any Bible scholars out there want to help me out here?

Anyway, tomorrow I am going to finish Exodus, but I think I am going to skip Leviticus at this time and try Numbers.

21 February 2010

Genesis 44 - Exodus 8

I finished Genesis today and decided to continue straight into Exodus.

I was reminded during today's reading of the importance of certain numbers throughout the Bible, and seven and seventy in particular.

I had quite an interesting image in my mind of the staffs turning into snakes and the one staff snake eating the others.

I'm glad I didn't have quite so vivid an image of the plague of frogs!

20 February 2010

Genesis 37-43

This section dealt mostly with Joseph & his brothers. So I have an urge to watch Joseph & The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat. Hmmm.

19 February 2010

Genesis 24-36

Today's section was mostly the story of Jacob & his wives & children.

On a side note, I am reading the novel "The Red Tent" which covers a very small part of this same section. It's interesting to me how little of the story of The Red Tent is actually in the Bible, and yet how vivid that story is in the novel. That's the mark of a good writer.

I've been reading on my way to work on weekdays. I will have to figure out a good time to continue my practice on the weekends.

My friend Lori has given up cursing for Lent. She is finding this quite difficult but is persevering. Please keep Lori & Kirstyn in your Lenten prayers.

18 February 2010

Genesis 14-23

I didn't make it to Ash Wednesday services yesterday. I tried but, with work and errands and public transportation, it didn't quite happen.

I've also decided to finish Genesis before moving on to another book. I may not read the Bible cover to cover at this time, but I'm going to read each book fully before choosing the next one.

This morning I read Genesis 14-23. This section is mostly the adventures of Abram & Sarai and their children. I had forgotten that every time they went somewhere new, Abram told the king that Sarai was his sister and not his wife.

I like the way The Message conveys the story of Hagar and Ishmael.

Also, Gentle Readers, if you are of a mind to pray, please keep my friend Kirstyn in your Lenten Prayers. She is fasting from sunrise to sunset during Lent. That is an ambitious Lenten observance.

17 February 2010

Genesis 1-13

This morning I decided to start at the very beginning (a very good place to start) and I read Genesis 1-13.

I am a believer in the Gap Theory - That there is a gap of time between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2. I also believe that God didn't create the world and everything in it in seven literal earth days but that "day" is a word used for lack of a better one to explain a period of time.

I found the Creation story in the Message to be supportive of this, even though it's not written in "chapter & verse". So I was pleasantly surprised.

I was also surprised at how easy and quick it is to read this version.

If you have found reading the Bible to be a daunting task, I recommend trying The Message.

Before tomorrow, I have to decide if I'm going to stick with Genesis and try reading it "cover to cover". Or sample different books.

I would appreciate your thoughts.

Ash Wednesday

Here it is Ash Wednesday once again. And Christians the world over will begin their Lenten observances by attending church and by giving up or adding something to their lives over the weeks until Easter.

I've already given up alcohol, coffee, and cola this year. I'm not giving up anything else.

I've decided to add instead. And I'm adding something that I hope will become more of a habit than it has been lately.

I'm going to be reading the Bible.

I'm a slacker when it comes to daily Bible reading. I read multiple books at once. I read several books a month. But my Bible spends a lot of time on the shelf.

I'm hopeful that by the time Easter rolls around, I will have made daily Bible reading more of a habit.

I've chosen The Message Bible by Eugene Peterson to read over Lent. Since I'm not reading to study but more to read, I thought this would be a good choice.

I bought myself a New Living Translation compact bible for my birthday last year and I am going to try and make better use of that once Lent is over!!

If I have any light bulb moments during this time, I will try to blog about them.

Stay tuned.

10 February 2010

Almost Pain Free!

Wow! This homeopathic stuff really works. Not an overnight cure by any means, but definitely an improvement.

When I first started this process, I had serious pain in my leg. It hurt to do just about everything except lie down on my right side.

But since I started, I have noted a steady improvement. I usually didn't have any pain until the end of the work day and only had trouble standing during bell rehearsal on Wednesday nights or if I had to wait a long time for the bus.

But last night on the way home from work, I noticed only a little ache in my leg and it didn't bother me to stand and wait for the bus.

When I woke up this morning, I was sleeping on my left side which I haven't done since October.

I am supposed to continue the homeopathic treatment until I have been pain free for two months so I'm going to target my end date right now at April 21st (which will allow for some backsliding over my vacation).

Thanks to Aunt Jo for giving me the treatment book and to my masseuse Rocio for helping work out the kinks, literally.

I'm on the road to a full recovery!

09 January 2010

Happy New Year!

Wow! It's been a while. But I'm back.

I don't really make New Year's Resolutions but I do think that the New Year is a good time to try something new. And so I have started a new regimen for my health.

I had been training for a half-marathon in Phoenix over MLK weekend. But I injured my shoulder in September and that threw my whole body out of whack with the injury settling in my leg. I developed an IT band strain and bursitis. Not fun. But, sadly, that required me to withdraw from the race.

I did everything my doctors suggested but wasn't getting over the pain. I needed to get off the drugs but the pre-Christmas cold snap made my pain worse.

Fortunately, my family loves me enough to help out in times like these. My aunt helped me find a homeopathic treatment. It required quite a few changes so I decided to start on New Year's Day.

I am no longer drinking alcohol, coffee or cola. I am eating one vegan meal every day. In addition to that, I have a whole list of herbals and vitamin supplements that I am taking. Plus two herbal treatments I can use externally.

A friend suggested that I document my improvement so I decided to do that here on my blog.

After one week - even without having all of the vitamins & herbals on hand just yet - I already notice an improvement. My pain is definitely less and goes away faster. My leg doesn't creak or click when I walk. And my co-worker asked me if I had lost weight! YAY!

The hard part is taking that many supplements every day.

But I am determined to give it a try for two months and see if I can be pain-free.

Stick around.