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January 2015
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March 2015

Anna Karenina -- The Movie

Anna Karenina is one of my favorite books. I've ready it many times, and I put off watching this latest movie because

1. Keira Knightley is in it and she is such a lightweight. If she can't pull off Elizabeth Bennet, how would anyone expect her to go into a deep character study that is Anna?

2. It just looked to lush and "Moulin Rouge" for the storyline. (FYI Camille is another of my favorite books, and I liked the "Moulin Rouge" take.)

So today it's on television. For free. This is the right price, so I'm up for it. In all honesty, I have NO idea how the opening sequences related to the story. None of the characters are given any depth and the idea of falling for a wimpy Vronsky are laughable. You wouldn't give up your Tolstoy T-shirt for that guy, much less your whole life and social status.

The movie jumps all over the storyline, never allowing you to care for a single character. It only leaves you wondering what this scene is about and why it's in the movie. It was so jumpy, I wondered if cocaine was back in style in Hollywood. Did the 80's call?


Admittedly, I did not make it to the torrid affair, so if it did get passionate, I missed it. Luckily, I did not miss the train scene because they gave me a bonus train scene at the beginning to FORESHADOW.

I think we need to leave the classics with the BBC. Is that too much to ask? I mean, I am an American. I love tacky, sparkly, shiny things -- but not when it ruins great literature. One thing is certain. It's time to read the book again. (I have a great, antique copy!)

Piers Morgan on Madonna

Piers Morgan wrote an entire article on how Madonna should call it a day because she fell at her concert. Now, I've never been a Madonna fan. I will never be a Madonna fan. But if fans are still willing to shell out bucks, why should she quit?

If you haven't heard the news, she was pulled down a flight of stairs backwards by her fancy cape costume. Essentially proving she is not a super hero. (Surprise!)

Quite frankly, I think she goes down with a lot of grace.


Personally, I don't think she can sit still. And I would much rather she be out dancing, bossing around a bunch of underlings that at home if I lived with her. As I am currently contemplating a new set of bifocals, I say go for it Madonna. I will probably fall at the trainer's today. And no one will care. There will be no media frenzy. So why shouldn't she perform?

In a Galaxy, Far, Far Away...or Anaheim as the case may be...

My son bought tickets to the Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim. Today on Twitter, I saw that Carrie Fisher is coming. I LOVE Carrie Fisher. I've read all her books, seen her show, her movie (Postcards from the Edge.) I think she's brilliant. But personally, I do not want an autographed picture of her in a gold bikini. So I'd probably be more of a freak than anyone dressed up like a Mandalorian. (I once embarrassed my kids at Fanime getting excited about meeting a Go-Go and not knowing she was now on "Game of Thrones") Whatever.


So I haven't been invited back to Fanime. Star Wars Celebration Anaheim is no different. J.J. Abrams is coming. Mark Hamill, and you get to be the first to see the trailer for Revenge of the Sith in 3D. I guess this is all great. But I want to see Carrie Fisher. Because she is an awesome writer! I'm not going. I hope. My son and his friends are driving down, staying in a hotel and doing nerdfest on their own. But he said something that sent chills down my spine.

"You know, Mom. You can come in case someone cancels."

No. Please. No one cancel. Would they step in if someone canceled to AustenCelebration 2016? ; 0 Actually, they would. My kids rock. But I know that I would totally bring down their game if they chose to go to "Nerd Nite Speed Dating."

I also know the friends aren't canceling once they've spent this kind of cash. This Star Wars' fetish is a serious cash business. I'm happy to come along and sneak off to Disneyland.


Neil Patrick Harris Blamed for the Oscar Ratings...Is that fair?

The Oscars are an industry event. They didn't used to be televised because they were about the insiders of Hollywood recognizing their fellow insiders' work. I think it's become that again. An insider event that really has no bearing on reality or the public's interest.

No one SAW those movies for the most part. That doesn't mean they're not the most artistic. Fewer people read Pulitzer winners compared to "50 Shades of Grey" -- it does NOT make 50 shades a better book. Just more popular.

So I understand on some level, but then again, I don't. Because I am an arthouse movie kind of chick. I would MUCH rather see an artsy film of quality than say, "Guardians of the Galaxy" -- though I was surprised, I actually enjoyed GOTG. However, Neil's joke in his tighty-whities referencing both "Whiplash" and "Birdman" fell short because no one saw the films! I only knew them because most of the movies I see are in the arthouse theater so I'd seen the trailers many times.


