Oh heyyyyyyyy (or: My First Blogging 101 Post)

So…. it’s apparently been a long time since my last blog post. Far too long, I’m sure my one reader from Vermont would argue, but I have good reasons.

 

Just kidding. The only reason I have is because I like to go to bed at a normal person time rather than staying up late to work on blog posts. Who could blame me though? Have you tried sleeping? It’s the best. I think literally 10 out of 10 doctors would recommend it.

 

Seriously, try it

Seriously, try it

So moving forward with the promise of the new, rather than dwelling on the past, I’ve decided to take part in the Blogging 101 that’s offered here at WordPress. Ideally… you’ll be starting to see me more often with posts pertaining to the various writing prompts. I know this explanation is only for, like, 2 people, but you get the point. 🙂 Let’s get started!

Our first prompt is to introduce ourselves to the world. A “who I am and why I’m here” sort of post. So where do I start…

 

For anyone who doesn’t know me in real life, I’m Sarah. I’m awkward and a natural redhead (hence the name), and I love movies and television. I’m also 25 and learning how to be a functioning member of the corporate world while trying to keep my artsy edges. I like to talk to people about movies and TV, but sometimes I don’t actually have people around to talk to about it, so that’s where this blog comes in sometimes. It’s probably not uncommon for me to be ranting about a new TV series or trying to get people to go see the latest unknown indie film. I’ll probably also talk about usual things like work or my attempts to decorate my apartment, or even commercials that are empowering for women, because who doesn’t love that?!

It’s hard to nail down who I am apart from those few things I mentioned, and it’s hard to say what I want my blog to cover. Basically this is stuff I’m completely loving and am obsessed with at any given moment. So, in that same vein, and rather than me just rambling on and on, I’m going to tell you some of the things I’m currently obsessed with.

1. Iced Coffee

look at this beautiful thing

look at this beautiful thing

So one thing that people might not know about me, even in real life, is that I used to work as a barista in a local coffee shop. I worked there for two years and all I got out of it were complicated coffee orders (grande 2 pump vanilla, 2 pump caramel soy latte with cinnamon on top, for example). I’m not saying I became a coffee snob, but I did learn how to properly pull an espresso. After something like that, you can’t really go back, so I stopped drinking coffee until about a month ago. Now that summer’s here, it’s more socially acceptable to drink iced coffee, which is my go-to simple drink. I’ve now found myself making my iced coffee every morning as my commute buddy. It may still take me an hour to get to the office, but at least now I can enjoy it a little more.

2. The Little Green Notebook Blog

So I’m now in my second apartment of my own. The one thing I learned about myself in my first year of apartment living is that I LOVE decorating my apartment. I’m not too sure if I’m really any good at it, you’d have to ask those who’ve seen it, but I love it nonetheless. One of my other favorite things to do lately is read design blogs. I have a handful of them favorited on my my work computer, too, so I can take little mental breaks and look at beautiful things.

#gallerywallgoals

#gallerywallgoals

The blog I’ve been more obsessed with, as of late, has been Jenny Komenda’s blog “Little Green Notebook.” It’s chock-full of DIYs and inspiration for me. It’s all so simple, so fresh, and so smart! Seriously, she wrote one DIY where she took a basic canvas picture from IKEA’s clearance section and recovered it with a new picture. The whole project only cost her about $40. Not too bad.

3. Binge Watching

My third latest obsession is more of a collection, and not really a “new” thing for me. I haven’t been too impressed with the summer season’s offerings, so I’ve been catching up on shows that I’ve missed out on or just have plain been missing. Everything from CW’s The Flash, to re-watching my old favorite, House. 

My favorite so far, though, has been Netflix’s new original series Sense8.

sense8

Sense8 revolves around the lives of 8 people who live in different parts of the world, dealing with various situations in their lives, and recently learning that they are all connected. By “connected,” I mean they are able to mentally, and emotionally, connect to each other to become what the show calls a “sensate.” They’re able to share each other’s feelings, knowledge, and abilities, which all works for their benefit even when they don’t think they need the help. There’s also a group of people who are searching for them because they’re sensates, and want them for research and other sinister sorts of things.

