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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Ouch - You Poked My Heart

This video is so cute.

I love the little peace-maker girl in the middle - what a sweetie pie.

They are all so cute - arguing about the weather

"It is raining....no, my mom says it is sprinkling"


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Saturday, September 20, 2014

1968 - The Year of Instrumentals

It has been many years since I hear an instrumental in the top 10 on the pop charts.  They use to be quite popular.

1968 was apparently the year of instrumentals.  Here are FIVE of them from that year

The Horse by Cliff Nobles & Co.
(I still hear this on the radio from time to time)



Love is Blue by Paul Mauriat & His Orchestra
(This is so hauntingly beautiful - and probably my favorite)


Classical Gas by Mason Williams
(Wow!! What a talent)
 

Grazing in the Grass by Hugh Masekela
(Man, he is good!)
 


Soulful Strut by Young-Hold Unlimited
(Love the piano in this one)

Of course there are other instrumentals that were great from other years such as:
Theme from a Summer Place by Percy Faith (1960)
Walk Don't Run by The Ventures (1960)
Misirlou by Dick Dale and the Del Tones (1962) - which you will recognize from the movie 'Pulp Fiction"
Little Green Onions by Booker T. & the M.G.s (1962)
Pipeline by The Chantay's (1963)

Don't you still wish they would make a good pop instrumental once in a while ?
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Saturday, September 13, 2014

Derek's Favorite You Tube Videos

Have you seen the Netflix show, Derek?  Well, if you haven't you SHOULD.  I am a fan of Ricky Gervais anyway but this show is so good.  Funny, but sweet and touching too.


Derek is a loyal nursing home caretaker, who is not entirely mentally developed age wise (he is 50 years old but acts more like a young kid) - he sees only the good in his quirky co-workers (one of who is played by Karl Pilkington) as they struggle against prejudice and shrinking budgets to care for their elderly residents.

One of Derek's "favorite-est" things is to watch YouTube Animal Videos.  Here are some of his favorites:



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Friday, September 5, 2014

Friday Funny - Caveman Geneology


Haha - I like the Amoebas at the top!!
 

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Thursday, September 4, 2014

August 2014 Movies

Movies I saw in August 2014 that were new to me

  • Oh Brother, Where Art Thou - older movie, great music plus George Clooney
  • Glass House: The Good Mother - pretty good suspenseful movie

  • Still Mine - James Cromwell movie - I had never heard of it before.  Good clean movie (well except for curse words, which were not needed) - about an 87-year old man building a new house for his wife with Alzheimers.  Based on a true story.


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Saturday, August 2, 2014

Black Bean Salsa

Who doesn't love Chips and Salsa ?  I seriously don't know a single person.  Everyone likes it right?  My personal favorite is Black Bean Salsa.

Here is my go-to recipe



Black Bean Salsa

3 (15 oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed

1 (11 oz) can Mexican-style corn - (I like Green Giant Steam Crisp Mexicorn)

2 (10 oz) cans diced tomatoes with green chile peppers, partially drained (I like Rotel Original)

2 tomatoes, diced (depending on the time of year, if I can't get good fresh tomatoes, I will use a can of Del Monte petite diced tomatoes, drained well)

Fresh chopped cilantro (optional)

Mix all together and chill at least 8 hours (I typically make the night before I plan on having it).  The flavors need time to infuse together.  The more it sits, the better it gets.

Serve with your favorite chips (I like Tostito Scoops)
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Friday, August 1, 2014

July 2014 Movies

These are new (to me) movies that I saw in July 2014

Jersey Boys - I saw the broadway show and loved it so was happy when the movie came it - it didn't disappoint.  Very good!  Great music!

Grown Ups 2 - I love Adam Sandler and liked Grown Ups but this movie was awful.  Sorry Adam :(

Take Me Out To the Ballgame - a 1949 musical.  Starring Frank Sinatra, Gene Kelly, Esther Williams &Betty Garrett so you know it was good !

Remembering the Artist, Robert De Niro, Sr. - a documentary about the artwork of Robert De Niro, Sr. (the famous actor's father).  Very interesting.

