Sunday, February 26, 2017

February 2017 Movies

Generally, I wait until the month is over before posting the list of movies I saw this month, but I decided to post this since the Oscars are tonight.

Here are movies I watched in February.

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back - as you know...I am a BIG Tom Cruise fan.  I loved the first Jack Reacher.  This one was really good too but I didn't enjoy it as much as the first one, which surprised me.  I was rather tired though when I was watching it so maybe that had something to do with it.

Bridget Jones' Baby - I have read all the Bridget Jones books and have seen all the movies.  This one wasn't actually a book first, which was a bit different than the previous movies.  However, it was still a great movie and true to the story and character.  Funny, sweet, and it ended just like I wanted it to end.  Great movie for a girl's night.  PS:  I love Renee Zellweger too and wish she made more movies.

Each year, I try to see all the best picture nominated movies but I hadn't seen any this year so I was happy when Regal Cinemas had an "Oscar Film Festival" and I got to see these movies for one low price.  It was awesome!!

Lion - this movie was so good!! The first half of the movie is subtitled because it takes place in India when a young boy, Saroo, finds himself separated from his family and 1,600 kilometers (roughly 1,000 miles) from home.  He basically takes care of himself and lives on the streets of Calcutta for 2 years before he is adopted by a family from Tazmania.  After college, memories of his life in India haunt him and he does what he can to try to find out where he is from and to find his family.  This is based on a true story - very, very good!!  So glad I saw this.

La La Land - while this movie takes place in the modern day, it has an "old Hollywood" kind of feel.  It is a musical, which use to be so popular in the 1940s and 1950s but you don't hear of them anymore.  In a nutshell, it is about a jazz pianist and an aspiring actress in Los Angeles, who fall in love.  Besides the great music and beautiful story, I loved the colors - the cast wore all solid colors, no prints - just solids and all the colors of the clothes, cars, murals, etc were just so colorful and bright!  It is pleasing to the eye and pleasing to the ears and pleasing to the heart and soul.  Great movie and I hope it wins best picture!!

Moonlight - This is told about the same man, in 3 different stories.  Part I when he is a young boy, we find out that dad isn't in the picture, mom is a crack-head, he gets bullied at school (even his own mom calls him a homo-sexual but she doesn't use a nice word for it) and an adult male and his girlfriend take an interest in him and kind of become parent figures for him.  Part II occurs when he is a teenager - still getting bullied, but worse.  His mom's drug use has gotten worse and he often gets kicked out of his own home and goes to say with his parent figures.  Something happens between him and his long time friend (his only friend) both sexually and then later in a situation with the bully, that ends up sending him to jail for a period of time.  In Part III, we see him a an adult, his mom is now in rehab and trying to get her life together.  He has modeled himself after his father figure but isn't in the best line of work.  He gets a call from his old friend and decides to drive to see him.  One thing I didn't like is that the movie just kind of ended abruptly.  Just - black screen and it was over.  Another thing that I didn't like is that the male characters constantly called each other the "n" word.  Do black guys really do this in real life?  I sure hope not but after seeing this movie (and another one), I wonder if they do.  I did like the story line and the acting was very good but at times, I just wanted the story to move along a bit faster.  It was good overall and I am glad I saw it.

Arrival - This movie was really good.  Amy Adams was excellent.  It had me on the edge of my seat pretty much from the beginning and through the whole thing - it wasn't a thriller, but you could just put yourself in the place of the characters and can imagine how scared you would be if you had to face what they were facing.  It had a plot twist that was reveled towards the end of the movie but it was reveled quickly and in a bit of a strange way.  Many people left the movie crying.  I didn't.  There was a group of people sitting in front of me talking about "why didn't the aliens do this if they knew that" and they had some good points.  The ending just felt rushed and forced and didn't answer a lot of questions but the overall message of the movie was good and the acting and special effects were excellent.  Glad I saw this too.