The Wachowskis, who directed The Matrix movies, directed a majority of the show (along with a few collaborators), so the whole show has a really strong action/sci-fi feel to it. It’s also a more diverse show than many of it’s comtemporaries – having characters who are gay, transgender, different races and economic backgrounds, etc. The way all of their lives begin to fold into one another and how their individual backgrounds help one another makes the show enjoyable, in my opinion. You begin to root for different couples to be together and enjoy watching friendships form between characters. By the end of the 12 episodes, you almost feel so emotionally connected to these people that you could possibly be the ninth sensate.

Sure, it might not be for everyone. The sci-fi-ness of the show in general turns some people away. Add to it the fact that it can be a little graphic at times, and there are some part of the storylines that people might not agree with. Basically what I’m saying is my nana might never enjoy it, but I know some of my friends do, and that’s all okay. I’ve pretty much recommended it to anyone who’s talked to me since I’ve seen it, so now I’m talking to you and I recommend it.

Here’s the trailer, if you’re interested:

 

In hindsight, I thought I was obsessed with more than three things, but I think that’s all I have for now. It pretty much sums me up though – caffeine, decorating, and television. Maybe throw in some mah jong and that pretty much is what my life consists of. I have no complaints!

 

So in an abstract way, that’s who I am and what I’m here for. Hello to anyone who is reading this from the Blogging 101 group. I’m excited to read your posts and good luck to everyone!

Also a disclaimer: I’m a bit of a procrastinator, so some of my posts might be a day behind. Oops.

It's probably the thing I do best tbh

It’s probably the thing I do best tbh

 

‘Til next time!

AR

Thoughts from a Sixth Grader

So this weekend, because I’m such an awesome sister, I’m letting my little brother spend the night at my place. For those who don’t actually know me in real life, this is Hunter:

"What do you mean, 'Take a goofy picture'?"- Hunter

“What do you mean, ‘Take a goofy picture’?”- Hunter

He’s in sixth grade and he’s pretty cool. I thought it might be interesting to ask his opinions on various important – and some not-so-important – questions.

Here’s how it all went down:

Awkward Redhead: How are you liking sixth grade so far? 

Hunter: It’s pretty good. There’s more freedom compared to elementary school.

tumblr_inline_mw6j2t5ncJ1rdggth

AR: Favorite subject in school?

H: Mmmm… probably World Cultures. The teacher, Mrs. Stevens is cool because she’s funny. It makes the class feel like it’s only five minutes.

tumblr_mnlad2qmdv1s7zsado1_500

AR: Favorite Restaurant?

H: I’d probably have to say Johnny Carinos. Their Bowtie Festival is probably my favorite food. And they have bread there! haha

AR: What do you like to do in your free time? 

H: Probably watch sports or play the PS3

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AR: Beyonce or Lady Gaga? 

H: uhh… I don’t know… maybe Beyonce because I know more of her songs?

clothes

AR: What movie do you think everyone needs to see?

H: Captain America: The Winter Soldier. That movie was so good, my favorite of Marvel’s so far. It’s action-packed, I guess you would say, and because I said so.

captain_america_the_winter_soldier_ver20

AR: What’s your favorite TV show right now? 

H: The Amazing World of Gumball. It’s very funny, in my opinion. Gumball, himself, is the person I like the best. He kind of acts like me, he likes to do funny things- but in a better way. I probably wouldn’t want to have blue skin like him though, I’d look like a smurf.

Gumball_gwgifs_pencilinnose

AR: What is the funniest thing you’ve ever seen on TV or in the movies?

H: In Kung Pow, the voice-over things making fun of the movie. I don’t even get what the movie was supposed to be like, but it was funny.

tumblr_m9t1ki9N9q1qfkhhfo1_500

AR: Do you have a special memory that involves a movie or TV show? 

H: I like when dad, you, and I have seen a movie more than once and we can make fun of it, Like Mystery Science Theater 3000. It kind of makes the movie into something new and different.

Mystery-Science-Theater-3000-silhouette

AR: Is there a TV show or movie coming out soon that you’re excited about? 

