On my mind

There are a number of things on my mind in recent days, and I try to prioritize them. That priority list seems to change as often as the weather in Charlotte. One minute everything is sunny, happy go lucky; then the next thunder and lightening, raging and fear. I have so much to be grateful for. So many things that have been poured down on me. Both good and bad. Both wonderful and stressful.
I go to work and have not clue one what the heck I'm doing, yet my boss extols my wonderfulness at every turn. Girl pain has returned and I get the delightfully terrifying possibility of endometriosis (more research on that. I thought I got off the hook too easily) The knots in my shoulders cause my masseuse pain, but D took the day off with me today to act as support network.
Good and bad. Happy and sad. Calm and mad. How many days till Saturday?

Quote for the Day

Courage is not the absence of Fear.
It is understanding that some Things
Are more important than Fear.
-The Princess


Rant and Rave

Throw a tantrum. Pout. Cry. Whine. Puppy Dog Eyes. Pouty lip. Little girl voice. Flirt. Seduce. If only these girly "get my way" skills worked in the corporate world.


Quote for the Day

There are two ways
of spreading light:
to be the candle
or the mirror that reflects it.
-Edith Wharton


Summer Movie Reviews

Here is a short list of the new movies I have seen thus far this summer and my thoughts on them. **WARNING...SPOILERS**

Spiderman 3

We see the dark side of power and the absurdity of Hollywood all wrapped up into one. Coming from knowledge of the comic book world and how awesome Venom is, and having faith that Sam Raimi could pull it off, I had high hopes in this films possibilities. Did you notice the "had" as in, past tense? The personality change in Peter Parker was well done. His step by step journey into darkness was well written and easily understood as a desire to gain power after all the good he had done. And I laughed out loud at the hilarious Saturday Night Fever scene. I was also glad to see Bryce Dallas Howard outside of M. Night's realm. She's interesting as a blonde and, though her part was small, did of good job as Spidey/Parker's new love interest. I look forward to seeing her in more projects.

Topher Grace could not pull of Venom if you shot him up with Mean Juice and kicked him in the balls. There were MANY other actors that could have done a decent Venom, but perhaps he was chosen because he and Tobey McGuire are the same height.

All I think of when I see Thomas Haden Church is the goofy pilot from Wings, but he pulled off his personal battle pretty well. The CG for his ridiculous SandMan character was way too campy and not convincing at all. I could have done without him all together. And then we have James Franko as Green Goblin Jr. who has suddenly lost his memory and hatred of Spidey and their back to best friends. His again sudden amnesia reversal did add a few good sneaky scenes, but it did not make up for his lack of character depth all together. Kirsten Dunst has never been a favorite of mine, but her Mary Jane has been steady throughout the series, and her wronged girlfriend portrayal was believable.

The final scene was confusing as to who was on who's side and why, but the cleansing of Venom was reminiscent of the comic book and done well. All in all the original Spidey is still my fave, but this series has been the best of all in the comic book to movie genre. Which isn't saying much considering the competition.

Grade: C+

Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End

Johnny Depp will live forever as the definition of Pirate. There is no other actor that could pull off Jack Sparrow with such humor, grace and convincing edge of madness logic. In this chapter we see Jack Sparrow locked in his mind within Davey Jones locker. His former crew have made a pact with the mysterious Tia Dalma and the resurrected Captain Barbossa to find Jack and bring him back from unknown death.

Orlando Bloom (yum) is a tasty morsel of eye candy and has grown leaps and bounds to become an onscreen force. His journey from blacksmith's boy to pirate to wronged fiance' to husband to Captain was like watching him grow up over the past three films. Seeing Keira Knightly crowned as a Pirate Captain, and eventually King, was a nice twist and added some funny real life male/female power struggles. Geoffrey Rush is tremendous as Barbossa and I was glad to see his return from death. I was still a bit confused by the Tia Dalma/Davey Jones love interest bit and her cursing him, but it did tie the events together.

I was sad to see the mighty Krakken throw away so easily. In the interest of time I understand why it wasn't included, but there was a powerful force destroyed without explanation.