Coyote Ugly - yes, I think the entire free world has seen this movie and yes, I know it is about 14 years old, but I never saw it, believe it or not, so finally decided to watch it.  I liked it.  It isn't something I would watch over and over but it was a decent enough movie.

Edge of Tomorrow - If you know me, you know that I LOVE TOM CRUISE MOVIES !!!  The man is so incredibly talented and he not only is an amazing actor, he does his own stunts and they are phenomenal stunts !  On top of that he has the looks and the charm.  I can't believe he hasn't ever won an Oscar - so unfair!  Anyway.  this movie, by far, has been my favorite so far this year.  I was on the edge of my seat the whole time.  It is futuristic - about an alien war.  The plot is easy to understand but hard to explain to someone else.  JUST GO SEE IT !!

Wish I Was Here - written and starring Zach Braff and my favorite young actress, Joey King, as his daughter.  It is about an out-of-work actor who can no longer afford private school so decides to home school his kids by teaching them real life.



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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Buddy Epsen - The Tin Man

I am sure that most people know that Buddy Epsen (well knows as Jed Clampett of the Beverly Hillbillies) was supposed to play the part of the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz.  However, due to a severe allergic reaction to the aluminum powder makeup, he couldn't.

(Note: They used aluminum paste makeup on Jack Haley to ensure they didn't have the same problem that Epsen had)

What a lot of people may not know is that he did record "If I Only Had a Heart".  I really like it but in the end, I am glad that Jack Haley ended up with the role.  I have a great fondness for the tin man.  He is so sweet and gentle.  While Buddy Ebsen does a wonderful version of this song.  I love Jack Haley's angelic voice and can't imagine anyone else as the Tin Man.

Interesting Fact 1:  Did you know that Liza Minnelli, Judy Garland's (aka Dorthy) daughter, became Jack Haley's (the Tin Man's) daughter-in-law?  Liza was married to Jack Haley, Jr. 

Interesting Fact 2:   Did you know that Jack Haley (the Tin Man) was the Godfather to John Lahr, who was Bert Lahr's (the Lion) son?

Anyway....here is Buddy Epsen's version of "If I Only Had a Heart"


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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Cheater Pot Pie

I love Chicken Pot Pie - but not the frozen variety.  I only like homemade.  I think the reason I don't like the frozen kind is because of the meat - the squares of chicken just do not taste right to me.  I don't know....I came across this recipe about 7 or 8 years ago on Allrecipes.com and gave it a try.

I thought it was pretty good and I hadn't made it in a while. 

Here is the ORIGINAL version on Allrecipes.com but I changed it more to my personal tastes.


CHEATER POT PIE
Ingredients:
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 (8 ounce) can mix peas & carrots
1 (8 ounce) can corn, low sodium, drained
1/2 pound  cooked chicken, diced or shredded
2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup milk
Black pepper to taste (the soup and veggies have enough salt so I don't add extra)
1 (10 ounce) can refrigerated layered biscuits
1/2 cup shredded cheese (optional)
Dash of Italian Seasoning (optional)


Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Lightly butter a 9 inch deep dish pie pan with melted butter; reserve some of the melted butter.
2. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine vegetables and chicken; cook until vegetables are tender. Fold in soup; mix well. Pour in milk and mix until smooth; mixture should not be runny. Add pepper to taste. Bring to a boil.
3. Remove from heat and spread mixture into bottom of pie pan. Separate biscuits into layers and place gently on top of mixture. Drizzle remaining butter on top of biscuit layers.  Sprinkle with cheese and Italian seasoning (if desired)
4. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.
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Monday, July 21, 2014

Cartoon Cussing

I do not care for foul language - I always say there are better choices for words.

One day at work, I was miffed at an email I received and forwarded it to a co-worker and I prefaced it with:

Rack-a-sack-a-riff-a-raff-grumble-gaff-a-smack-a-rack

My co-worker replied back - what the heck does that mean?  I said "you know it is cartoon curse words".  I had to explain it but now we use cartoon curse words when we aren't happy with a situation at work now.

Here are good examples....brought to you by Yosemite Sam.


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Friday, July 18, 2014

Funny Friday - Joaquin Phoenix's Forehead

I've been super busy and not much time for blogging lately but have to post a Funny Friday.  This one is a big uh... different.