H: Probably the new Star Wars movie. Oh, and apparently Full House is coming back, that’s going to be cool. Let’s look that up- “Full House is returning…”

110413_fullhousereboot

AR: If you could make a movie or TV show, what would it be about? 

H: Umm… a documentary about the 2004- 2005 Astros. There are about 4 of the best players of MLB history on that team that year- Craig Biggio (who set a record), Lance Berkman, Roy Oswalt, Jeff Bagwell. They even made the World Series that year, but they lost to the White Sox, unfortunately. And all after that season, all of the players either retired or moved. All 4 players left the Astros and then they were stuck in a sinkhole… and now we’re stuck in it.

NLCS ASTROS CARDS GAME6

If I could make another documentary, it’d be about the 1994-1995 Rockets. Rudy T., Hakeem Olajuwon, so many great players. Hakeem could finish it! Both of those years they won the championship. The Rockets were the only Houston team to win a final title in their sport. None of our teams have done it except for them.

hakeem-olajuwon-10

AR: Is there a book that you’ve read that would make a good movie? 

H: Probably the one I’m reading now. It’s called Zoo Break, by Gordon Korman, it’s these three kids, this girl, Savannah, who loves animals. She has monkey that she loves so much. Her two friends notice one day that her monkey isn’t there and she freaks out. The next day they go on a field trip to a stinky, run-down zoo, and they find a monkey that looks exactly like her monkey, though the zoo owner says that it’s not. And whenever she goes back home, she finds a banana peel that says something like “kidnapped,” so now she’s mad at all of these people and she can’t get the monkey back. So her and her to friends, Ben and Griffin, gather a team of people to try to break in to the zoo and get the monkey back. It’s pretty good, so far in my opinion. I’m not finished with it yet, I’ve still probably got 120 pages to read, but I like it.

Zoobreak

That would be a job that would be cool to do- if I don’t get a job in sports- to maybe go and make some of my favorite books into movies. That’d be cool.

AR: Tell me a joke:

H: So I stepped on a cornflake, does that count me as a cereal killer?cereal

or maybe-

Knock knock.

Who’s there? 

Ya

Ya Who? 

Actually I prefer Google…

dwight-hahaha-o

AR: Any parting words of advice? 

H: I like the quote that Ellen makes at the end of her Friday shows, “Have a good weekend, be kind to one another.” I just like that phrase, “be kind to one another,” it’s nice. You can do it, like, dash Ellen DeGeneres…

bekindgif

 

Well there you have it, folks. If you were curious what a sixth grader thought about, now you know. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m showing him the pop culture gem that is National Treasure. He’s never seen it before, and I’ve got a DC trip to plan.

My to-do list is getting pretty full...

My to-do list is getting pretty full…

Like Hunter and Ellen say- be kind to one another! ‘Til next time!

I Miss My Weekend

7JYwQ29778

I am Kevin. Kevin is me.

It’s always weird coming back to work on Monday and having people ask me what I did over the weekend. I’m never sure if I should lie and sound like a productive adult, or come clean about catching up on Gossip Girl. For the record, even my most TV-filled weekends include the obligatory apartment cleaning, laundry, and grocery run, so I’m not some lame-o. My weekends just tend to include marathons of the TV variety.

 

This weekend’s theme: Guilty Pleasures.

aww yiss

aww yiss

Thanks, ABC Family, for playing  Step Up 1, 2, and 3(D) back-to-back on Saturday. I don’t know what sweet Siren song Channing Tatum’s hips are playing, but every time I see those movies on, I’m sucked it like a weak sailor.

Those hips don't lie

Those hips don’t lie

Also in true guilty pleasure fashion, Titanic was on all weekend. Of course I had to watch it. When I lived in Florida, it was probably on at least once a month. It was ridiculous. Between that and the constant reruns of Extreme Home Makeover, television was a roller-coaster of emotions.

She'll never let go!!

She’ll never let go!!

This weekend also marked the season-end of my summer hate-watch/guilty pleasure show- AMC’s Halt and Catch Fire. I talked about this a bit way back when on my family’s podcast thing, but after completing the season, I’m still not completely sure how I feel about it.

