Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Award-winning movie stuff to add to your list

My friend, Jenn at Quirky Pickings, is hosting a link-up called Tuesday Topics.  I'm terrible about weekly link-ups, but I'll jump in when I can.  Why don't you find a topic (or topics) that interest or inspire you and join as well?

Jenn likes movies.  She likes them a lot.  She even hosts "the fall film challenge" every autumn.  I'm a fan of film too, and when I love a movie or a performance, I am happy to share and talk about it.  That's why when Jenn encouraged us to list our favorite Oscar-Award-Winners, I thought I'd dive in and share my thoughts.

Plus.....as for link-ups, this is also the day that Lauren at Eat, Drink, and Be Lauren and Bre at Bre Writes host "Add it to My List".  So, why not encourage you to add these movies to your "must watch" list (if you haven't seen them already)?

When it comes to movies, I get more passionate about acting performances.  Sure, movies that are great, as in, the sum of the entire movie is wonderful/inspirational/powerful are awesome to watch.  I don't know...I just get even more moved and passionate about individual performances, the way an actor or actress completely transforms his/herself into a character.  So, here's my list of Oscar-Winning-Performances by an actor or actress. 

1.  Vivien Leigh won for her portrayal as Scarlett O'Hara at the 12th Academy Awards in 1939.  Could Gone with the Wind have become such a long-standing phenomenon if it weren't for Vivien Leigh's performance?  I think not.

2.  Marlon Brando won Best Actor for his portrayal in The Godfather.  Seriously.  Like Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O'Hara, Marlon Brando is Don Vito Corleone, The Godfather.  We can't imagine anyone else playing that iconic role.

3.  The 52nd Academy Awards awarded Meryl Streep Best Supporting Actress and Dustin Hoffman for Best Actor for their performances as divorced parents in a custody battle in Kramer vs. Kramer.  I remember watching Meryl Streep sitting in a witness stand and Dustin Hoffman sitting in court, and I was just sobbing, gasping for breath.  I believed that these parents were fighting for their son.  I didn't see them as actors.  I saw her as a flawed mother and a devoted father who both loved their son dearly.

4.  My personal opinion?  Jodie Foster's Best Actress-winning portrayal of a rape victim in The Accused is quite possibly the most powerful, unnerving performance that I've ever witnessed on film.  I know that's a big statement.  But, damn, I still get chills just thinking about this movie and her performance.  If you haven't seen it, add it to your list and watch it, but be prepared for being angry at the rape culture that existed then and still exists today.

5.  Two wins.  Two years in a row.  Two completely different performances.  One man.  I'm talking Tom Hanks winning Best Actor in 1993 and 1994 for AIDS victim in Philadelphia and the loveable Forrest Gump.  I can't choose which award-winning performance I liked better, and I'm not going to. 

6.  I've mentioned in a previous post how much I love this character and this performance, and I was thrilled when Robin Williams won Best Supporting Actor at the 70th Academy Awards in 1997 for his role in Good Will Hunting.  If you haven't seen this movie, what are you waiting for??  Add this to your list immediately.

7.  I read Cormac McCarthy's book No Country for Old Men before I saw the movie.  The character that Javier Bardem played is the type of guy that can give you nightmares...and his performance was frightening how good it was at playing a murdering maniac.  He deserved that Academy Award he won in 2007 at the 80th ceremony.

8.  Christoph Waltz in Inglorious Basterds is brilliant.  Somehow he was able convey convincingly the role of a polite Nazi sadist.  By doing so, he won Best Supporting Actor at the 82nd Academy Awards.

9.  Yes.  I'm biased.  I love Jared Leto.  But, damn if that boy didn't pull at my heart strings as the damaged, hurt, drug addicted, transgender, AIDS victim in Dallas Buyers Club.  There's a scene in this movie that Jared made me cry big, fat, ugly tears.  He was so convincing.  Matthew McConaughey's performance was stellar and award-winning as well, but Jared practically stole the movie for me.  He won Best Supporting Actor in 2013.

10.  Julianne Moore playing a Harvard professor who is diagnosed with early onset of Alzheimer's is so painful and sincere.  I'd read the book Still Alice before seeing the movie.  I knew that it was entirely possible that an actress could "over-act" this role.  Julianne Moore plays it to perfection, and the Academy awarded her with Best Actress in 2014 for doing so.