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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

June 2014 Movies

Movies that I saw in the month of June 2014 that were new (to me)

Maleficent - oh my gosh!!!  My favorite movie so far this year.  It was just soooo good.  Angelina Jolie was perfect.  It was a different twist on the Sleeping Beauty story.  It was so visually beautiful (I saw it in 3D) and the special effects, makeup & costumes were fantastic.  Just such a great movie!  I may even go see it again.

Blended - The third movie to star Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore together.  I just love them together!  They seem like good friends in real life and that they would have a lot of fun on the set.  This movie didn't disappoint.  I didn't like it as much as the Wedding Singer but I liked it more than 50 First Dates - all three are great movies in my eyes.  If you are an Adam Sandler fan, you will really like this one because characters from his other movies make surprise appearances (I'm not saying who because I don't want to spoil it) but you will spot them !  Very cute movie !!

Enough Said - I liked this more than I expected to - starring the Julia Louis-Dreyfus and the late James Gandolfini.  It had a cute twist.  She meets him and is interested in him and starts dating him.  Meanwhile, she takes on a new female client and she and the client strike up a great friendship.  They both gripe about their exes.  But...she soon finds out that her new friend's ex, is the guy she is currently dating - oh no...what a pickle to be in.  It is steady paced but not slow - pretty cute!

The Great Gatsby - (the newer one - starring Leonardo DiCaprio).  I wanted to see this when it was released in the theaters but never got a chance too.  Now I am glad I didn't waste the money.  I just knew I would love this movie and truth be told, I didn't !  The sets were amazing, the costumes were incredible.  But....the movie is suppose to be set in the 1920s, right?  It is, they even tell you it is ! However, they are playing rap music through the whole thing.  I am not a big fan of rap music anyway but I like some okay.  This movie was RUINED by the music - it just didn't fit and was so out of place.  Why oh why oh why, when there was such great music in the 20s, did they ruin this movie

by adding songs like 100$ Bill by Jay Z, Back to Black by Beyonce and Andre and Bang Bang by will.i.am?  Remind me to not watch any films by Baz Lurrman every again.


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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Crochetholic

How cute is this?

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Two Peas In a Bucket - CLOSED


I am so sad.  My favorite scrapbook website, TwoPeasInABucket, a place where I shared my layouts and got great ideas.  A place where I learned new scrap booking techniques and about the latest and greatest tools in the business announced they are closing.  Their last day is July 10th.

Boy, will I miss that place - including the NSBR forum (non-scrapbook related).  I "met" a lot of great people there.  Learned about a lot of things that I never would have known.  When a major news story would happen, I would go there and find out more from the Peas then I did from the news.



Today also happened to be my 11th anniversary as a member there.  I guess all good things do come to an end.

Here are all the "badges" I earned over the past few years:

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Sunday, June 22, 2014

Quote to Remember

Today, Matt Seadore said something today in church that really struck a chord with me.

He said:

Grief is a long process because the heart heals slow.

Wow!  That is so true.  His sermon isn't posted yet but when it is, I will listen to it again online (you can hear it HERE - dated June 22, 2014).  A great sermon that was meant for me to hear today. 

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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Literary Junkies

I've mentioned before that while I am not officially a Literary Junkie, I enjoy the prompts that my fellow blogger, Jen over at It's My Life shares and I have borrowed the questions from her before and I am doing that again today.  Thanks Jen!

1.  What are you reading?
Proof of Heaven, A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife by Eben Alexander
I got it because Marie Osmond recommended it (seriously).  I gave it to my friend, Susan, to read first but she said she couldn't get into so returned it to me - I'm enjoying it so far but haven't gotten to the "Heaven" part yet.



2. Library or bookstore
Bookstore.  I love libraries but get frustrated with books being checked out or on a HUGE wait list.


3. What books have your read and re-read several times?
Gone With The Wind - I've read twice and the first 3 Harry Potter books (want to re-read them all).  Since I don't have a lot of "reading time" - I don't typically re-read many books because I have so many new ones I want to read.

