September 24, 2011

my life in films

I came across this post on author Kaye Dacus's blog this morning, and I couldn't resist making my own list. After all, I do love me some movies!

Films that Remind Me of Childhood
  • The Sound of Music. When I was little, we didn't have a VCR, so I didn't get to watch many movies. My grandparents had one, though, and every time we visited, I wanted to watch The Sound of Music. And I pretended (in my own head, of course--not aloud) that I was Liesl.
  • The Three Stooges: Disorder in the Court and Malice in the Palace. This is another video we always watched at my grandparents' house ... and my grandma hated it. Disorder in the Court was my favorite, but I always watched Malice in the Palace, too. Both films are on YouTube--here and here!
  • Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue. After watching this movie, I sat on my little brother and made him promise never to do drugs! Remember how I said we didn't have a VCR? Well, we didn't, but the school did, so my dad would let us use the VCR on weekends. (My parents were boys' dorm parents.) This movie didn't belong to us--it was always on the TV cart, and we always seemed to watch it. If you're a child of the '80s, you've gotta watch it! (I am amazed at how much I remember of it!)
  • The BBC/Wonderworks productions of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe; Prince Caspian; The Voyage of the Dawn Treader; and The Silver Chair. My uncle gave us these one Christmas, and we watched them over ... and over ... and over!
Films that Defined My Teens
    • While You Were Sleeping. This movie came out when I was an 8th grader--and even today, it's my favorite movie!
    • Derby. Honestly, it's not that great. But I still love it for all the memories it brings back! My cousins and I watched it ad nauseam--so many times that my video tape began wearing out and the sound eroded!
    • Newsies. This movie (and the music) became my obsession. I first watched it at a friend's birthday party, and it quickly became one of my favorites. It's hard to fathom now, but I searched and searched and searched for the movie and sountrack (how did I live without Amazon?)--and I didn't get either one until early college. My sister and I still have Newsies sing-alongs on road trips!
    • The Princess Bride. Didn't see this until the 8th grade, even though it had been out for years. It quickly became one of my family's favorite films.
    • Liar, Liar. I'll admit it: I lived a pretty sheltered childhood. And I do believe most people in my class had a perception of me that was way off. So I guess this makes sense, but still ... When Liar, Liar came out, my friend Dori and I made plans to see it. We were talking about said plans in Spanish one day, and this guy turned to Dori and said, "Don't take Becky to that movie. She won't like it." Well, guess what, Jeremy? I did like the movie, and I even own it now. And every time I watch it, I think of that incident.
    • Anne of Avonlea. How many times did I rewind and rewatch the kiss at the end? It's probably better that you don't know!
    Films that Defined My College Years
      • The Matrix. Though I loved science fiction TV (like Star Trek: TNG and Stargate: SG-1), I never watched sci-fi films ... until The Matrix. The story absolutely blew me away, and the special effects were pretty cool, too! (Parts 2 & 3, though ... not so much!)
      • Snow White: A Tale of Terror. During my first semester at Grace, I didn't have any Thursday afternoon classes. Neither did Danielle, this other girl on my hall. We never hung out or even really talked at any other time, but most Thursdays we'd end up in the lounge together watching movies on Lifetime. One Thursday, this was on. I've never seen it again, but every time it comes to mind, I remember Thursdays with Danielle.
      • A Walk to Remember. I could name one of about a dozen chick flicks here, but of them all, A Walk to Remember was my favorite. I loved the story. I loved the soundtrack. I loved Shane West.
      Films When I Need a Good Cry
      • Brian's Song (2001 TV movie, not the original). This is the only movie that consistently makes me sob--I even start crying before Brian gets sick because I know what's coming!
      • Up. The beginning. My heart just breaks for Carl!
      Nightmares from Films
      • Only one. Arachnophobia. I watched about five minutes of it once, had a nightmare about spiders that night, and have stayed away from it ever since!
      Films that Are Guilty Pleasures
      The Last Film I Saw at the Theater
      • The Help. Just saw it last night with my mom, aunt, and cousin. Loved it!
      A Favorite Film Few Others Seem to Know About
      • If you've been reading my blog very long, you already know what I'm going to say, as I simply can't stop talking about it: My Girlfriend's Boyfriend! (If you click on the link on the title, you'll go to Hulu, where you can watch it right now.) Alyssa Milano. The always adorable Christopher Gorham. Jimmy Olsen himself, Michael Landes. A brief appearance by Tiffani from California Dreams. AND it's a cute story.
      What about you? Leave your answers in the comments, or better yet, write about it on your own blog and post the link in the comments. And please, if you haven't yet watched My Girlfriend's Boyfriend, do it. You'll thank me later.