Fences - The acting was good, most of the time but Denzel Washington's acting was just over-the-top at times.  There was a LOT of dialogue.  About 85% of the move takes place in the family's back yard.  Basically is it about a crotchety middle aged man who is a bit of a of S.O.B. and his relationships with the people in his family.  It takes place in 1956 and the main character is a WW II survivor.  For most of the film, I felt like I was watching a play instead of a movie.  It just had that "play feel" to it and when the credit rolled, I understood why - it was based on a play - no wonder!  It was a good movie, good story but some over the top acting and had the feel of a play.  I am glad I saw it but it isn't anything that I would watch again.  Once again, the male characters (especially the main one) used the "n" word about a thousand times.  Really? Do black men talk to each other this way?  Did they do that in the 1950s?  How can they use this word when the great civil right leaders fought so hard for them so that no one called them that word anymore.  It made me a bit sad that they were using that word for each other without even a little thought as to what they were saying.  Viola Davis was super good in this movie (she always is anyway) but I didn't like one scene when she had on an apron AND was holding a dish towel, yet she had snot streaming down her nose - really, woman, wipe your nose/face (she finally did but with her hand - what was that about?).

Mancester by the Sea -very good movie but depressing as all get out.  I am not normally a Casey Affleck fan - he is a good actor, but I generally don't care for his movies (mainly because I know that it is going to be FULL of the "F" word).  This movie was an exception though, in terms that I did like it (although it WAS still fully of the "F" word).  He really did a great job in this movie - very believable and you felt for him.  Good story.  I know he is from New England so his accent probably wasn't much of a stretch but the other actors did great with their accents.  Good movie but sad.  F-word count by the was 84 (unless I missed a few) - also several "s"-words, GDs and using the Lord's name in vein in various ways.  It is a shame, the movie didn't need all that but I excepted it considering the lead actor.

Hacksaw Ridge -great movie - great!  I loved it.  I general do not care for "war" movies but this was much more than that.  I was surprised the Vince Vaughn was in this movie too - different kind of role for him and he was super good.  I tell you - this movie makes you REALLY appreciate the military and all those men who died for our freedom.  It is sad how much we take our freedom for granted but so many sacrificed so much for our country and I know they do every single day!  It was gory, during the war scenes, of course but...war is gory - it really is and I think this was a true depiction of that.  Great acting and amazing story about a true hero.  This was based on a true story and at the end just before the credits, it showed the real people talking - loved that they included that.  This is very close 2nd to me for best picture. 

Hidden Figures - also based on a true story (third one - along with Lion and Hacksaw Ridge).  It is funny because I watch the show Timeless and heard about Katherine Johnson back in November 2016, when they did an episode involving her.  I never knew about her and the other "colored" women (as they were referred to back in the 1960s) that worked on the space program.  I read up about her because of the show Timeless and then low and behold, 2 months later, a movie comes out about her.  What a fascinating woman she was - a genius.  The other women were too - an engineer and another that basically taught herself how to write computer programs using Fortran and the first IBM computer - which took up a huge room.  I just can't help but wonder what these women would have accomplished if they didn't live in a segregated and sexist world and were able to be like the women of today - wow!  They were incredible.  Loved this movie, loved the fashion, the sets, and the cars too.  Thank the Lord for these woman and what they did for our country and for NASA.

Hell or High Water -everyone kept saying "oh, that western movie" when I mentioned this movie, but is is NOT a western, I guess the title sounds like it would be and it takes place in Texas so maybe that is why they think that.  However, it was a story about 2 brothers that rob banks in an effort to get money to save the family ranch.  One is a divorced father of 2 boys, the other is a career criminal who was released from prison.  It was a good movie, a little predicable but pretty good.  Not one I would have seen and personally not Oscar-worthy to me (which I think the other 8 were and deserve their nominations). I wouldn't watch it again but I am glad I saw it.


This isn't necessarily who I think will or should win but this is the ranking of movies in the order that I liked them, personally.

1. La La Land - Old Hollywood feel, great music, dancing and colors!
2. Hacksaw Ridge - Makes you grateful to be an American and appreciate our military
3. Hidden Figures - Amazing story, great acting, makes you realize how far we've all come.
4. Lion - Beautiful story, happy ending, touching.
5. Mancester by the Sea - while sad and tragic and too much foul language, still a good movie
6. Arrival - great effects but the message of this movie has stayed with me and I can't stop thinking about the message of it, which left such an unexpected impact on me. Really makes me think about life and loss, love and loss.  I can honestly say, the message of this movie, has made me re-evaluate many things.  Who would have thought an "alien" movie could do that?  Not me, that is for sure.
7. Moonlight - well told trilogy, great acting - I almost ranked this 6 because I thought the movie was better overall than Arrival, but the message of Arrival struck me so, which is why I made this #7 instead of #6)
8. Fences - good story, a of a downer. I would have loved to have seen this as a play (which Denzel won a Tony for) but as a movie, it just felt like a play and seemed a bit over-acted.
9. Hell or Highwater - just because it is last on my list, doesn't mean it wasn't a good movie.  It was, but it isn't my particular favorite genre of movies.  It was good, but just don't see why it was nominated for an Oscar.