Admittedly, when I first made this list, I had over 30 names.  There are a lot of magnificent performances that I could've listed but didn't.  I'd like to hear what you think. 

What performances did I miss?  Will you add any of these to your list?

Linking up with Jenn:

and Lauren and Bre:

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Sunday's Seven Snapshots vol.115

I took my lunch to work everyday this week, and I'm pretty proud of that fact.

Reading blogs with my little buddy by my side (p.s. I'm behind on blog reading...again...I will catch up soon!)

Spent a little time with Sebastian Bach this week ~ you know, I love my rock bios ~ for younger readers, this guy used to sing in a band called Skid Row, and in the late '80s/early "90s, they were hugely popular.  He's also been on Broadway in Jekell & Hyde, Rocky Horror, and Jesus Christ Superstar.  Oh, apparently he's in Gilmore Girls too. 

This is ANZAC Bridge ~ I walked across it today while participating in my first ever 10K!

Still walking ~ yep, that's the same bridge in the distance.

We finished!

And, I had the most handsome supporters waiting for me at the end :)

Happy weekend to you and yours!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Peace, happiness, and supporting a good cause

How's that for a "Happy Friday" post title??

I joined a blog group on facebook.  I've never been in a blog group.  Lindsay is one of the administrators, and she is my homegirl.  Plus, they promote peace (hence, the name) and positivity.  Those are things I like to support as well.  I have no idea what I plan to get from the blog group.  After all, I don't even have a facebook page for my own blog.  But, it seems to be a group of supportive, encouraging folks, and I'm all about surrounding myself with those kinds of peeps.  If you'd like to check 'em out, it's called The Peaceful Posse

The 3 administrators are kicking off and hosting a weekly link-up.  I'm not the most consistent gal when it comes to weekly link-ups, but after forgetting about (or just not having time to get myself together) for Kristin's Stuff & Things this week, I thought I'd jump into this inaugural link-up "What's Up, Weekend?" hosted by Lindsay, Charlotte, and Chrissy.

Why not let you know about ten things that made me happy this week?  Here we go...

1.  Audrey mail ~ I offered to send books that I'd already read and was happy to pass along to other book lovin' bloggers.  I asked other bloggers to "pay it forward" or pass along books of their own.  Audrey offered up some books, I opted for one, and it arrived this week.  Who doesn't enjoy receiving snail mail?! 

2.  The idea of reading the above book ~ I'm not much into "classics", yet my favorite book of all time is indeed a "classic" in Children's Literature (The Secret Garden).  So, when Audrey offered this book, I thought "hey, maybe I need to try another children's lit classic", so I'm happy to give it a go.

3.  Haribo Bears ~ some days I need a little something sweet and a little something sour.  For some reason, I can actually eat these in moderation.  I can eat 2 or 3 and instantly be happier.

4.  Sending a care package ~ I often say it.  You may have already heard me say it.  Multiple times.  But, it is worth repeating.  The world needs more care packages.  And, I always feel so good about sending a little box of goodies that someone may not be expecting. 

5.  First paycheck ~ you know something awesome about starting a new job?  Receiving a first paycheck.

6.  Employment happiness ~ I'm surprised at how much I'm enjoying my new job.  I'd decided not to talk about work here, so I won't go into details, but I'm really, really enjoying it.

7.  My nephew is 16 ~ my heart is so full with what an amazing kid he is.  He is smart, funny, thoughtful, dedicated, and compassionate.  Oh, and he's adorable too.

8.  Pictures all over social media in honor of National Puppy Day ~ who doesn't love puppy pics?  Well, don't answer that.  I don't want to know the person who doesn't love puppy pics.  Here is one of my favorite pictures of my darling girls when they were puppies.

9.  Friday night dinner ~ the husband cooked steaks on the grill and homemade beer-battered onion rings, and they were goooooooood.