4. What is the first book that made you fall in love with reading?
I can't list one - I have two.  When I was young, I read "The Boxcar Children" and that made me start loving books but as I grew up, I lost interest in reading - I only read when I HAD to for school so I didn't really read by choice from about age 12 until about age 28.


When I was 28, I was in a Calculus class and had this very chatty guy who sat next to me - nice guy and was close to my age (courses were at night).  He had just finished a book and said to me "I just finished this book, it was great, you HAVE to read it" and he gave it to me.  It was a paperback book and as I found out later, it was issued that way because I publisher wouldn't invest the money in a hard cover book for this new author - John Grisham.  The book was "The Firm".  I told the guy "okay" and decided to voluntarily read a book which I hadn't done since I was a kid.  Oh my goodness....I could not put it down, I then gave it to my mom and she couldn't put it down.  I've liked to read ever since then.  So thanks to that guy in my Calculus class - whose name I can't remember - for getting me back into reading.


5. Who's your favorite author? John Grisham, of course.  I have read all of his books (except for the Theodore Boone series) !!




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Monday, June 16, 2014

Movie Monday - While You Were Sleeping

I absolutely love the 1995 While You Were Sleeping - I would probably be suffice to say that it is my 2nd favorite all time movie (To Sir, With Love is the first).


When this movie was released, I saw it at the theater, alone - because I couldn't find anyone to go with me that particular day and I really wanted to see it.  Then I went back and saw it again with my friend Susan, then I went back and saw it again with my sister, then I think I went back one more time by myself.  I loved it that much!  Remember this was in 1995, way before DVDs were commonplace and instant streaming - movies just weren't available about 2 months after their release, like they are now.  Back then even VHS movie release videos could be expensive - sometimes $50 - $75.  That is really hard to believe now !!! 

Anyway....I loved it.  I saw Sandra Bullock before withe her cute hair bob in Speed but after I saw this movie, I have loved her ever since.  I had also seen Bill Pullman in Sleepless in Seattle, A League of Their Own and most importantly in Spaceballs (which I also love!). 

One reason I wanted to see it was because Peter Gallagher was in it.  I had liked him since 1982 when he was in a movie with Daryl Hannah called "Summer Lovers"

At first I was disappointed when his character, logically named "Peter", was in an accident and spent the majority of the movie in a coma, but I liked Jack (Bill Pullman) so much that it was okay that Peter was not the star as I had thought he would be.


I love the character of Lucy, I think it is because I just felt like I could relate to her.  She had no family, and while I do, my family is very small.  She loved having that feeling of being with family and being a part of them - she appreciated it, as I do.  I quote this movie all the time - just ask my friends.  But one line really stood out to me...it is the night of Peter's accident, she met his family at the hospital and has returned to her small apt. above Joe, Jr. (haha - love that character too) and she can't sleep so she goes up to the hospital, just to sit with Peter (who she has seen every day at the train station where she works and loves from afar).    Here it is:

"Do you believe in love at first sight? Nah, I betcha don't, you're probably too sensible for that. Or have you ever, like, seen somebody? And you knew that, if only that person *really* knew you, they would, well, they would of course dump the perfect model that they were with, and realize that YOU were the one that they wanted to, just, grow old with. Have you ever fallen in love with someone you haven't even talked to? Have you ever been so alone you spend the night confusing a man in a coma?" 

I remember thinking that when I was growing up - that if the guy I was interested in "REALLY" knew me, that he would realize I was the perfect girl for him.


One of my favorite parts is when Jack gives Lucy the snowglobe of Florence, Italy because she told him she had a passport but hadn't been anywhere but if she could go anywhere, it would be Florence.
How sweet was he??

Of course the movie ends on a happy note - Peter gets better (and is very funny), Jack proposes to Lucy and he takes her to Italy (where she always wanted to go) for their honeymoon.



Just a great romantic comedy !!!
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Saturday, June 14, 2014

Story Update

I have an update to the story I posted about the man who jumped from the highest bridge in Atlanta.

Apparently, he had been with his partner for over 30 years and they were outgoing people but a couple of years ago his partner because ill and they sort of shut themselves off from family and friends.  He had been taking care of his partner but he died :(

The 55 year old man left a note to his sister, she said he was grieving and didn't want to be in a world where his partner wasn't.