      September 14, 2011

      why i love amazon: reason #4368

      Did you know that if you're a college student--as in enrolled in at least one course at any college in the United States--you qualify for a free Amazon Prime membership? You do need to have a .edu email address, but doesn't every college give those out these days?

      I am enrolled in school again (see 35 before 35 #20 ... yes, I'll post about it soon!), so I signed up for Prime today. It's a free 6-month membership, and if I choose to continue with Prime after that (which I don't anticipate right now, but I suppose I could change my mind), I can get a year for $39--that's half price! The one disappointment is that Prime videos are not included in the free subscription, but as I chose to keep Netflix streaming, I don't really need that service, anyway.

      Having Prime (which gives free 2-day shipping) could be a good thing or a bad thing. See, I never pay for shipping when I buy from Amazon. I just wait until I have $25 worth of products to buy, and then I use the free Super Saver Shipping. Here's the problem, though; sometimes I have something I really, really want (or need), it doesn't cost $25, and I don't want to (or can't) wait until I need something else. So instead of paying for shipping, I browse the dvd and book sections until I find something that will push my total to $25. This very thing happened to me last week, and I ended up buying the Tori Spelling movie Family Plan because it pushed me over $25. Do I like the movie? Yes. Back when I had cable, did I have a strange compulsion to watch it every time The Hallmark Channel ran it? Yes. Was it on sale? Yes. Did I need it? No.

      The way I see it, Prime will be a nice service that could save me money. No longer will I be worrying about how to get an order up to $25, but I also may be more likely to click "buy" on something I don't really need because I don't "have" to make a $25 order.

      Also, it's worth noting that Amazon Mom also has a free trial of Prime. And if you're not a parent or student, you can still try Prime free for one month.

      When you order from Amazon, do you feel compelled to order enough to qualify for free shipping, or do you figure it's better to just get what you need and pay a little extra for shipping?

      September 11, 2011

      the end of an era?

      My parents have attended the Kansas State Fair every year since 1981-- when I was three weeks old, and Mom carried me around in a front pack. I never missed a fair until college, and then I only missed twice before beginning a new eight-year streak. That streak may be over now, though. See, we always went to the fair with my grandparents. Once they stopped going, we still went and stayed at their house. But my grandma died last Christmas, and her house is on the verge of selling. Once it does, we won't have any place to say--or really a reason to go down to Kansas. So it's possible that today's trip to the Kansas State Fair was our last. Just in case, I decided to document it through photos.

      We had to get the fried cheese curds--it's become something of a tradition for Mom and me! (I looked for fried butter for the 35 before 35 project, but I didn't see any.)

      Every year, Turkey Hill sets up a tent where they give away ice cream samples. This year's ice cream was Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup. Yummy!

      I've recently discovered I like almonds. Or maybe "love" is a better word. So I splurged on these cinnamon sugar covered almonds. Muy delicioso!

      We had to ride on Ye Old Mill one more time. This year, it was actually kind of scary!

      When we went into the Domestic Arts building, we saw they were giving away SPAM sandwiches. I thoroughly enjoyed mine ... but Steph refused to try one.

      Steph tried out the Mix-N-Match slushy booth.
      If this was our last Kansas State Fair, it was a great way to go out!