10.  The best for last ~ Support and donations for the Starlight Children's Foundation ~ I agreed to walk (read that...walk, not run) a 10K.  It's my first 10K ever.  A good friend has been encouraging me to participate in one with her for a little while, and she got me on this one...there's food, craft beer, and wine at the end, spectacular views of Sydney along the way, AND it benefits a charity that I support wholeheartedly.  All I've done is share a link online a few times encouraging anyone to give anything they may choose.  I set my goal to raise $500.  I did it, so I bumped it up to $750.  Typing this right now, I've raised $1,035.85 for the Starlight Children's Foundation.  I am thrilled.  If you are interested in reading more about it or donating to a worthy cause, see my link here

I've just realized that I've structured this sorta kinda like my personal weekly posts "Sunday's Seven Snapshots".  Oops.  Good thing I'm walking the 10K on Sunday.  I'll try to remember to take lots of pics so I have something to share in my post!

So, What's Up with Your Weekend?

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Random, Frivolous Things About Me

I've read a number of bloggers sharing random facts about themselves in the last month or so.  I should give you guys credit.  My bad.  I think it's because I'm sitting here knowing of 6 off the top of my head, and, well, I admit it, I'm too lazy right now to go find all those posts. 

Today is the 21st of the month, so let's learn 21 random (mostly frivolous) facts about me:

1.  I love naps.  I can sleep anywhere, anytime.

2.  I had problems with my right ankle all throughout high school.  I sprained it, stretched and tore ligaments, and fractured it.  To this day, my left calf is higher/stronger than my right calf because it had to overcompensate for the right leg injuries.  I'm not making it up.  A doctor actually told me this.

2a.  Taking a picture of your own calves is not an easy task.  I swear that the differential between my calves is more obvious than this picture shows.  Or, now, I'm asking myself "am I just being a weird girl and noticing things about my body parts that no one else notices or cares about?"

3.  When I was a kid, I used to wish that my name was Savannah.  I've actually never met anyone named Savannah.

I'm having a difficult time coming up with random "new" things...things that I haven't already shared in this space before, so I'm going to repeat myself here and there.

4.  I have been a Bon Jovi fan since 1984.  I saw them in concert on the "Slippery When Wet" tour when I was in 8th grade.  I have seen them in the ballpark of 15 times. (see next random fact about me)  I call Jon Bon Jovi "the love of my life", and I have no shame.

5.  I have a vivid memory about some things, and other times, my memory is horrible.  For instance, I'm pretty terrible about remembering when/where/how many times I've seen certain bands in concert that I know I've seen multiple times.

6.  I love all things cheese and all things potato.

7.  I've watched 5 episodes of Big Little Lies.  This is the most I've watched of a dramatic series since Dexter.  Yep, I'm a little behind the times when it comes to television.

8.  Even though I don't watch that much tv, or that many nominated movies, or listen to that much current music, I still really enjoy watch awards shows like the Emmys, the Golden Globes, the Oscars, and the Grammys.

9.  I have 12 tattoos and a wish list for more.

10.  Prior to my current situation, I'd always had full bred dogs from breeders.  Now, I have 5 adopted fur babies who are nowhere near full breeds.

11.  I have been a nail biter my entire life.  I can still hear my grandmother's voice in my head telling me to "stop biting your nails!"  I've tried every bit of advice and product ever given to quit this filthy habit.  Finally, I gave up and decided I will wear fake nails for life.

12.  I adopted this as sort of a life motto after seeing it on pinterest a few years back:
13.  I believe the world would be a happier place if we all sent/received more care packages.

14.  I don't like olives or any of these other foods

15.  I used to think I was a guy's gal.  I had a lot of male friends.  I'd been accused of "thinking like a guy".  Now, I find myself much more in tune with being a woman, supporting other women, and cherishing my female friends. 

16.  I'm a rocker chick at heart, and many of you know this.  When my 9 year old stepkid just handed me his ipod and asked me to put "Monster" by Skillet on it, my rocker heart was very happy.  AC/DC is his favorite band.  No, this isn't a random, frivolous fact about me...but it was still a fun fact to share.

17.  I am a member at 3 different library systems (all of them with multiple locations), and I'm about to join a fourth.  I moved work locations...I need to join the library near my work.  Duh.