He had also left a note letting police know where to find his partner.  When they arrived, they found him (no trauma but emaciated apparently from an illness) and he had 2 wedding bands laying on his chest.

It also seems that the man that jump, had recently has some legal/financial problems.

I don't ever, ever think suicide is the route but this story was just very sad to me and it was even sadder to see the horrible comments on facebook.

I hope their families find the peace they need.

Note: This story made it all the way to the UK Daily Mail - you can read more about it HERE
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Friday, June 13, 2014

Funny Friday - Forrest Gump's Password

I haven't done a Funny Friday in a little while so thought I would share one today

Have a great weekend !!


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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Tortellini Salad

I came across this recipe on Pinterest the other day and it looked so good so I decided to give it a try.
It came from Melissa over at Dream Home Cooking Girl
Boy, was I right - it WAS good.  I modified it a bit.  It is a good, quick and yummy summer pasta salad that is also good as a main meal (if you ask me)
1 (20-ounce) package refrigerated cheese tortellini (I used the green & white pasta for more color)
1 cup fresh mozzarella, cubed (I used 2 pkgs of Bel G
ioioso Fresh Pearl Mozzarella - no cutting)
1 cup pepperoni, chopped
(I used mini pepperoni)
Sprinkle of dried basil (about 1 Tbsp)

2/3 cup Caesar salad dressing
  (I like Ken's Creamy Caesar)
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook tortellini according to package directions; drain and rinse with cold water and drain again.  Transfer cooked tortellini to a large bowl and add remaining ingredients.  Toss well.  Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.
I'm had this for dinner last night and I am looking forward to the leftovers tonight.
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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Mean & Heartless People

I am just flabbergasted by some people - I guess I need to stop reading comments on facebook.

Yesterday morning just before rush hour, a man drove on top of the tallest overpass bridge in Atlanta and jumped to his death.

He did not fall in any lanes of traffic, he fell in a grassy area.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution (AJC) posted this story on their facebook page (they post a story about every 15 minutes and if they don't have a story, they will post an ICYMI (in case you missed it) story and re-post something they already posted.

Now, let me preface this by saying that the MAJORITY of people were saying things like "how sad", "prayers for his family", "how awful", etc.  But there were some mean and down right heartless post like these as well:








People were posting how selfish he was and how he held up traffic and made people late for work.  I do not mind posting the names of the people that said these comments since they obviously didn't mind sharing this on facebook - I do not know any of these people, personally, thank the Lord.

I am lucky enough to know know anyone that has taken their own life but I know people who have had loved ones do that.

I don't believe someone is in their right mind when they make that decision.  I don't think this guy planned it out and said - how can I get attention and tie up traffic - Oh I know....

No...I think he was driving and at that moment, decided this was it, he was going to do it, he'd probably been thinking of doing it and this was the tallest place he had access to.  I am sure some of this guy's family, his friends may have seen these horrible posts.

Seriously, what is wrong with people?  This man took his own life and you are worried that you had to sit in your car a little bit more than you usually do ??  !!!  It is just unbelievable to me that people like this really exist!  I hope for their sakes, they don't have a love one commit suicide and I especially hope they don't have people commenting about it.

I know nothing of the man that did this - I don't know his race, age, the kind of job he held, or anything other than he killed himself and they found a note on him that lead him to a body of another man.  Perhaps the other man also committed suicide and he was so distraught, he took his life too.  Perhaps he committed murder and was racked with guilt and took his own life too.  Perhaps he just found the other man already dead of natural causes and couldn't deal with the loss.  Who knows?  But a life is a life and every life is valuable - God made us all the same, He loves us all (good and bad) just the same.

It just makes me sad that there are really people out there in the world that are like the ones that posted these comments.
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Sunday, June 1, 2014

May 2014 Movies

Movies I saw in May 2014 that were new to me

We're the Millers - a movie starring Jennifer Aniston and Jason Sudeikis about a pot dealer who creates a fake family to smuggle a huge supply of pot from Mexico to the US.  I really had no idea what this movie was about before I watched it and I have mixed feelings about it.  On one hand, I liked the actors in the movie - all of them.  It had some pretty funny moments and I really liked the story line on how they kind of built their own family and became one.  However, there was a LOT of f-bombs (not necessary) and some strange crude humor (one involved a spider biting a boy - uh- you know where).  Overall, it was good but it could have been better without some of the 14-year old boy type humor.  Note:  I usually am not crazy about Jennifer Aniston in movies but I liked her in this.

