Posted in Pop Culture

Friday Favorite (aka Where I blabber about what I love): Catastrophe and Kingsman: The Golden Circle

I’ve had one of those weeks where I feel like I am over sharing on social media (started doing Instagram stories and I’m obsessed) and that my blog posts are just shit. I tell myself to move forward and that since I have really focused on my blog I have gained 100+ followers (Hi New Followers!!). They say write what you know. I know and love pop culture. Today I am excited about two things: Catastrophe, an Amazon series and Kingsman The Golden Circle, a film.

Catastrophe tells the story of Sharon (Sharon Horgan) and Rob (Rob Delaney). They are a married couple who stayed together after having a fling and Sharon became pregnant. Rob is an American who moved to the UK to be with Sharon. They are loud, rude, and not great people. And that makes them 100% relatable and hilarious. They don’t hold back when they are talking to each other and as a person who doesn’t have a filter I can’t get enough of their conversations. They have friends who are so weird that it makes them look normal. The sadly departed Carrie Fisher plays Rob’s mom and she is brash and narcissistic. I love this show because it shows the imperfections of marriage where the couple still love each other (I could hear the groans of the characters as I wrote that). Season 3 premieres today and I am going to try and not watch all of the criminally small amount of episodes (six) this weekend.

My apologies Mr. Bond, but I prefer Eggsy. Kingsman The Golden Circle arrives September 22, 2017. It is the sequel to 2015’s Kingsman: The Secret Service. It is based on the comic book by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons (Kick Ass) . It is about a secret group of spies that bring in Eggsy (Taron Egerton) to make him one of their own. They then take on an evil genius (Samuel Jackson) who wants to control the world with his technology. It is cheeky and has action that is equal to, if not better, than a 007 movie.

The trailer for the sequel hit Tuesday and I was on a high all that morning after watching it (over and over again). We see Eggsy’s evolution, even cooler weapons than the last time, an underwater car, and explosions galore. They take everything away from our hero (have I mentioned it’s Eggsy?) to give him a reason to kick some ass. Their use of Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” almost makes me forget that Orange Asshole Face used it at his joke of an inauguration (almost). There are hot blondes and a cowboy (Channing Tatum). And it doesn’t matter how awful the hair cut is or how ugly the glasses are, Halle Berry is still beautiful. And the finale gives us a certain someone wearing an eye patch that made me squeal with glee.

I hope you have a go to list of things that make you happy and you get to enjoy them over the weekend. Thanks for reading!

Posted in Pop Culture

Friday Favorite (aka Where I blabber about what I love): Netflix Bingeworthy- Luke Cage

Luke Cage is Netflix’s third original Marvel series after Daredevil and Jessica Jones. Mike Coulter as Cage was introduced in Jessica Jones. He has an affair with Jones’ private investigator until he discovers something from her past that connects them. I loved Jessica Jones but Luke Cage was a show I got lost in. Daredevil had Hell’s Kitchen. Cage has Harlem and it is not just a setting but a character. Every person is motivated by their place in Harlem. They love their music, their history, and their place in it. And I did too.

Like most superheroes, Luke Cage is a good man made extraordinary by life’s circumstances. He leads a quiet life in Harlem. He helps Pop (Frankie Faison) in the local barbershop, which is a go to place for all its residents, including the gangs of Harlem and their illegal deals. These crimes lead to Luke trying to save kids who have gone down the wrong path. This turns into a war between Luke and Cottonmouth (Mahershala Ali) and his councilwoman cousin Mariah Hillard (Alfre Woodward). Cottonmouth runs guns and drugs but not because he wants to. He is a classically trained pianist who was put in this life at a young age and knows no other way. He will not be disrespected and his anger leads him to make bad decisions and put his club Harlem Palace at risk. Shades (Theo Rossi, aka Juice from Sons of Anarchy) steps in to help Cottonmouth. He is the true villain of this story as emotion does not affect his actions. He radiates cool. Helping Luke are two strong female characters: Misty (Simone Missick), a cop who knows there is more to Luke than he lets on, and Claire (Rosario Dawson), a nurse from Hell’s Kitchen. Both are smart and not damsels in distress, which is refreshing.

Harlem is a proud and strong city, just like Luke Cage. Historical figures such as Crispus Attucks, Jackie Robinson, and Walter Mosley are mentioned throughout the 13 episodes as reminders of what everybody is fighting for. It doesn’t matter if you are a criminal like Cottonmouth, or the much beloved Pops, or hero Cage, it is known that history is a big part of who they are and they need to always fight for it.

The scenes where we are reminded that Cage is a bulletproof is when he is being shot at by the bad guys or the guys we have come to known as good guys, the police. This is a black man in a hoodie who keeps his head down. In this day and age, that is regarded as suspicious behavior. The irony is not lost that he is trying to save the people of Harlem and is initially attacked for it.

