Category Archives: entertainment

A Few Of My Favorite Things in 2011

Wow! 2012 is taking off in a hurry.  

I have almost waited too long to post any kind of reflection about last year!  However, I do want to say something about 2011 so here are a few of my favorite things in 2011.

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Adele.  Sure they overplayed her songs on the radio but before that happened there were those times when hearing her sing was one of those “I’m glad to be alive” moments.  So I can’t make a list of favorite things from last year without including Adele.  

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Pinterest.  I heard about it and didn’t think it sounded interesting.  I tried it anyway and immediately loved it.  Pinterest is a place to organize and share online images that you find interesting or inspiring. Once uploaded or shared on Pinterest, these images become known as Pins, which the user can place on customized, themed Boards. You can create Boards for any topic imaginable, from cats to classic cars to cats driving classic cars. The possibilities are endless. It’s a lot more fun than it sounds. 

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Synchroblog.  It’s not new but it remains one of my favorite things year in and year out.  A synchroblog is a collection of similar articles or posts made by a group of bloggers who have agreed to blog on the same topic on the same day.  The synchroblog group that I participate with has a different theme each month – such as “The Devil Made Me Do It“, “Hope” and “Experiences In The Wilderness“.  I love it because it keeps me writing, connects me with other bloggers and gives me a chance to hear a variety of voices.  If you like to blog you should try it out. 

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Timeline.  Yes, I like timeline.  I have always wished that it was easier to look back at something on Facebook and I also wished for a more visual experience.  I think that timeline delivers both of those things without losing any of the features that I like about Facebook.  I know there has been a lot of complaining but I don’t pay much attention to that as it happens everytime Facebook makes any changes.  Timeline was definitely one of my favorite things in 2011! 

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Photo Books.  I created some online photobooks for the first time last year, ordered printed copies and absolutely loved them!  I love digital photography but I also love having a printed version of a photograph. The photo books are a perfect was to enjoy a collection of printed photographs! I used Mixbook and liked the process and end product. There were lots of styles/themes to choose from and I had the ability to customize everything.  I already have plans for more photo books this year.  

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Paste Magazine.  Paste is a leading online destination for pop-culture enthusiasts, covering music, movies, TV, books and video games. Each month you get 4 issues, 28+ high-quality downlodable MP3s, exclusive videos, in-depth articles and more for only $2.99. You can pay monthly, cancel at any time, and never miss an issue!  I love Paste Magazine!

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The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larson.  The book trilogy (Dragon Tattoo Trilogy) and the movie (only the first one is a movie at this point)!  The characters are rich and interesting, the stories unique and dark.  I was intrigued throughout all three books and for a change I thought the movie was just as good.  I suggest reading the books first and then seeing the movie.  

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Provoketive Magazine.  It’s like a blog but better. Provoketive Magazine is an online space of rich conversation about life, faith, justice and culture. The desire is to provoke the reader’s imagination through conversation and open up spaces of dialogue, learning, and hope.  It is one of the fastest growing online magazines and has over 120 writers contributing to it’s content. If you would like to contribute to Provoketive, begin here

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The Help. I always see a lot of movies and this past year was no different. At one point during the year I had been to the same theatre 14 weeks in a row (at least that is what Foursquare reported to me). As usual I saw the good, the bad and the ugly. The Help was one of the good ones. I had read the book quite a long time before the movie released and had almost forgotten how much I liked the book. The movie reminded me how good the book was and I was pleasantly surprised that the movie was just as good (although the book did have some great story lines that weren’t covered much in the movie). I am glad to see it is getting some recognition and hope to see it win some more awards during the Oscars later this month.  

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Spotify. Oh, how I love Spotify.  Who would have ever believed that there would be an app that was free where you could listen to practically any song you knew anytime you wanted!  On top of that Spotify has all sorts of social networking features that help you share the music you are listening to and discover new music when your friends share what they are listening to with you.  It’s amazing!!!!  And for a small monthly fee you can even take it with you on your smart phone, your ipad or your ipod!  Amazing!!!!!!!!! 

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Those were a few of my favorite things in 2011.  What were some of yours?