Date Movie - this was one of those 'spoof' movies that poke fun at other dating movies.  It had a few funny moments but wasn't rip-roaring funny.  It was a bit silly, but I expected that.

Prisoners -a suspense movie about 2 little girls that are kidnapped, you don't know if they are alive, you are not sure who took them but have suspects.  One of the dad's decides to take matters into his own hands but is he torturing the right person for information?  Are the girls alive? What will happen.  It was a good movie but was very dark (both in subject and in lighting), I didn't find that it was particulary well acted even though there were good actors in the movie (Jake Gyllenhall, Hugh Jackman, Terrance Howard).  I am not sure if it was, or if they were going for this but it had a very "low budget" kind of feel to the movie.  Good but could have been better.

About Time - kind of a quirky but sweet movie about a young English man (Domhall Gleeson) who father tells him on his 21st birthday that the men in his family have the ability to go back in time.  He can't change history, but he can change what happens and has happened in his own life-so he decides to make his world a better place...by getting a girlfriend (Rachael McAdams).  He discovers later, that when some things happen in his life, he can't go back further than that time or he will change the course of his own life and kind of un-do some of the things he already did.  It is a sweet movie about love, family and making the most of your life.  

The Big Wedding - another "okay" movie with a great cast - lots of big names in this one (Robert De Niro, Diane Keaton, Susan Sarandon, Katherine Heigl, Topher Grace, Amanda Seyfried, Robin Williams) - an adopted child is getting married and invited his very, strict Catholic biological mom to the wedding. She is from Columbia and doesn't speak English at all.  The young man never told his mom that his parents were divorced about 10 years ago so his adoptive parents pretend to be married while she is in town.  It was cute but just okay.  I guess with a cast like that, I expected more.  The story seemed disjointed at times.  It is a likable movie but nothing I would necessarily watch again.
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Friday, May 30, 2014

Kutless - Even If

I spent most of the week with my mom and it was great but I pretty much cried all the way home.  While I love spending time with my mom, when I leave, there is a hole, not just because I have to leave her again for a little while but also because I didn't get to spend time with my dad.  I miss having breakfast with him, miss him taking me to get crab legs at Bailey's, miss talking to him about work, miss going with him to take Pedro for a ride.  It's tough.  It is really, really hard.


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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Celebrities with a Twin

There are some famous Celebrity Twins, such as Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Tia and Tamara Mowry and Dylan & Cole Sprouse


But....did you know there are other celebrities that happen to be one-half of a set of twins, but you may not have known.

Scarlett Johansson and her twin brother Hunter

Giovanni Ribisi and his twin sister Marissa

Michael and his famous twin brother Ashton Kutcher

Keifer Sutherland with his twin sister Rachel

There are a few other out there too !  I can't believe I didn't know that Keifer had a twin sister!
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Monday, May 26, 2014

Movie Monday - Rainman

Here is another installment about one of my favorite movies - you know, the kind you can watch over and over and over and it is as if you are watching it for the first time.

As mentioned before, many of my favorite movies include Tom Cruise and this is one of them

The 1988  film - Rain Man


This movie (released December 16, 1998) has 2 of my favorite actors, Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise, so right of the bat you know it is going to be a good movie.  It is about a guy, Charlie Babbit (Tom Cruise), who is a driven Los Angeles yuppie that has a business importing Lamborghinis to resell to buyers who have already made down payments on them.   He needs to deliver the vehicles to impatient buyers in order to repay the loan he took out to buy the cars, but the EPA is holding the cars at the port due to the cars failing emissions regulations. Charlie directs an employee to lie to the buyers while he stalls his creditor.