Scoot McNairy as Gordon Clark, Mackenzie Davis as Cameron Howe and Lee Pace as Joe MacMillan

Scoot McNairy as Gordon Clark, Mackenzie Davis as Cameron Howe and Lee Pace as Joe MacMillan

For those who aren’t in the know about Halt and Catch Fire, it’s set in the 1980’s in Texas’ Silicon Prairie. The show focuses on a fictional computer company building a faster, lighter, fiction-ier version of an IBM computer. The show stars Lee Pace, who some may remember as the Pie Maker, Ned, from Pushing Daisies (others may recognize him as the fabulous Thranduil in the Hobbit Trilogy, but whatever). Joining Pace’s Joe MacMillan on his technically-illegal quest are Gordon (Scoot McNairy), a face-in-the-crowd computer engineer, and Cameron (Mackenzie Davis), a young, female?!, computer prodigy.

In theory, this show sounds good, and for the most part it is. I’ve said it before, new shows have a lot they have to throw at you in the first few episodes to develop characters and plot lines, so it’s a lot for viewers to process all at once. Add to that the fact that this show has to live up to the precedents set by Breaking Bad, the Walking Dead, and Mad Men, and the pressure to possibly become the new “it” show.  I have no problem with any of that, though. The problem seems to be, like my aforementioned Black Box, that they have a prime opportunity to develop some butt-kicking females- who build computers – but they mainly just deal with stupid boys. For example, the first four episodes mainly consist of Cameron trying to get the guys on board with true-to-life graphics and interactive interfacing, to which Gordon replies “It’ll never be done!” (I say as I look for a moving image of a cat booping a dog on the nose.)

What a time to be alive.

What a time to be alive.

But I will give the show credit for getting better throughout the season and ending well. Cameron and Gordon’s wife Donna (Kerry Bishé) actually end up with better season 2 set-ups than their fellas. I guess my hate-watch show has started to grow on me, and I’m kind of looking forward to what the future holds, especially for Joe (because we all need more Lee Pace in our lives, IMO). In some of the final scenes of the finale, we see him hike off into the wooded sunset,

Joe hikes off towards the woods, into the sunset

And we all know what happens to him next:

#fabulous

#fabulous

Side note: In the finale, they reference the MacIntosh “1984” commercial that aired during the Superbowl, which you can watch here. Another interesting video I found was the footage of Steve Jobs unveiling the MacIntosh for the first time. Watch people lose their minds over paint and text-to-voice capabilities. Meanwhile, I yelled at my tablet for taking five seconds to load my Pinterest app. Watch this show and appreciate the fact that we are no longer in the technological dark-ages.

 

Other than that… have you seen Guardians of the Galaxy?????

BYkPcAJ

Marvel expands its universe (literally) with this new film that of five misfit heroes as they try to make some money, exact revenge, and save the galaxy- all in that order. Parks and Rec‘s Chris Pratt leads this group both in missions and comedy. This movie was very funny, in my opinion. I knew what I was getting myself into with Marvel’s typical cheekiness, but this on point and borderline parodical. Vin Diesel’s scene stealing Groot, a tree humanoid, was probably one of my favorites.

Who wouldn't love this little guy?!

Who wouldn’t love this little guy?!

As far as whether this movie is appropriate family-fare for all ages, I guess that would depend on your family. Just like its predecessors, the characters don’t shy away from the occasional choice phrases and innuendos, but that’ll fly past most kids’ heads. I will warn you, though, that any kid under the age of 12 will probably be parroting the phase “I am Groot” for the rest of the summer. The movie sports amazing visual and make-up effects, smart writing, and a solid soundtrack. It’s a summer blockbuster, do I really even need to make a case for it? Side note: Lee Pace (you know, from like ten seconds ago?) plays the weird bad guy. See also: Lee Pace + more + our lives, above.

 

During the previews they previewed Interstellar, Matthew McConaughey’s newest film about interstellar space exploration that was one of the “cool kids” of Comic-Con. It looks good, but my weird fear of space has me kind of saying “Oh no, oh no, oh no….” (hah, McConaughey reference)

But really, I'll probably pass

But really, I’ll probably pass

 

Ugh, my weekend already seems like it’s a year away. Let’s go back to those simpler times, where real pants weren’t required and no one request read receipts on their emails.

