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Oscar time again, Part two

Saturday, I met up with my sister and movie friends to watch the last five of the nine best picture Oscar nominated films. Unfortunately, I did not get to see Gravity. The ice and sleet began in OKC and I preferred to drive home before it became worse.

Here is my reviews I tweeted after each film:

Nebraska

nebraskaNebraska is a story of elderly parents & their adult children. Quirky, hilarious, and so full of heart! #AMCBPS

Captain Phillips

captain phillipsCaptain Phillips is a breathtaking, adrenaline rush. I’ll be having pirate nightmares from here on out, thankyouverymuch. #AMCBPS

Her

herHer: relationships between humans and computers just got incredibly awkward. Consider it a warning. #AMCBPS

American Hustle

american hustleAmerican Hustle: Con artists and their craft at their finest. #AMCBPS

My predictions for the Oscars (In all honesty, these could totally change by the time I fill out the Oscar ballot this evening.)

Best Picture: 12 Years a Slave (Every movie this year were such strong films. I am torn between 12 Years, American Hustle, and Dallas Buyers Club.)

Best Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street (This was a tough choice, every actor absolutely owned their role. I am haunted by Chiwetel Ejiofor’s performance in 12 Years a Slave.)

Best Actress: Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine

Best Supporting Actor: Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club

Best Supporting Actress: June Squibb, Nebraska

Best Director: David O. Russell, American Hustle

Feeling like playing along with the Oscars tonight, go download a ballot!

Oscar time again, part one

It’s that time of year again when the Oscars are approaching. My oldest sister and I are going to the AMC Theaters Best Picture Showcase for the fifth year. This weekend we saw four of the nine nominated best pictures.

I tweeted my reviews immediately after each film was viewed and want to share them here again with you.

Philomena

PhilomenaPhilomena was delightful. Lithe & lovely & heartbreaking at every turn.#AMCbps

Dallas Buyers Club

dbcDallas Buyers Club: brutal and brilliant. #amcbps

The Wolf of Wall Street

wolfyWolf of Wall Street: whirlwind crash and burn about money money money.#amcbps

12 Years A Slave

1212 Years A Slave is an unwavering, earth shattering account of atrocities against other humans. Go see. Damn. #amcbps

So I’ve now seen four of the nine nominated. Do I have any predictions to make about who I think might win or most deserves the Oscar? Nope.

All four movies were based on true stories. All four movies are also books. This weekend was full of some seriously heavy drama. I loved every minute of it. Or most of the minutes anyhow.

Pinterest and Rilke

I love Pinterest.

I love Rainer Marie Rilke. Simply an amazing artist who inspires others. Ever read Letters to a Young Poet? Unbelievably amazing.

Awhile back I was on Pinterest looking for Rilke quotes.

I stumbled on to this pin:

8485762f7cfe897e2a5346dd79328989And I was so excited. What a powerful thought. And I was off on a tangent I wanted to share this with all my artist friends, I wanted to get this as one of my tattoos, I wanted to pin it on so many Pinterest boards.

But I hesitated. Why?

Because I am old school. And I like to verify quotes. I don’t verify all quotes but if it’s something I really, really like and have even considered inking my body with – well, I guarantee I’m gonna verify the damn quote.

I work in a library and began using my mad research skills and couldn’t find anything. I knew this would be difficult to research because Rilke didn’t write in English and his works that I read have been translated. So depending on the translator, the quote is going to be different.

So I contacted two different librarians. Both whom love research and finding obscure information. There are days I love being all nerdy and diving into the obscure.

Several days passed and neither librarian was finding much. They were having the same difficulties with translations and verifying if information they were finding was valid. And then BINGO. One of the librarians stumbled on to more letters of Rilke’s and found an index of the letters and where there might possibly be mention of this quote in part. I scoured the index and found a link to a database that had all the letters online. But I was still wary. I finally obtained the title of the book and requested the book. Two weeks later, the book came in from a university in Texas.