Did you see any of these movies?  What did you think?  Who do you think will win the Oscar?

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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

W.I.P. Wednesday

I finished knitting my sister's "Kitty Kap" last week but wasn't able to give it to her until over the weekend.  I also made her cat a little tiny one.  But I think it will be a 2 man job to get a photo of him wearing it - LOL!!  Despite what the Dr. Seuss book says, cats generally do not like to wear hats.

It came out a tiny bit too big (my sister's hat - not worried if her cat's hat fits).  I think the needle size was fine, I just probably should have casted on 40 - 44 stitches instead of 50 as the pattern states.  I was just happy to finish a knitting project without making mistakes and having to frog and re-do part of it - I made it all the way through.  It was a pretty easy pattern though.

I think my sister looks pretty cute in her pink hat.  

Hopefully, I can get over to her house soon and we can attempt to take a quick photo of her kitty wearing his kitty kap.   If you see me walking around with scratches on my arm, you will probably figure out that I tried at least.

I thought I would be done with hats sister-in-law has mentioned a few times that she would like a slouchy hat.  I don't care for slouchy hats, for myself, but I ran across some pretty yarn at Hobby Lobby this past weekend and it had a Charming Slouchy Hat pattern on the ball band and it said it only required 1 skein so I thought...why not?   I just started it this morning (before work) so don't really have photos to post yet.  So I will just post a stock photo of the yarn...Red Heart Unforgettable Waves, in the colorway "Lakehouse".  Pretty, huh?

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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

W.I.P. Wednesday

So...I am sure that anyone that knits or crochets knows about the Women's March that took place on January 21st.  I'm not really into politics.  I keep current, of course, but just don't watch much or get actively involved.

However, if you knit or crochet - these pink uhhh...hats (whose official name I am choosing to leave off) were what everyone wanted to wear as they marched. 

My sister was involved with the march in our town and my local yarn shop was too.  They had a lot of people calling the shop asking for the hats.  I made a couple to donate but I didn't think my sister would want one because (a) she isn't really a hat wearer and (b) I don't think she is a huge fan of the color pink but....she said she would like one, even if it was after the March so....I am currently making, what she likes to call a "Kitty Kap"

I was so happy to see Time used a CROCHET hat on the cover - it is about time that crochet gets some respect!

However, I decided to make a knitted hat.  Although I crochet much faster, most of the hats I have seen are knitted and I feel that knitted is a bit more stretchy and may fit better.  Plus, I haven't really knitted anything since June - when I was involved with the dishcloth swap.

I decided to use THIS PATTERN for the hat, since it has over 9,000 projects on Ravelry and seemed simply enough.  The pattern really is super easy.  Some ribbing (k2, p2) for the border and mostly stockinette for the hat (k a row; p a row).  I'm enjoying making it and hope to have it finished before next Wednesday so I can post a different WIP.

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Saturday, February 4, 2017

Another Falcon Hat

I normally would wait until Wednesday to post this but decided to go ahead and post before the Superbowl.

I finished another Falcons hat - I made one previously, for my friend Susan - major Falcons fan (her whole bedroom is decorated with Falcons gear) but I wanted to make her roommate, Michael one too.  He is a sweet guy and since I made her other roommate a Chunky Messy Bun Hat, I thought Michael deserved a hat too.

These whip up so fast - I can make a hat in about an hour.  This pattern is called "Boy Beanie" from "The Happy Hooker" (Stitch 'N Bitch) Crochet Book.  Although is is called "Boy Beanie" - girls can wear them too. 😉

The yarn is Red Heart Team Spirit.

Here are both hats - they will be able to tell them apart because one is black on top and one is red on top.

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Thursday, February 2, 2017

Lucky Girl

You know, I have been having a few good days and I'm feeling pretty positive about life. It has been a while, after all the tragedy in my life that happened 2 years ago, life has been a bit challenging but for the first time in a few years, I feel like I can deal with life again.