In the meantime, he receives word that his very wealthy estranged father has passed away and left him something.  This could be the break Charlie needs because he needs money.  He and his beautiful Italian girlfriend, Susanna (Valeria Golino) fly out to Cincinnati to settle the estate.  Once there, he discovers he father didn't leave him his $3 million dollar estate, instead he left him a 1949 Buick Roadmaster, that was the cause of their estrangement (they had a fight over Charlie driving the car when he was younger) - it was his father's ironic gift to Charlie.  Charlie finds out that the $3 million dollars went to a trustee at a mental institution.  He go Wallbrook institution and meets with the trustee, who is a friend of his dad's and a doctor - his BROTHER'S doctor.  This is a shock to Charlie because he had no idea he had a brother.  His brother is Raymond (Dustin Hoffman)

It turns out that Raymond has autism and is known as an idiot savant (in other words, he is brilliant in certain skills but can't function in a normal life).  For instance, he can tell you what 6,284 times 9,614 is in a matter of a minute but he thinks that a car cost about $1 and a candy bar cost about $1 - he doesn't know the difference.

Charlie decides to takes Raymond off the grounds and decides to hold him to get at least 1/2 of the $3 million dollars - almost kind of kidnaps him for ransom but he didn't do anything illegal by taking Raymond since it is his brother and Raymond is considered a "voluntary" patient.


Raymond is deathly afraid of planes and screams and pitches a fit so Susanna flies back to L.A. by herself and Raymond and Charlie set out driving in the Buick.

One morning they stop at a cafe and the waitress (played by Bonnie Hunt in what I think may have been her first movie role) drops a box of toothpicks.  Raymond takes one look at them and says there are 246 on the floor - she says the count is 300 but 4 are left in the box.  This is when Charlie begins to realize Raymond's unique skills.


As the movie progresses, Charlie gets more and more frustrated with Raymond's quirks and his need to watch The People's Court every-single-day.  However, one night, Charlie turns on the hot water to start a bath in an old hotel and Raymond freaks out !!  Then Charlie learns that the reason Raymond was sent away was because he burned Charlie in the bath tub when he was  baby and they sent him away to the institution because they thought he was a danger to Charlie, this is why Charlie never new he had a brother.  He also learns that Raymond use to sing "I Saw Her Standing There" by the Beatles to him at night - Charlie says he remembers the Rain Man coming into his room and singing that.  Then he realizes "Rain Man = Raymond" and finally puts two and two together.

He starts understanding Raymond a little more but he is still desparate for money.  He discovers Raymond can count cards so they go back to Las Vegas, which they had already driven through the night before, and Raymond gives him signals (bet 1 for bad 2 for good) and Charlie cleans up at the blackjack tables - gets enough money to cover his debts with the car deals.  The owners of the Casino ultimately tell them to leave - they know they are counting cards but don't know how they are doing it but the movie implies the are up to something illegal - which they are not.  Counting cards is legal, believe it or not.  It is just that most people can't do it - especially with 6 decks like in the movie.


When they get to L.A., he has decided that he wants custody of Raymond - yes, he'd like the money but it is more than that now.  He wants Raymond but the trustee and Raymond's doctor knows it is best for Raymond to be at Wallbrook so they get a mediator to decide.  In the end, Charlie comes to see that it is best for Raymond too, so he lets him (and the money) go.  They have a touching moment before Raymond leaves and Raymond tells Charlie that he is his main-man.  C-H-A-R-L-I-E main man.


He puts Raymond on a train (since he won't fly) along with Raymond's doctor and tells him that he will see him in 2 weeks, which lets us know that he continues to have a relationship with his brother, but he does what is best for him.

Awards
  • Best Picture
  • Best Actor -  Dustin Hoffman
  • Best Director
  • Best Writing - Original Screenplay
  • Favorite Dramatic Motion Picture (People's Choice Awards)
Nominations
  • Best Set Decoration
  • Best Cinematography (which it should have won!)
  • Best Film Editing
  • Best Original Music Score (also should have won)
Reasons I love this movie 
  • Two of my favorite actors
  • Road Trip movie
  • Great filming locations
  • Great and Interesting Music (love, love the music in this movie)
  • Brotherly bonding
  • Hard-heart guy softens up and learns to love
Just writing this blog post makes me want to see the movie again and I just watched it 2 weeks ago!
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