And there in the pages of an old and dusty book, I found this (3rd line of the indented paragraph):

IMG_0663It was one word different on Pinterest. Is it wrong? Not necessarily. Again these are translations of the Austrian poet’s words. Am I going to be putting either version on my body or on my own Pinterest boards? No for the tattoo. Best I stick with the original language if I were to tattoo it. And I probably will pin this on Pinterest cause I love it.

Did I have fun delving into the research and looking for the correct answer? Absolutely.

Go ahead and call me a nerd. I earned it.

An off week

Last week, I wrote about the magic number 21.

And then this week – nothing.

Completely unmotivated with a dash of lazy made for an off week.

Thank God for new days, new weeks, and new opportunities.

For myself, I do better talking about goals after the fact. Not before. Or during. This is a good thing to learn this and now I need to put it in practice.

Here’s to everyone working on dreams, goals, and visions. Keep pressing forward.

Sharing stories

I’d like to share a few stories that have captured my heart and show a beautiful transitioning I recognize happening in our community and world. Enjoy!

Dan and Me: My Coming Out as a Friend of Dan Cathy and Chick-fil-A

This is Shane L. Windmeyer’s story. He is a nationally recognized LGBT leader in higher education, bestselling author, and executive director of Campus Pride. His story fills in the gaps behind what I call the chicken fallout of 2012. His story is one of love, reconciliation, and understanding. Understanding beyond political beliefs, religious beliefs; it is a story of love beyond measure. Grab some tissues for those soon to be tearful eyes, this story will undo you.

Your Son/Daughter is a Minimalist. This is Good News.

This open letter written by rational minimalist, author, and speaker Joshua Becker is an excellent introduction into minimalism. Becker gives succinct points on the benefits of minimalistic living. Read it to be inspired, to learn something new, and to understand.

Tara Needs Telling

This story is shared by Tamara Lunardo (one of my favorite bloggers) online at A Deeper Story. Tamara shares Tara’s story. It is the gritty, raw side of love. It is a story that gives voice to the voiceless, a face to the faceless, and grace when grace is wrongfully and ironically withheld.

Here is a brief excerpt:

“She was a little boy who loved dolls, and a boxer who preferred panties, and a married man who craved the closeness of men. And when she realized how she looked wasn’t who she felt, she knew she needed change; she needed to be Tara. But people, we look from the outside, and the world didn’t see a woman trying to be herself; they saw a man trying to be a woman. So Tara lost her friends, her family, her spouse. She got herself– but she still pays dearly for the trade.”

Your Story Needs Less Stuff

Jeremy Statton, an orthopedic surgeon and a writer, shares how to live a better story with less:

It isn’t wrong to buy things. It isn’t wrong to own things. But it is fruitless to attempt to live a good story through possessions.

A special thank you to my sister Kyndal. She always is on the lookout for stories that resonate with me and stories that light a fire under my ass.

Last moments in my home (part 2)

So last night my awesome friend and now former roommate Jules and I compiled a list of our most awesome/unforgettable/embarrassing/favorite moments. Remember no judgement! This is a celebration of an old chapter and a new chapter!

Here they are:

  1. Naked Cowboy – This dude “lived” across the street. I swear he really might’ve been photo-shopped EXCEPT he was really a live human being in the yard across the street. Our friends would come over to my house not to see us, but watch for sightings of Naked Cowboy.
  2. Community marathons – If you are not watching NBC’s Community, you are so streets behind. Get with it people. Countless hours of laughter and antics because of this television show.
  3. Chili – Jules makes the meanest, bestest chili this side of anywhere and it often solved life’s little problems. Having a hard day? Chili. Cold outside? Chili. Tired of packing, moving, selling crap? Chili. If you ask really nicely, I bet Jules would make you a pot of this awesomeness.
  4. So. Much. Beer. Never. One. Party. –  Our house looked like a frat’s next kegger waiting to happen.But I’m not really hostess material. Or like people nosing around in my business, much less my house. So no parties here. I take my party on the road.                          (This picture just doesn’t do it justice.)fridge
  5. Pink slip – Nothing like receiving a notice from the city because you might happen to have one weed that happens to be really tall, like adult-size tall. This may or may not have happened.
  6. The awesomely nosy gun-toting neighbors next door – these people could be super friendly or super creepy with their intensity for opening the front door with a gun. I’m just saying. These are people you want to keep on the good side of.
  7. The miraculous parting of the leaves – My yard had seven trees. Indeed, a Godly yard – it is His favorite number. And because the yard was blessed with His Holiness, every autumn when the leaves would fall and pile everywhere as in up to your knees, wading through kind of piles, but by the third day of the leaves collectively dropping from their limbs the leaves would part on each side of the sidewalk and stay that way all winter. It was and is a miracle – like a tiny, brief glimpse of the parting of the Red Sea in the Old Testament. Also, I would be remiss if I did not share that this year not only did the leaves part miraculous but not too long after putting the house up for sale the leave disappeared all together. Every last one of them. Gone. I didn’t rake them. Jules didn’t rake them. Coolest miracle. Ever.
  8. The Spider Incident – this spider took up a brief residence in Jules’s shower and we were both afraid of killing it. So I sprayed it with bug spray – it didn’t die. I sprayed it with hairspray – it did not die. It did begin to kind of freeze up and spasm though….so gross. I finally smashed it with a plastic cup. Jules and I screamed and screamed. I did a scaredy dance and nearly puked everywhere. By far the worse spider incident ever. I may need counseling. Just retelling the story is making me feel all clammy.
  9. Art Group – a time where artists of all walks gather to drink, eat, create, and solve the world’s problems.  It was also my time to share my favorite new rap songs and any other new artists I may have stumbled across. My art group is so close and dear to my heart. Those times together are so sweet and intense and soul restoring. I love my girls. But this was not a party. This was all about the art. Art, I tell you, art.
  10. Magic Mike Night – Once upon a time, some really great friends got together and watched Magic Mike. And then again. And then again. And ate some grub. And there was even some learning the dance moves and shaking booties. But not by me. This girl don’t dance. I’m too busy socializing.

This list is short and full of ramblings and doesn’t come close to explaining the fun and exciting and even quiet moments in my home. But Jules and I had fun. And the late night conversations were my favorite.

Thanks Jules for being so incredible and true and real. You are amazing!

October is for writers

Photo courtesy of Kaleidoscope International

October is my favorite month during my favorite season. And now it has even more reason to be my favorite. My friend Jim Woods has invited me and thee and everyone in between to Writers Unite!

There are four components to this:

1. I will do the writing I know I should be doing; be it blog posts, essays, a short story, poem, novel or something else.

2. I will write for myself first, not to please anyone else.

3. By the end of October, I will share at least a portion of this writing on my website.

4. I will encourage and support others that are participating by using the hashtag #writersunite as much as possible (via Jim)

For me this will be blogging here less and focusing on a major research project. I will also be working on a short story. I look forward to sharing my short story with you at the end of October and will spare you the doldrums of my research project.

I would love for you to join this community with us: journal, create, write, and share.

Please let me know if you are planning on participating or are already involved, I would love to encourage you!

 

Related articles:

 

Whisper

Today, I’m excited to introduce you to my oldest sister Kyndal. She is the most absolutely, amazing person, friend, and dream supporter. Kyndal is an attorney by day, lover of all things Apple, wife, mother of two boys, and a consummate reader. She has a blog and you can follow her on Twitter at @kyndalk. I asked Kyndal if she would guest blog for me this week and lucky for me and you, she agreed! Enjoy!

 

Whisper

The Giver of Life,
The Author of Creation
Whispers my name
I turn my ear to hear
His soft, gentle voice
Beckoning me to Him.
He speaks and I listen.

The Giver of Life,
The Author of Creation
Is whispering your name, too.
Turn your ear.
Hear His voice
Listen.

(I have always loved 1 Kings 19:10-12 and based “Whisper” on it:‘Elijah replied, “I have zealously served the LORD God Almighty. But the people of Israel have broken their covenant with you, torn down your altars, and killed every one of your prophets. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me, too.” “Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the LORD told him. And as Elijah stood there, the LORD passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper.”)
– Kyndal