If you're going to televise the event, you have to make it relevant to your audience. That doesn't mean your artsy movies can't win, it only means you need more moments that the audience can identify with -- like Lady Gaga singing "The Sound of Music." She stole the night! And then when Julie Andrews came out? I'm farklempt! That was a perfect Oscar moment.


When you don't have a dog in the race, no one cares to stick around to the end. And there was nothing nominated that made people want to stay for best director/best film. I was happy to see Eddie Redmayne win, but I saw that film and because I'm a nerd, I've known of Eddie forever from Masterpiece. So I had a dog in the race, you might say. Many only know him as Marius and now, Dr. Stephen Hawking. Plus, they would have to be rooting for an Englishman over an American, so not likely to keep people watching.

I feel like the winners of these films are telling America what we should believe rather than giving us a show. You're entertainers. Get over yourselves. No one wants to be preached at -- and how many sermons did we get during this night? Shut up and take your Oscar.

Here's the main problem with the Oscars today for me. I will NEVER see these movies -- mostly because of the violence. They are not entertainment. They are meant to teach. And that's fine, but it doesn't bring people together like say, the Super Bowl because for the most part, these movies are watchable ONCE, not a million times, like former winners. Here are the winners for the last five years:

2015 Birdman (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest for today? Doesn't seem like it because that is a movie you can watch over again.)

2014 -- 12 Years a Slave (Maybe you will watch it again, I can't watch it once because I hate that any human being was ever treated like that.)

2013 Argo -- it was okay. I will never watch it again.

2012 -- The Artist -- I saw this as soon as it came out. It's an homage to silent movies and I LOVE Hollywood and though I really liked the film, it wasn't good enough for me to watch again.

2011 -- The King's Speech -- LOVED it. Saw it twice in the theater and bought it for home. And NOT just because Colin is in it! But who did not love seeing Mr. Collins and Elizabeth Bennet on screen again with our beloved Mr. Darcy? But I will admit, only one of my sons made it through.

2010 The Hurt Locker -- won't see it because of the violence. But it very well may have been the best.

In defense of Neil, that was a cold, heartless crowd who never smiled. They are SO full of themselves in Hollywood, Lord forbid they support a poor guy trying to entertain them. Granted, he had some really bad moments: The awkward underwear scene. Dude, just no. The making fun of the Westminster poodle dress after the woman has just announced she lost her son to suicide. And worst of all, that sorry magic trick. NPH, no one LIKES magic. Except when they're in Vegas and tossed back a few.

So Academy, if you're going to make your winners irrelevant to America, you MUST make the show more mainstream. We loved the Lego movie. Sue us. (By the way, I saw that one twice. LOL) And by the end of the night, I would have rather left with a Lego statue than a real one. There is nothing wrong with entertaining the masses. It's sort of your job, Hollywood.


Bachelor in Bali

Chris is so obviously an American in Bali. Love the sari with the big white gym shoes. Very natural. As is the piles of monkeys urinating on him, while he has a date with Kaitlyn. Then, they share this crazy, passionless kiss in the middle of all the monkey dung.


They yammer on about feelings, go to dinner, yammer on about more feelings -- really talking a lot but saying nothing. Chris isn't into her and he's awkwardly silent when she tells him how perfect the relationship is to her. But you know, there's the fantasy suite, so he's not letting her go quite yet.

Kaitlyn claims the fantasy suite, "Is exactly what we need." I'd rather get one of those fishy pedicures than go to the fantasy suite, but that's me. Kaitlyn, on the other hand, says she's completely falling in love with him and surprise, he said it back. She's bragging about hearing those words back, but let's be honest, those words from within the fantasy suite, mean very little. It's like a guy's home base.

Whitney has arrived and she gets a better date than being mauled by monkeys. She gets a yacht ride. Granted,it's a rachet little boat, but Whitney doesn't care. She's obsessing about her sister not giving approval for him to ask for Whitney's hand in marriage. Let's face it, Chris hasn't thought about that since he left Chicago.


These two are very natural together. Chris doesn't seem nearly as awkward around Whitney as he does Kaitlyn. Just my perspective. They jump off the boat and she says she sees herself being Chris' wife. Chris is still worrying about bringing any woman home to Arlington. For good reason. No grocery store! That is major when you're raising a family. All you do is go to the grocery store. Maybe it's easier when you have your own cows, but probably not by much.

Whitney is willing to leave her career behind to be a wife and mother, and she's believable. I think she would. Now, he offers her the fantasy suite card. The room is gorgeous and has its own pool and hot tub. How very Vegas! (Kaitlyn did not get that awesome of a room. Hmmm. Do the producers not like her as much?)