18.  I was born feet first. 

19.  I pretty much like cherry-flavored anything.  Cherry Coke.   Cherry candies (Starburst and Jolly Ranchers.)  Jim Beam Black Cherry.  Cherry Pop Tarts.  Cherry pie.  Cherry cough syrup.  Give me all the cherries...fake or real.

20.  I took dance from the ages of 4 to 10, and I was on an organized dance/drill team in junior high, high school, and 2 years in college.  I still remember choreography from random dances to the likes of Billy Idol's Mony, Mony, Whitney Houston's I Wanna Dance With Somebody, Sinead O'Connor's Nothing Compares to You, Johnny Gill's Rub You the Right Way, Van Halen's You Really Got Me...and more...

21.  I've never drank a cup of coffee.  Oh, I've had a couple of sips of one.  Multiple times to see if my taste buds have changed, but they haven't.  I don't like the taste of coffee anything.  Not even coffee ice cream or tiramisu. 

Did you learn anything new about me?  Tell me one random, frivolous thing about you that you don't think I know...

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Sunday's Seven Snapshots vol.114

It's rained most of the week and the dam near my train station was running strong.  I tried to take a picture through the bars...didn't turn out so well.  ha.

Work selfie for my mom ~ she sent about 3 or 4 texts that I didn't answer.  I responded with this saying "busy". 

Remember when I went to the Hunter Valley in December?  I've been reluctant to drink all my good wine, thinking I should save it for a "special occasion".  Nah.  Friday night I decided to open and enjoy a bottle.

My guy suggested that we go to lunch at the Orangeville Meat Co. where they serve flame-grilled burgers, fries, and shakes.  To steal Kathy's term, this is what "fappiness" looks like.

I was so stuffed after lunch, I needed a nap.  Ricky didn't mind.

The weather cleared up in the afternoon, and we took advantage by taking the Destructive Duo for a walk.

This pic...well, it ain't all that exciting.  I agree.  But, it was taken in the midst of me catching him dancing in the grocery store aisle, and I thought that was cute.

How was your week and weekend?  Hope it was a good one!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Stuff & Things vol.10

Jumping right into my random thoughts this Thursday...

  • Adele was here.  I know lots who went.  I like concerts (I mean, I like them a lot), but for some reason, I had no desire to see Adele.  Actually, I think I'd enjoy having some beers with Adele but just wasn't wildly interested in her concert. I mean, if someone gave me a free ticket, I'd have gone.  I'm sure it was spectacular, but I have no feelings of missing out.

  • I've mentioned to Heather and Kathy, so I thought I'd share here....you know how the American president is often called "the leader of the free world"?  I'm in favor of passing that torch to the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Photo from article: Justin Trudeau's 7 Most Wonderfully Feminist Moments Will Make You Love The Canadian Leader Even More
  • Remember when I decided to offer my books that I'd already read?  Only 4 books remained unclaimed and those were donated.  I was pleased, I enjoyed sending the packages, and will definitely do this again. 

  • I've had some bizarre dreams the last week.  I'm a regularly bizarro-dreamer, but these have been pretty special.  For instance, I had a dream that my mom's guy was lifelong friends with Kenny Rogers.  He ended up visiting them at the same time that I did, and my mom kept cancelling plans with me to hang with Kenny. 

  • Currently, I'm reading The Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley.  There is a part with the ashes of a loved one being taken to a special place.  I've decided, if I die I want half my ashes in Texas and half my ashes here in Australia.  If my wishes are expressed on my blog, is that legally binding?  Probably not.  Guess I need to tell the appropriate people.
lajva[g]a kja"R j
ah     <---------- Astro just walked across the keyboard.  I thought I'd keep his "thoughts" in the post for you, just in case you read cat lingo.
  • If you are a rock music fan, this is a "must watch".  This video is just one of those examples that I'm so happy the internet was created, so something this entertaining could be shared.  Watch "Kids React to Guns N' Roses":

Linking..... with  Kristin:
Stuff, Things, etc.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

I show you my books, you show me yours... vol.26

It's Show Us Your Books Day!  The day hosted by Jana & Steph, the day that makes my goodreads "to read" list grow, and the day I interact with a blogging community of readers.  I love this day of the month.