We Had Him by Maya Angelou – For Michael

As a young girl I roller skated around the skating rink on Friday nights with the colored lights spinning slowly while “I’ll Be There” played so loud that you couldn’t hear your own voice singing along and later I sat in video bars and stared in awe at the tv screens while the “Thriller” and “Billie Jean” videos were played.  I’m sad at the passing of Michael Jackson – sad that his life ended so suddenly and because it seems as if it ended before it was finished.  I loved the poem that Maya Angelou wrote in his honor that was read at the Staples memorial and so I wanted to share it here.

 

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mj rehearsalmj

mj street art

 mj star

 

 

 

 

We Had Him by Maya Angelou

Beloveds, now we know that we know nothing

Now that our bright and shining star can slip away from our fingertips like a puff of summer wind

Without notice, our dear love can escape our doting embrace

Sing our songs among the stars and and walk our dances across the face of the moon

In the instant we learn that Michael is gone we know nothing

No clocks can tell our time and noo oceans can rush our tides with the abrupt absence of our treasure

Though we are many, each of us is achingly alone

Piercingly alone

Only when we confess our confusion can we remember that he was a gift to us and we did have him

He came to us from the Creator, trailing creativity in abundance

Despite the anguish of life he was sheathed in mother love and family love and survived and did not more than that

He thrived with passion and compassion, humor and style

We had him

Whether we knew who he was or did not know, he was our’s and we were his

We had him

Beautiful, delighting our eyes

His raked his hat aslant over his brow and took a pose on his toes for all of us and we laughed and stomped our feet for him

We were enchanted with his passion because he held nothing

He gave us all he had been given

Today in Tokyo, beneath the Eiffel Tower, in Ghana’s Blackstar Square, in Johannesburg, in Pittsburgh, in Birmingham, Alabama and Birmingham England, we are missing Michael Jackson

But we do know we had him

And we are the world.

Calling All Movie Lovers

Here’s the opening scene of “The Holiday” – it pulls you right in from the beginning…

Eugene Cho over at beauty and depravity had some pretty intense conversations going on in the last week about abortion and the oppression of women

On Wednesday he decided to lighten things up a bit and asked

“what are the films that have influenced you the most and why?”  (he noted this: “I’m not necessarily asking for your favorite films or what you think is the most influential film to impact cinema but rather, the film that influenced YOU.“)

It was hard for me to decide what to list as I love movies and have been influenced by so many.  I tried to pick out three that no one else had mentioned at that point and listed these:

 “Cold Mountain” a beautiful movie about love and loyalty that I found inspiring and moving,

“In Her Shoes” a message about the hope and possibility of transformation for any and all – plus it had some good poetry in it

“Legend of the Fall” all about the importance and power of family.

He also mentioned he needed some help with “favorite chick flicks” so I offered a few…

Love Actually – So many stories – so many happy endings!!!

You’ve Got Mail – Finding true love where you least expect it.

The Holiday – Kate Winslet’s monologues are great and Cameron Diaz and Jude Law sizzle together.

My Best Friends Wedding – Lots of laughs – the restaurant scene where they all sing “I Say A Little Prayer” is a classic.

Sleepless In Seattle – Meg Ryan at her best!

Step Mom – A real tear jerker.

Dirty Dancing – We still use the line “nobody puts baby in a corner” and laugh about getting even with someone by dancing (lol).

An Officer and A Gentleman – This is the movie that made so many women fall in love with Richard Gere.

When Harry Met Sally – Funny and sweet.  The restaurant scene where Meg demonstrates how women can fake pleasure is hilarious.

Father Of The Bride – Funny and sentimental.  Steve Martin and Diane Keaton are hilarious…oh, and I love the wedding planner character!

Top Gun – A chick flick that my husband actually likes!  Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis have great chemistry.

Jerry Maguire – It catches you from the first scene and has some great one liners: “Show Me The Money” and “You had me at hello”

Titanic – True romance!

City Of Angels – Love and tragedy – boo hoo hoo hoo hoo.

What Women Want – Mel Gibson is so funny in this –  I especially love the singing and dancing scene he does.

The Notebook – You need a box of kleenex but it is worth it.

 

I am a lover of movies and am hoping that someone out there will turn me on to some great movies that I may have missed in the past or remind me of something I haven’t seen in a while.  Because of Eugene’s list I have already decided that I am going to watch The Joy Luck Club this month.

 

What do you have to add?  Let Eugene  (and me too) know what movie has influenced you the most and why.  I would also love to just know your favs and what it was that made them your favs.  So sound off…