Saturday, August 10, 2013

Why I Don't Share Food...

I have a lot of food memories from my childhood. BIG shock there right? The girl who has battled her weight(and mainly lost? What's next? The new pope being Catholic? I mean really people. There is a episode of Friends where the running joke is "Joey doesn't share food". That is the line repeated throughout the episode for laughs. My story isn't as funny oe well acted. I try not to share food with anyone. Not because I want all the food to myself, but because I fear that is what people think. As a kid on Sunday afternoons after church on the way home we would often stop at the gas station and get one drink and potato wedges. My mom, dad and sister(this was before the baby was born) would share these while driving around. We truly were those people with no where to go and all day to get there. It was cheap entertainment for people on a limited budget...or poor people as we called ourselves back in the day. There were a more than a few times that I got the last of drink of soda or the last potato wedge and became the brunt of some good natured ribbing. No one ever tried to hurt my feelings and quite honestly it doesn't take much to hurt them. This joking around spilled over as I got older. I became very self conscious of taking the first or last of anything. I didn't and still don't want people to think that I'm "hogging" the food as my uncle once told his girlfriend. Rule number one - Don't ask for anything. Rule number two - Don't share food or drinks. I broke that second rule recently. A friend of mine asked if I wouldn't mind sharing a sandwich and chips. I didn't see where it would be a problem. I told my friend beforehand that this would be my supper meal. The sandwich part was fine as the place had sliced it in half. I opened the chips and began eating them. After a time I told my friend that I am eating the chips and again reminded that this was my supper meal. This person had previous mentioned that they would be eating later and that this was just a snack. My friend then asked to have what was left of the chips. It wasn't much but I obliged. After we had completed eating my friend asked if I wanted dessert. I politely said no. She then implied that since I had ate all of the chips that I should pay for her dessert. All of those issues of being teased and the feelings of humilation came rushing back to the surface. Did my friend think I was a pig? Why did I agree to share? I grew angry at myself for agreeing to the meal and at my friend for what I felt was emotional blackmail. Feelings aren't right or wrong. They just are. My friend apologized once I explained myself. I wish I could say that I'm fine and that it doesn't bother me anymore. Unfortunately it does. Not as much as it did in the past thankfully as I have changed. But the fat little girl I was still lives inside of me and she struggles to let it go. And that my friends is why this girl doesn't share food....

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

A Wrestling Girl's Fan Moment at Fandomfest...

Many people are blogging about the problems with Fandomfest/ Fright Night Film Festival. After all there were problems with everything from ticketing to photo ops to the desperately needed signage. These have been documented and debated countless times. I’m going to tell you what was GREAT about this con. I attended Fandomfest as an exhibiter thanks to author Amy McCorkle. She allowed me to share a table with her and fellow author Pamela Turner. We were in the Vendor room with some awesome people. Some of whom I knew before (Dave Mattingly, Tony Acree, Frank Hall), some I knew from facebook (shout out to all my fellow Hydra Publications authors and S.B. Knight!) and many I met for the first time (Author J.H. Glaze, Alicia Justice, Susan, Sarah, Andrew, etc.). Anyone I forgot I apologize…after five days I’m still exhausted from the event! I also would like to give a big shout out to one of my idols from childhood. Every Saturday morning my sister, uncle and I would get out of bed and watch cartoons (the only day of the week that they use to be on). Then at noon we would watch local wrestling. It was called many things but most remember it as the USWA Wrestling. From those Saturday mornings grew a love of wrestling and one of the guys I remember most is Jim Cornette. Jim was known as the tennis racket wielding manager known for his dirty deeds. The Jim I met Saturday had that charm and quick wit I remembered. He was also warm and inviting. I told him that I was his biggest fan and he ran with it. For the brief time that I was at his booth it was our running gag. I told him that a picture with him would “kill” my uncle. Jim laughed and said well let’s kill him. Jim Cornette seemed to genuinely care that he gave each of his fans a moment that they wouldn’t forget and I thank him for it.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

My Evening with Kevin Smith

My Fandom Fest journey began last Wednesday June 24th with the Kevin Smith/Jason Mewes event. My best friend and co-writer Amy McCorkle and I are huge fans of the Clerks director and his best friend/co-star Jason Mewes. If you have seen dvds like “An Evening With Kevin Smith” or “To Fat for Forty” you know what his Q&A is all about. If you haven’t I highly recommend you get it. We got to the show early. Even though we had VIP tickets I wanted to get there early so that we could park, find out where we needed to be and grab a quick bite to eat at a local restaurant. The Fandom Fest volunteers were very helpful and after getting our wristbands we headed across the hotel to eat at the CafĂ© Magnolia. The food was quite good if a tab bit expensive. I tweeted Kevin saying that we were waiting for the show and he favorited it. The fan girl in me was like “Yay, Kevin Smith read my tweet!!!” After dinner we went back to the event area and had a really long conversation with a couple named Joe and Sarah. They were AWESOME! Joe was so entertaining and knowledgeable. Saw them a few days later at the fest and got to talk some more. The event itself started with Brian O'Halloran, Dante from Clerks fame, warming up the crowd. He was funny, intelligent and generous with his time as he interacted with the fans. Jason Mewes came out and said that they would be showing the cartoon movie and then do the Q&A/Smodcast. The cartoon movie was funny but definitely not for children or people who are easily offended. READ: If you are a Kevin Smith fan you will probably not be offended. When Kevin finally came out he didn’t disappoint. He charmed me the way I knew he would. The show was raunchy, funny, and real. Toward the end and between the laughs Kevin spoke briefly about why he agreed to do this movie. Jason is a recovering addict and the movie helps keep him clean. That Kevin would do this speaks to his character and I on hope that I am as good a friend as he is to Mewes. The show ended with a little game that I won’t name here but let’s just say I had tears from laughing so hard.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Kentucky Speedway and Me...