      September 10, 2011

      35 before 35: #23

      #23: Go to a country concert

      This goal isn't one I would have had five years ago ... or even last year, for that matter! I have rather recently become a fan of country music. So when I heard The Band Perry was coming to the Nebraska State Fair, I decided to go. And I knew exactly who to take with me--my friend Joanna. Jo is at least partially responsible for my conversion to country (though most of the credit goes to former roomie Melissa). One night, Jo and I watched country music videos for hours after I confessed that I kind of enjoyed them. Anyway, Jo and I decided to go together. The problem? Jo is a senior in high school, and she has volleyball practice after school. So we didn't get on the road to Grand Island until 6:45, and the concert started at 7:30.

      Once we arrived at the state fairgrounds, we hightailed it over to the Events Center. We weren't even sure if we'd be able to get in, as the concert was free with gate admission, but you had to have a wristband to get in--and those were given out at the box office on a first come-first served basis. We arrived at 7:35, and a nice lady handed us our wristbands. When we walked in, the band was already playing, and the arena looked full. Jo has good eyes, though, and she found us seats ... pretty much as far away from the stage as you could get!

      Going in, I knew two of The Band Perry's songs--"If I Die Young" and "You Lie." Going out, I still only knew those two songs, but I heard several others that I really liked! If I didn't have Spotify (which I talked about here), I totally would have bought their album by now.

      My favorite part of the concert was when they started singing the Eminem/Rihanna song "Love the Way You Lie." At first, Jo and I just looked at each other ... and then we got it! They used it as a very effective lead-in to "The Way You Lie."

      Here we are at the concert ... sort of. I took about 10 pictures of us, and one of us always looked bad--so I spliced together two pictures. Notice that I've never claimed to be a Photoshop whiz!
      Overall, it was a great way to get my feet wet in the country music scene! Next stop, Carrie Underwood???

      September 9, 2011

      35 things before 35

      Recently, I came across a "30 Things To Do Before I Turn 30" post on another blog. Obviously, I missed the boat on that one, so I decided to make a list of 35 things to do before I turn 35. These are things I haven't done before (or at least I hadn't done before my 30th birthday last month). Here we go!
      1. bungee jump
      2. make a quilt
      3. get married
      4. go to a spa
      5. visit Prince Edward Island
      6. try fried butter
      7. take a cruise to Alaska
      8. have a child (biological/adopted/step)
      9. appear on TV
      10. write a novel I can be proud of (whether or not it ever gets published)
      11. go to Europe
      12. release 35 pounds* (fulfilled 7-13-15—see post)
      13. take my dad to a Cubs game
      14. go to a dc Talk concert**
      15. buy a house (fulfilled 8-2-13—see post)
      16. watch the full series run of Friday Night Lights***
      17. get a house cat (fulfilled 8-3-13—see post)
      18. visit Maine
      19. take a pottery class
      20. go back to school**** (fulfilled Fall 2011—see post)
      21. serve on a jury*****
      22. have a frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity 3
      23. go to a country concert (fulfilled 8-26-11—see post)
      24. learn how to make cheese
      25. get a job in a library
      26. go to the top of the Empire State Building
      27. get a massage
      28. grow my own herbs (fulfilled Summer 2016—see post)
      29. take a cross country road trip
      30. read the Bible from cover to cover
      31. go to Australia
      32. write something on this blog that gets picked up/linked to by a well respected website or blogger
      33. attend a showtunes night at a piano bar
      34. be a camp counselor
      35. go to a Nebraska-Ohio State football game (fulfilled 10-8-11—see post)

      *This is how Sandi Patty talked about losing weight at Women of Faith. It makes sense--if you lose something, you want to find it again. When I release 35 pounds, I will never want to find that weight again!

      **Yes, I'm well aware that dc Talk broke up a good 10 years ago. Should they ever go on a reunion tour (and they should), I would pay insane amounts of money and travel a ridiculous distance to see them.

      ***I watched the pilot. Twice. And I was incredibly bored both times. But I hear that it gets a lot better as it goes along (though I've also heard that season two gets a little terrible), so I think I should give it another shot.

      ****Technically, I've already gone "back to school"--I took a semester off before beginning college, so when I started, you could consider it "going back." But I think it still counts--I want to go back again!

      *****Ever since I learned what a jury was, I've wanted to serve on one. Strange, I know.

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