The music of Luke Cage stands out due to its part in Harlem Palace. Cottonmouth’s club is not only a place for people to come to dance, drink, and listen to music. His dealings are done in his office that overlooks the acts performing, with his portrait of Biggie always behind him. Faith Evans, The Delfonics, and Charles Bradley are all a part of the musical lineup. My favorite cameo I won’t give away but I knew I could use it to make my husband watch the show later on.

Do yourself a favor and check out Luke Cage as your next binge. It has a story with purpose, characters that are not just black and white, and music with history. And a superhero.

I hope you have a go to list of things that make you happy and you get to enjoy them over the weekend. Thanks for reading!

 

 

Posted in Pop Culture

The Dark Knight: The Best Superhero Movie

Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight is my favorite superhero film. It’s what one should expect from a Batman movie: gritty, dark, worthy heroes, and scary villains. But what sets it apart from Tim Burton’s cartoonish version and Zack Snyder’s just plain ridiculous take is that it breaks your heart into a million pieces and you walk away changed.

I was not into superheroes as a kid, save for my daily Spiderman read in the local paper. When Tim Burton came out with Batman in 1989, I loved it. Burton’s use of grape purple, stark white, and kelly green against the gray bleakness of Batman’s home dare you to ignore it. Michael Keaton is a soft spoken but matter of fact Bruce Wayne. Robert Wuhl is a wisecracking reporter who works along side Vicki Vale (Kim Basinger). Jack as the Joker is immortalized (in my mind at least) as he sits next to his love Alicia Hunt (Jerry Hall) and has her put on a mask to cover up the scars he gave her. He walks the line of sanity, putting the audience on edge. I loved him for it. With Prince’s BatDance as the soundtrack, Batman is a classic 80s film.

Zack Snyder took over for Christopher Nolan after 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises was released. I was hopeful. I had seen 300 and Watchmen. Both had haunting sights and solid, dark story lines. Then Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was released. The reviews were bad. Not Batman and Robin bad, but worse than Batman Forever. I love Ben Affleck. I really do. But it says something when you keep reading that his performance is the best thing about the movie. But it did give us this:

Suicide Squad was equally terrible and silly (Just NO Jared Leto, NO). Snyder produced the film. He produced the upcoming Wonder Woman and helmed this November’s Justice League. All of these have made or will make a shit ton of money. Why does it matter that the stories are borderline stupid??**

This brings me back to The Dark Knight. When it first came out I would ask those who had already seen it how it was and they would shake their heads with emotion and say, “It’s really sad.” I felt like I was prepared going in. My husband and I went with our sleeping 11 month old. For 2 ½ hours we witnessed not a great superhero film but a phenomenal film PERIOD (screw you Oscars). You come to expect good vs. evil in these type of movies. But watching our heroes break under a mad man hurt me as an audience member. It has been nine years and I can remember the third act in vivid detail like I’m still sitting in those theater seats.

Michael Keaton’s Batman with Burton’s bright and deranged setting. Nolan’s grittiness and heartbreaking storytelling. These are the elements I miss in Batman. Matt Reeves (Cloverfield) is attached to direct The Batman with Affleck starring. Now if they can just keep Zack Snyder’s mitts off of this one, maybe they could give us back a hero we can root for?

**sarcasm

Posted in Pop Culture

Friday Favorite (aka Where I blabber about what I love): WonderCon

WonderCon is Comic Con’s little brother. It doesn’t have Hall H panels of epic proportions. It doesn’t have celebrities walking the floor in Iron Man masks. WonderCon doesn’t have 130,000 attendees. You can get a hotel before it comes to Anaheim at a discounted rate, no problem. There are an abundance of cosplayers to admire and take pictures of. Artists come out to showcase their work and sell you stuff. There are smaller panels that have casts from upcoming shows and tributes to a certain princess. These are some of the reasons that my family and I attend WonderCon.

Cosplaying at WonderCon means Scarlet is poking me three days straight because of all the people dressed up as Harry Potter characters. It annoys and delights me at the same time. One, being poked. Two, it’s because she LOVES HARRY POTTER. The amount of effort they put into their costumes shows how much love they have for the character and how creative they are. We as a family spend the whole weekend pointing out all the different superheroes, Disney characters, and the Marios, Luigis, Princess Peaches, and Creepers. Scarlet even participated by wearing her Rey costume:

When we first went to WonderCon four years ago, we were treated to movie panels like The Maze Runner. Director Wes Ball, author James Dashner, and the cast all gifted us a sneak of the movie, ancedotes from being on set, and answered questions from audience members. This year we got a clip from Annabelle 2 presented by director David Sandberg (Lights Out) and footage and a chat from Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins (Monster). After sitting in WonderCon’s version of Hall H, the arena, for six plus hours hoping to get a glimpse of Gal Gadot; it was disappointing at best. We walked out feeling like an afterthought of the movie studios.  They had films coming out before Comic Con in July but didn’t care enough to promote it. Sadness aside, we did go to a panel for the CW show Riverdale. My favorite part was seeing Dylan McKay himself, Luke Perry, discussing his part:

Luke Perry

On Sunday we went to a Princess Leia tribute that was put on by the 501st Region (a super awesome organization). It consisted of fans talking about encounters they’ve had with Carrie Fisher and how she affected their lives. Everyone was heartfelt and I may have shed a few tears. Wesley said it was his favorite part of the weekend.

Leia Tribute

Walking the floor at WonderCon was Scarlet’s favorite part. Walking the floor to her means spending money (we seriously spent $22 on buttons at one booth). I love seeing all of the artists’ interpretations of pop culture. There are the usual Disney, Marvel and DC pictures. This year we found Hamilton pictures and postcards. Scarlet tried to convince me to buy a six foot tall picture of Lafayette riding into battle (nice try kid). Brian Kesinger is a Disney story artist who created the Star Wars/Calvin and Hobbes mashup last year. We have a couple of his prints and were able to tell him at WonderCon how much we loved his work. He was incredibly nice, humble, and took pictures with us.

Brian Kesinger

In addition to what all WonderCon has to offer, we love staying at a hotel for a couple of days. My kids would live in the pool if we let them so as soon as we check in they are asking to get in their bathing suits. Eating out, not having to make beds, and looking out the window where we had a Superman’s view of the cosplayers and food trucks make it a mini vacation that prepares us for summer.

WonderCon 2017 was fun. We got what we have come to expect (cosplay, good food, smaller but still entertaining panels). The best part for me is hanging out with my favorite people. We yell, Wesley’s allergies gave him the worst case of sniffles we all had to endure at night, and we sometimes let negativity drag us down (Never figured out what the hell the red stain was on our hotel room wall). But I love them with everything I have and it is always a blast, no matter what.

WonderCon Family

I hope you have a go to list of things that make you happy and you get to enjoy them over the weekend. Thanks for reading!

Posted in Word Therapy

Happy Birthday You Sexy Bitch

Dear You,

Today you are two 21 year olds. You don’t feel any different. When you hit 40 it started to feel like you were running out of time and two years later you are still fighting that battle. The jowls are coming in as fast as the facial hair. Acceptance is slow coming despite all the damn Buzzfeed articles that say it is inevitable once you hit the four O. You still feel like a bad mother at the end of the day but always tell yourself tomorrow is a new day. You are writing more and that helps with the anxiety. And you have finally started to not be so hard on yourself because you know that is key to not being so hard on your kids.

It’s never been about how pretty you are.  But these days it’s more about how healthy you are and less about how  you look.  Sunscreen and baseball hats are non negotiable when you are outside. The stretchy jeans are starting to get a little tight so you might want to cut down on the 9 pm cookies. You considered retiring your bikini this year but decided that as long as you work out five days a week, you’re going to rock it. And don’t forget that yoga and meditation fixes everything.

Self awareness is a wonderful thing, positive or negative, it doesn’t matter. You can’t seem to hold onto female friendships and that’s okay. Don’t blame yourself for every little thing. You’re loud, opinionated, and strong. Not a lot of people can handle that. It’s not that you’re too much, it’s that they’re not enough. You have accepted that anxiety is a part of your life. But it will not control you. Don’t forget that, especially when you feel it trying to take over.

Motherhood is still and always will be hard. One day you will feel like you didn’t do something that your kids will talk about in therapy when they are older. You love your kids so much more than you ever thought you could. They are becoming their own persons and letting go of the control is becoming easier. Imperfectly made beds, wrinkled laundry from little hands folding it, and bedrooms cleaned but not to your Monica Gellar standards are all fine. They fight nonstop, as expected. This week’s spring break is a 5K and a sign of what’s to come. Summer will be the marathon and you can do it. It will involve a lot of swimming, deep breaths, and focusing on the end game: the first day of school (keep that vodka chilled).

Writing is still going. You reach for your notebook more than you don’t and that is a good thing. Don’t stop. You know that it helps. You know that you are meant to be a writer, even though you are always fighting those voices who tell you it’s too late. Keep going. It will be worth it.

Your goals before your next birthday are simple. You want to be paid to write. Hike more and learn to speak Spanish seem reasonable. And to certify your old lady status, you want to plant flowers and thrift furniture to refinish.

Happy birthday lady. You’ve come this far. Keep going. It will be okay.

 

Love,

Birthday picture

Me