Folks, this evening a tired but happy writer comes to you. As my family and friends know I am a huge NASCAR fan and in particular Kevin Harvick fan. This weekend Kentucky Speedway hosted it 3rd Quaker State 400 race in Sparta, Kentucky.

Just to give you a little back about me and NASCAR, I attended my first race at the 2006 Daytona 500. I thought that it would be one of those things that I could mark off of my bucket list and be done with it. Over the next four years I attended at least one and sometimes two races in NASCAR's top three series at Daytona, Charlotte and Kentucky. My addiction was born.

Racing was something that I shared with my dad. Every week we gathered on his couch and watched the race. I cherished my Sunday afternoons with him because it was about so much more than racing. Inevitably we discussed NASCAR bringing a Sprint Cup Event to out beloved Kentucky Speedway. Every year he surprised me with a Nationwide ticket and we prayed for a race at "our" track. In 2010 we were estastic when we heard that Bruton Smith had actually done it. We would have a race.

By fall 2010 my dad had some medical problems that landed him on the liver transplant list. We got the call November 21st that they had a liver for him. I remember it was a Sunday because as we sat in the hospital waiting on the liver to arrive from South Carolina we watched Jimmie Johnson become 5 time. I made the trip to the hospital each day. On the way there was an electronic billboard that advertised the race. Every day I would tell dad which driver was on the billboard and count down to the race. He never saw a Sprint Cup race at Kentucky. My dad lived for 32 more days and spent all but three hours of it in the hospital. We buried him in his sunglasses per his wishes because he thought the drivers looked cool in them.

Each year since I continue the tradition of going to the race as my birthday present (only now we have season tickets). There has been well document problems but let me tell you I have never regretted going. Each year has brought me joy. Yesterday during the rain delay I meet people from several different states and even Canada. We got to go to the season ticket party and met the Turtleman and Matt Kenseth. Saw Coach Cal. Big deal for the BBN fan in me. We tailgated, people watched and toured the haulers. You will be happy to know I did get my Kevin Harvick tee shirt. That is a must as it is another tradition. Not a great day for the 29 team but a solid top 10. Seven in a roll...consistancy wins championships!

I'm not saying that I enjoyed the race being postponed until Sunday. I'm just saying that I made the best of the rain. And for all you traffic haters...both days we went from the parking lot to drive way in Louisville in a little over an hour and a half. Thank you Kentucky Speedway! Can't wait to come back next year.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Why We Watch Reality Television

Most people say when out in company that reality television is terrible. They claim it’s garbage and that the networks should put better material on the air. Here is my take on it folks and it may upset some people. Networks put reality shows on for one major reason. PEOPLE ARE WATCHING THEM!

Hollywood is a business. Sure you ask a writer, an actor or a director if it’s about the art and about 99% of the time you are going hear that it is. The “numbers” people (producers, executives, etc.) will tell you its not. They want to make money. Reality shows get ratings. People watch them. There may be as many different reasons for watching as there are programs. Here are a few:

  1. We love to people watch. Go to any mall and sit in the food court sans cell phone. Within about thirty seconds you will be watching the people around you. If you are a writer you will be creating dramas about these people and asking questions. Why didn’t someone tell that guy his shirt was ugly (to big, small, offensive, etc.) Is that girl who looks twelve the mother of that baby in the stroller? Where did grandma get those cookies? Is that old man sitting on the bench waiting on his wife?
  2. Another reason we watch reality television is we as Americans love a good underdog story. I admit that I’m a sucker for a good story and reality TV can manufacture/display some of the best. I watch competition shows like The Voice, American Idol, Top Chef, because people are chasing their dreams. We get this brief insight into the “regular” people and think if they are chasing their dreams then why not me? I watch the ultimate reality show ever two years in the Summer and Winter Olympics. Not a reality show you say? I beg to differ. These are non Hollywood types that are shopped to American homes by their personal stories and compete to win a prize (metals).
  3. We love celebrities even washed up and past their prime celebrities. America is a country without royalty (we did fight a war over this). So instead of Wills and Kate we use entertainment people. If we can get a glimpse into some celebrity’s life and see that they are human we feel connected and maybe better about ourselves. Much of these celebrity reality shows are depressing in my opinion. Other than a curiosity viewing I usually stay away from them. Anyone who watched shows like Being Bobby Brown and The Anna Nicole Show knew that tragedy was in the making.