Becca -- Chris won't meet Becca's eyes. Guilty maybe? They spend the day in a village and immerse themselves in the culture. There's some kind of "seer" and they ask, "Are we meant to be together?"

The psychic is politically-correct and says they make a very good couple. And his advice? They should make love. Becca starts giggling uncontrollably because she has yet to announce her "secret" that she is waiting for marriage.

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Becca gets the card and proceeds to argue with herself about how there could be kissing (in the fantasy suite?) and that could lead to temptation...

Once inside the fantasy suite, she tells him she really thinks she is falling in love with him, but that she is pure. Chris is speechless and claims he is more interested in knowing if it's going to work. But Chris' responses are usually perfect. It's later when he has had time to realize what he's said that trouble comes.

The next day he's arguing with himself and kicking himself for not being a polygamist. I mean, who would know on that lonesome farm? he's probably thinking.

Rose Ceremony
Chris Harrison comes for a heart-to-heart. Then, everyone dresses up in Bali gear and stands in front of some ancient temple to disrespect the culture. Seriously, only Americans would desecrate an ancient site for a reality show "rose ceremony." I'm sorry world.

Chris takes Becca aside. They are really a gorgeous couple -- he basically tells her that he can't risk it with her. The other girls are easier. Meanwhile the other two girls are gloating. It's pathetic because I think he does really like Becca. At least Kaitlyn has the decency to feel guilty about being happy.

But uh oh. Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water. Becca returns victorious, hand-in-hand with Chris. He hands the first rose to Whitney. Then, he gives one to Becca and Kaitlyn is headed home. That is a long plane ride--

It was the monkey date. I knew that was a bad omen.

Moms on Social Media...

I'm going to tell you now. Moms on social media are not cool. You are the bane of your children's existence and you need to "get a life." Or so my children would tell you. Yesterday, a certain child had me BANNED from their friend's Instagram. All because I happened to comment that she and her friends should not be playing "Cards Against Humanity."

I'm a mom. It's what we do. I don't need no stinkin' social media boundaries! The teen agreed to "block me" but only if my kid told me she still loved me. LOL Yeah, I love you too, but I'll remember being banned the next time you need a ride to mall. (Not really, this kid brings me a ton of joy!)


I understand my daughter thinks I'm on social media to be cool. Which couldn't be further from the truth. I am the biggest nerd on the planet, and I relish it! Look at my social media follows: Books, Authors, Bad Reality TV Stars & Chefs with Recipes. You don't see me posting #OOTD (outfits of the day) or duck-lip selfies, do you?

Anyway, when you're a teenager everything your mother does is embarrassing. I'm just more public about it is all. Isn't that the way it's supposed to be today?

I don't really get Instagram -- since I'm more of a Word person than a visual person, but I did post a beach day yesterday. Isn't it gorgeous?


The Glass Slipper Reimagined...

In celebration of the new live action Cinderella movie coming out, designers have taken to the drawing board to reimagine the glass slipper. Here are two that will require you to find a real life Prince Charming with a rather large bank account, or drain your own.

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The pump on the left is Jimmy Choo and will be available at Saks for $4,395.
The cute retro sparkle boot is by Stuart Weitzman and will also be at Saks. $3,500

Has anyone tried Kate Hudson's New Fabletics Line?

I need new workout gear. The other day I picked up some yoga pants at Kohl's when we were there buying pillows. Okay, here's the thing, if you've had good workout gear? You cannot go to crap that's made to look like workout gear, but just isn't. It feels like wearing a diaper. At least, what I would think wearing a diaper feels like at this point in my life. Not there yet.

Kate Hudson really does work out, so I would think she took that into account. But I'm going to check around first. That Kohl's experience did me in.


She has some really cute styles, but I want to know if they're good. Anyone? I usually wear Zella Booty Fit. Love them. But they're pretty pricey. And no, I do not look this good in them.


Member's Only Websites: Living Social, Groupon, Rue La La

I have to admit, if a company requires me to sign in -- even if I signed up for their stuff a long time ago, I don't bother. There are just too many avenues to get deals where I don't want to be bothered with signing in every time I visit a website. If I wanted to buy, FINE, I'll sign in, but I find those sites ridiculous that to shop, you're supposed to sign in. Am I alone in that?

I just have too many things to think about where passwords for browsing is not on my radar. I do buy a lot online. Just not at those particular sites. So I would shop at say or or for household items before I would shop at One Kings Lane. Maybe these companies don't care, but honestly, that's a block I don't have time for. I must not be their customer.