The explanation of the 9 Pieces of Eight was great and I can't wait to see how Disney will use that in it's souvenir shops. The collaboration of the Pirate Captains and final battle scene was excellent movie making and Gore Verbinski kept me at the edge of my seat. Though the force of gravity was forgotten, the major battle between the ships was nicely intertwined with the hand to hand battle between Sparrow and Davey Jones along with the Pirates vs. the cursed seamen. Creating Will as Captain of the Flying Dutchman and adding the Fountain of Youth paves the road for episode 4 and I am looking forward to it.

Grade: A-

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

I would call this installment better than the first, but not by much. I did enjoy the power switching ability scenes solely for their novelty and the introduction of the Silver Surfer could turn into a great spin off movie, if done correctly, and with a different director. But it could end here as it seems the Silver Surfer killed himself and Galactus so where would he get his powers from in the spin off?

There was no chemistry whatsoever between Richards and Storm, and their relationship was annoying. The inventions were not believable but the surfboard was cool. And how the heck did Von Doom come back to life? There was no explanation. I would not be sad to see this one end here.

Grade: D

Live Free or Die Hard

Pushing 50 and still HOT! Bruce Willis as John McClaine reminds me that you are never to old to Kick A$$!! I have loved this movie series and count the classic Die Hard in my Top 10 All-Time Favorites. This chapter is right up there, maybe better, than the original. The action scenes, though WAY over the top, are thrilling and the banter between John and everyone else caused cheering in the theatre. "YA! What are you gonna do now punk?!"

Bruce Willis is a funny guy and I connect with his sarcasm and disgust for all things dumb. His deliberateness in pissing off the bad guys is so classic Die Hard and is brought to the pinnacle of hilarity in this chapter. Mary Elizabeth Winstead played a grown-up Lucy Gennaro/McClaine and was definitely Daddy's Little Girl with her sharp tongue and headbutting of bad guys. "There's only 5 of them now" is a perfect scene of disrespect for the bad guys and faith in her father. Justin Long, playing not-so-innocent hacker Matt Ferrell, brings a modern day, technology driven, down with the man, aspect to the film and plays nicely off McClaine's down to earth, "I've been shot at too many times to care about your self-righteousness" attitude. McClaine ends up being quasi-mentor to Ferrell as they both become hero's and gain their own understanding of what really matters.

Tim Olyphant as head bad guy did a nice job of genius pushed over the edge now looking for revenge. He sure has come a long way from his Scream series days. He makes a great bad guy, it's the eyes. The fight scene between McClaine and Mai Lihn was tremendous! As the bad guys girlfriend, she was slick and sexy. As a hacker, not so believable. As a kung fu queen, sure, why not!

John McClaine saves the world, again, and gets shot in the process, again. At least he kept his shoes on this time! I will definitely be adding this one to my personal DVD collection.

Grade: A+

Evan Almighty

Steve Carell as a modern day Noah, hmm. I was unsure of how I felt about this going in, but I own the original Bruce Almighty so I tried to have and open mind. I was pleasantly surprised. I enjoyed this movie because of the values and principles it set forth. We see Steve Carell as Evan Baxter, news anchor turned Jr. Senator. His transition to this role is odd but has to be done for the movie, I don't think I would vote for any news anchor today, not even the Fox ones. Carell is a great physical actor and plays off the animal characters well. Once he accepts his task and the Ark building begins, we see the importance of family. His choices are both building and destroying his family at the same time.

One of my favorite scenes was with Lauren Graham, Noah's wife, and God. "If someone prays for patience, will God give them patience? Or will He give them the opportunity to learn patience?" I love the way this was delivered, it made you think and feel the Spirit. It also made you realize that you might not want to pray for patience or He will give you reasons to learn it, not so easy.

I liked this better than the first, though the two are hardly comparable. I will add this one to my collection as well.

Grade: B


"Transformers. More than meets the eye." If you just sung the theme in your head as you read those words, you are with me in the same generation. I grew up with Transformers in all their glory; Autobots, Decepticons, and Dinotrons. From these mighty creations were spun some other fun cartoons and toys, Voltron was another fav of mine.