Real life may not be perfect and it definitely not scripted but it’s easier to laugh when you can compare yourself to someone else. That is why there are Teen Moms, Jersey Shore, Honey Boo-Boo, and any of the housewives. It gives us the ability to say I’m may not be where I want but at least I'm not alone.

Friday, May 10, 2013

My thoughts about "The Great Gatsby"

I am trying to see at least one movie a week at the movie theaters this year. While it has been hit and miss I did make it this week. This week the movie was The Great Gatsby, a film that I have been excited about since hearing it was in production.

Let me state that I was not forced to endure the torture of reading this classic when in high school like many of my friends claimed to have been. I wanted to see this movie for two reasons. One - I am a huge Baz Luhrmann fan. From the quirky Strictly Ballroom to the modern take of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet to my personal favorite the tragically romantic Moulin Rouge. His amazing use of costume and music to create fantastical worlds full of larger than life characters astonishes the filmmaker in me.

The second reason is Leonardo DiCaprio. Now some of you might think that I discovered Leo during his Titanic heyday but that is not the case. I first noticed him on the big screen in “This Boy’s Life” (on TV it was when he was Luke on Growing Pains). His talented turns in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape and The Basketball Diaries told me that guy was the real deal. He is an actor that is protective of his personal life so that he can disappear into each of the character he portrays. I have no qualms in saying that he is one of if not the best actors of my generation. I read once that James Dean’s death was the best thing that happened to Paul Newman career because the roles that would have been offered to Dean went to Newman. I often wonder if the same couldn’t be said for DiCaprio and the great River Phoenix. But I digress…DiCaprio’s turn as Gatsby is spot on in a somewhat spotty film. I found myself drawn to Gatsby as much as Nick was and wanted to throttle Daisy for abandoning him.

The Great Gatsby is full of the Lurhmann’s charm and style. What it lacks is the emotional connections of the above mentioned films. Part of the problem is, again I haven’t read the book, is in the character faults written in the original draft. I am going on what I have read in other publications and talked about with people who have indeed read the book.  Had Gatsby been written post WWII or post 1960’s it may have ended differently. In 1925 (the year it was written) Daisy was a former Louisville debutante who married old money. Women at that time were encouraged to marry, raise a family and if needed, make good of a bad situation especially a bad marriage.  So good girl Daisy went WAY off the script by having an affair with her “star crossed lover” Gatsby. I wished though that she went further and made herself deserving of Gatsby love/obsession. All that said…Thanks to Carey Mulligan I did like Daisy for about half the movie.

Tobey Maguire’s Nick was okay for this viewer. The first thirty minutes of the movie I waffled between thinking he wanted to be Gatsby and be WITH Gatsby. I felt he got better as the movie went on.

The rest of the supporting cast was good if not great. I do wish to give a big shout out to Isla Fisher and Jason Clarke as the doomed married couple Myrtle and George Wilson. Clarke in particular did so much with very little screen time.

My final verdict on the movie…if you like the book you will probably love the movie. For me it was 2 ½ Stars out of 4.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Tom Cruise and Oblivion...

I saw the new Tom Cruise movie Oblivion this week. Let me just say first that I’m not a big science fiction girl. Never have been but it doesn’t mean that I don’t like science fiction. That being stated though I liked this movie. I’ll try to speak in generalities but understand that it I might leak a few spoilers. If you want to see this movie, continue reading at your own risk. J

To anyone who hasn’t been living under a rock since the 1980s Tom Cruise is a movie star. There is no doubt about it. He skyrocketed to fame with the film like Risky Business and has never seemed to look back. He’s done the big budget action films like Mission Impossible and Top Gun. I’ve never been into that Tom Cruise. I like the Tom who did Rain Man and Jerry Maguire.

Watching Oblivion though realized why I liked those other two movies. Tom Cruise is never better than when he plays a character that it a little too sure of himself. You know that guy who knows his role in life. The man who not only lives on the edge but flourishes on it right until the moment he falls over.

Then viewers get to see what Tom does best. He takes this character that you think that you know, the one you have already invested thirty to forty minutes and spins him around. He makes choices as an actor that allows the viewer to feel as if they are a part of  the journey to self discovery.

In Oblivion, we meet Jack Harper, a futuristic electronic repairman who is two weeks away from completing his mission. Jack is another one of these characters who seemingly has life by the tail. It’s not until he begins questioning this that he realized that his “rebuilt” life isn’t what it seems.

The movie is not without its flaws. The pacing is a bit off and there is not nearly enough screen time for Morgan Freeman (but really I always think that.) The plot weakened as it needed more humans and less drones. But if you want to see Cruise at his best I highly recommend seeing it.