I was thinking over the past few days that I am really a very LUCKY GIRL.  First of all, I was blessed with the best parents in the entire world.  Although my dad is gone now, I was fortunate to be with him when he left to go to Heaven.  I was blessed with an older brother and a younger sister, we grew up very close (even though we fussed about silly things when we were little - like who is touching who and who borrowed whose clothes without asking) but we have always been close.  Even though my brother is gone now, how lucky was I to have him as part of my life for 51 years?  How lucky was I to spend my birthday with him and enjoy a great few days with him and get to tell him I love him in person, just a couple of weeks before he left to go to Heaven?  Do I wish my dad and brother were still here?  Of course I do!!  But I just feel so blessed to have been in the same family with them.

I'm also lucky and blessed to have a wonderful sister-in-law, who is a sister to me too.  I have a beautiful, independent and smart niece, who is married to a great guy and they have a beautiful, funny and clever daughter.  We all love each other and never argue.  My whole family is supportive of my decisions, even if they may not agree with them all the time.

Last year, I was selected for a pilot program that only 25 people, out of all state employees that applied were chosen.  I was randomly selected and given an opportunity of a lifetime.  It was something I wasn't sure I actually wanted, to be quite honest but I prayed a lot about it and since I was chosen, I feel that God wanted this for me and now that I have gone through a year of the whole process, I truly believe it was the best thing for me and have no doubt I made the right decision by going through the whole process.  It has already changed my life in many ways and I suspect, I will see many more changes due to this program in the next coming year.

I am so lucky that I have great friends - supportive and loving friends.  I may not have a 100 friends but the friends I do have are loyal and true and we'd all do anything for each other.  Not many people can say that.

I am so lucky that I belong to a wonderful, Christian church where I have another family.  We just have the best pastor in the world (if you ask me).  I just can't hardly wait until Sunday so I can go to church and see my church family and hear the good Word of the Lord.

I have a great job, that I love and where I feel appreciated and needed.  At my last job, which I enjoyed a lot until a certain person was hired and made my life a living nightmare, I was happy there and loved many of the people I work with but I was not appreciated and I was seriously, seriously underpaid for the amount of work I did, the kind of responsibilities I had and the amount of hours I put in.  I was not appreciated there because I could do 999 things right and do 1 thing wrong and I would get written up for the one thing but never even patted on the back for the 999 things. (Well I did have one boss that appreciated me but sadly, they ran her off).

But at this job, I feel really appreciated as an employee and as a person.  I feel I am well paid for what I do and for my responsibilities and I feel my opinion is important.  My co-workers are the best and one of them I consider my best friend!  She is the Thelma to my Louise (or is it vice versa).  How fortunate to work at a place you like, with people you like and to even have a good and steady job - what a true blessing that is!

Although my car is 14 years old, it runs great - I seldom have any issues with it and I just love it.  We've been through a lot together.  How lucky that I have a good, safe, reliable car and haven't had a car payment in 9 years!

I have a lovely home.  It is paid for too - which is super sweet!  It is the home I grew up in, which I now own.  It is small, about 1,050 sq feet, including the 1 car garage but it has 3 bedrooms and tiny closets, 1 1/2 baths, a living room and a combined kitchen/dining room.  It has a pretty good size yard and I am lucky enough to have a next door neighbor who keeps the grass cut and the leaves picked up (at a cost but that helps us both out).  It is small, but just right for me.  I have done some redecorating over the past few years, and still have some things I want to do but it makes me happy to come home and I thank God every day for giving me a nice roof over my head, keeping me safe and warm and dry.  My house was build the same year I was born so it is perfect for me.

I am crafty - I can do pretty much any kind of crafts and I enjoy them...Crochet, Knitting, Cross-Stitch, Needlepoint, Crewel, Embroidery, etc.  I am lucky that I am able to do those kind of things that bring me joy and happiness.

I can see (although I need corrective lenses), I can hear (although I say "what" more than I used to), I can walk, I can talk and I have a decent amount of common sense.  Not everyone can say those things - how lucky am I?

I could probably go on and on and on!!  But I know how blessed I truly am.

God is so Good !!

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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

W.I.P. Wednesday

I have been making a lot of hats lately, as you saw in previous posts. 

As you probably know, the Atlanta Falcons are going to the Superbowl !  Whoo hoo!! Finally !!

Anyway, my friend Susan is a huge fan and appreciates my crafty work, so I made her this hat using Red Heart Team Spirit yarn.

I'm giving it to her Saturday and pretty sure she will like it.  I am going to make another one for one of her roommates and hope to have it finished by Saturday too.

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