Seeing Optimus Prime on the silver screen in all his awesomeness was almost as good as hearing him speak for the first time in nearly 20 years. I shivered in my seat at the sound of Peter Cullen's voice in Dolby Digital surround sound. Some things are just meant to be.

Shia LaBeouf, as Sam Witwicky, stole my heart in Holes and I am glad to see him grown up and taking on the meanest guys in the universe. With his great grandfather as the first discoverer of a Transformer, he was destined to run into them again. The scene at Sam's house was hilarious with the Autobots trying to hide in his mom's rosebushes and the mom asking about his extracurricular activities.

Josh Duhamel pulls off a Marine captain pretty well and the desert scenes were scary real. Megan Fox as hottie, grease monkey, juvenile delinquent did a good job of a girl brought in the middle of a war. She neither overacted, nor dumbed down her character and was convincing as bad girl gone good. Jon Voight is a solid actor and did a decent job as SecDef. I could have done without the President bashing scene, but what can you expect from Hollywood these days?

There are some unanswered questions. If the cube turned machines into bad robots, how did the Autobots become good? Was it their choice? Starscream got away, and Optimus invited other Autobots to find sanctuary on earth. Will these lead to a sequel? I hope so. The CG, characters and storyline were excellent and I would love to see this turn into a series, just like the cartoon.

The night before the movie came out we rented the original Transformers cartoon movie, just for nostalgia's sake. It was great fun. I recommend you go down to your local video store and check it out, the memories make it worth it.

Grade: A

PS: They clap at the end of movies here. I didn't realize how much I missed that. I'm glad I'm here.


Quote for the Day

I never stop to plan.
I take things step by step.
-Mary McLeod Bethune
born today, 1875
Leader in black women's movement


It's 4 am and I'm awake. too many thoughts of work and loss and what will happen next week, next month, next life. Too many thoughts. Did my mouth get me in trouble again? do I have any clue what I'm doing? am I letting people down because I can't deal? how selfish am I? why can't I just let it go? ghosts do cross state lines becasue i packed them up and took them with me. how do I start over? how do i empty my memory? who would i be if i did? midlife crisis. am i only gonna live to be 60? need more life insurance. nice, one more thing on my list.


Oreo Cookie, Rest in Peace

Today I lost my best friend of 14 years. She was my confidant, my secret-keeper, my mentor, my welcome wagon, my crying buddy, my cantelope stealer, my daughter, my baby girl, my family. Since I was 16 years old, she had been the only constant in my life. Through all the moves, changes, rearranges, people, places and things; Oreo was with me. Acting as my support, my foundation and my friend when I was alone. I can't even begin to write the memories we shared and what she means to me. There is a hole in my heart that will never be filled the same. She was more my family than most of my real family. She was there for me when no one else in the world was. She would hide with me when I was scared, dance with me when I was happy and keep me company every night as I fell asleep. I have known her by so many names; Oreo, Oreo Cookie, Cookie Monster, Oreo Cookie Stephens Breidenbach, Mammas, Baby Girl, Baby Big Eyes, Cookie.

Oreo Cookie with her milk moustache. She would fight me for my cantelope, and nip at my chin and eyebrows if I slept in too long. She would crawl under the covers and snuggle with me when I (or she) was cold. She would sleep behind my knees and cry at me if I tried to move. She would sit on my lap when she wanted and demand that I pet her and scratch her behind when she wanted. She always got her way (wonder where she learned that from?) She always knew if something was wrong. She was my protector and my comforter. She would dry my tears and give me kisses. She loved me and I knew it. I loved her and she knew it.

Now she is my guardian angel. Watching over me as I sleep.

I will miss you all my life, Baby Girl. Thank you for choosing me to spend your life with. It has been an honor. I will see you again.

Dear Dennis,

I am sending our daughter home to be with you. I trust that you will take very good care of her and show her around. I have never asked anything of you and have been there when you needed me. I am asking this of you now, please take care of our baby girl. She is in your hands now. I will see you both when my time is over. I miss you.

-Emily JoAnn


Quote for the Day

Don't compromise yourself,
You are all that you've got.
-Janis Joplin


Fire or Ice?

i crave the reversal