What I've read since last link-up:

1.  How to Talk to a Widower by Jonathon Tropper - This is one of the only authors in yearsssss that I loved so much, I knew that I must read everyone of his books.  I don't binge read, meaning I don't read all the same author at once.  I sprinkled his books in over time, and now I've read all six of Tropper's published books.  With this one, as always, I love the flawed characters.  I love the dysfunctional relationships.  I love the writing style, the pace, the humor mixed with sadness.  A solid 4/5.

2.  Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon - I know.  A lot of other bloggers and readers have already read this book and fell in love with Madeline and Oliver (or Maddy and Olly.)  My goodreads tells me that 21 "friends" have marked it "to read".  Well, get on it.  It's a quick read and a lovely little book with some valuable lessons.  I'm not one to highlight or remember book quotes, but this one jumped off the page and settled into my heart:  "Just because you can't experience everything doesn't mean you shouldn't experience anything."

3.  The Secret River by Kate Grenville - I felt like I'd read a book assigned by a university professor, and I should write a paper analyzing topics such as poverty and crime, the colonization of Australia, class systems, violence and the mob mentality, entitlement by white settlers and the atrocities committed by them towards indigenous people, money does not equal happiness, the fight of indigenous people to keep their land and their culture, and more. This is my first historical fiction book set during the colonization of Australia, and I appreciated its descriptive writing, as I felt it painted a picture of many scenes and settings. Also, some of the horrors that are committed were difficult to read and to stomach because of the authenticity of the descriptive writing. It is not a fast-paced book, but it is vivid and provocative and a well-written story. 4/5

4.  The Murder House by James Patterson and David Ellis - Do you like James Patterson books? Read this one. Do you like thrillers? Read this book. Twists and turns galore. 4.5/5

5.  One Plus One by Jojo Moyes - I liked this book. I didn't love it, but I liked it a lot.   I enjoyed the support characters more than the mains. 3.75/5 because I give crazy review scores like that.

6.  Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult - So much praise has already been given to this book, all justified and deserved. I'm not sure it's possible to read this book and not be uncomfortable in parts. It is thought-provoking and emotion-filled.  Like others, I felt the ending was abrupt.
Something that I will add that I haven't seen others mention, I couldn't help but hearing echoes at times from John Grisham's A Time to Kill. When Carl Lee tells his attorney, Jake, that they aren't friends. That Jake is his "secret weapon" because, like Kennedy, he is well-meaning, yes, but still a privileged white person. Grisham's book was written close to 30 years ago, but here we are with the same themes and prevalent racism. The comparison of the two books leaves me disheartened that we haven't improved more and bettered ourselves as a society, and I appreciate the reminder from Jodi Picoult that there are ways to continue to learn, grow, and evolve. 4/5

7.  Never Knowing by Chevy Stevens - I liked the idea of this book, but I never fully connected to the main character which made me feel like something was lacking.  Still, I enjoyed it enough to continue being a fan of this author.  3/5

I've shown you mine, now you show me yours...

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Sunday's Seven Snapshots vol.113

First week of a new job has been completed.  Feeling good about things so far.

I saw these tiles outside a primary school.  I stopped.  I read.  I thought about these young voices talking about where they live: a street which "has less junkies" and a park that is "full of magpies", another young voice claiming to be a growing family who "came as (r)efugees" from El Salvador, and another whose parents came from India.  I don't know why these young, multi-cultural voices impacted me so much, but they did.

Our big girls absolutely love it when we take them to the duck pond and let them go crazy.

This weekend I went to the Australian Tattoo Expo in Sydney.  I took this picture while waiting for my gal, Melanie to get ready for me.

My super duper artist in action

Three of their favorite animals to represent three of my favorite people on the planet ~ a hippo for niece 1, an ostrich for niece 2, and a penguin for my nephew. They are such amazing humans. They've always owned a part of my heart. Now, they own a thigh too. I think my gal Melanie was just being a show-off this time.  She does such a brilliant job at taking simple ideas in my head and creating pieces that I fall in love with.  This tattoo makes me so happy.

After being poked and stabbed for a few hours, I exited to this view ~ a perfect autumn day in Sydney.

A week filled with work productivity, fur babies, blue skies, pretty art, and impactful words.  That's a good week in my books.  Hope yours was too!