Seriously- don't request them. You're not the president.

Seriously- don’t request them. You’re not the president.

 

It’s been 4 months since my last post??!

Oops… But I can explain:

The past few months, for anyone reading this and curious, have been very interesting for me. I recently moved out of my parents’ house and into my own apartment (FINALLY!!). You guys, if you haven’t lived on your own, I totally recommend it. Everything is just way better, especially having my own DVR and high-speed internet. Now I don’t have to worry about my shows being bumped off for a rerun of Storage Wars, and 10 gigs of internet to use all on your own is like having the Autobahn all to yourself. I’m sure 10 out of 10 doctors would recommend.

I also recently got a promotion and a raise at work, which is going to make my previously mentioned apartment very happy. (Author’s note: I should probably go on record, for my mom’s sake, and inform any readers that my apartment could be called “The Place that Clearance Built,” because I don’t mess with that full price stuff).

But all of this change and growing up has left little time for me to do any writing. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been watching things, A LOT of things, it’s just that I was having a minor existential crisis about writing a blog and who would even want to read it (*womp womp*).  However, just when I felt like giving up, life’s perfect little timings slapped me with this nugget of wisdom:

“Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.” – Cyril Connolly.

Thanks, Mr. Connolly, and thanks, life. There’s just one main problem:

You said, Chuck.

You said it, Chuck.

 

To that I say, oh well! I’m just going to not look back at those unwritten four months and move forward. So while I shove those lost months, thoughts, shows, and movies, into a too-small closet and struggle to shut the door, I’ll talk about the present. Apologies, in advance, if that strained closet door opens back up momentarily in the future. Just ignore it…

 

Have y’all seen The Grand Budapest Hotel yet?? If not, you need to get on that.

It's like Wes Anderson Guess Who

It’s like Wes Anderson Guess Who

Set in the fictional mountainous town of Zubrowska, The Grand Budapest Hotel is a flashback within a flashback, within a book enactment (“whaaaa?” I know ), and follows the interesting and suave M. Gustave H (Ralph Fiennes) and his new Lobby Boy, Zero (newcomer Tony Revolori). The movie seems to have everything you want in a movie night: a bit of humor, a bit of romance, some mystery and suspense, and a star-studded cast. I have a coworker who regularly asks me for movie recommendations, and I’ll tell you what I told him: “It’s basically just a bunch of big stars in small parts, and it’s almost a quirky ‘Murder on the Orient Express.'” If none of that makes you want to see it, I’m not sure what will.

the_grand_budapest_hotel1-620x413

What I would give to be part of this conversation…

Critics seem to all agree that this is Wes Anderson’s best film of his career, so far. Receiving 91% from critics and 88% from viewers on Rotten Tomatoes, praising the eccentricity and stylish way that Anderson presents this story. If you liked Wes Anderson’s other films, or want to have some more Lord Voldemort in your life, then grab some macaroons and enjoy!

 

Keeping with the star-studded cast theme, but heading back to 2001, let me take a second to talk about Gosford Park.

Look at all the British people! and Ryan Phillpe...

All the British people! and Ryan Phillpe…

I’ll admit this first off- I’ve known about this movie since it’s premier, but it took me 13 years and 4 seasons of Downton Abbey to truly appreciate (and honestly get through) this movie. I include the 4 seasons of Downton because Gosford Park was written by Downton‘s creator, Julian Fellowes. It’s got all of the things Downton fans love, the Upstairs/Downstairs dichotomy, Maggie Smith, the dressing gong…. it’s all there. It’s the perfect movie for anyone needing a Fellowes fix, or a Clive Owen fix (you’re welcome). It won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay and loaded up on nominations for supporting roles, costume design, and best picture (it was beat out by Russell Crowe and A Beautiful Mind). Like I said, if you’re missing Carson and the rest of the Downton crew, or need sassy Maggie Smith to join you on your summer vacation, then watch this. Go! Do! Watch!

USA Films is actually one-third of what is presently known as Focus Features. The more you know!

 

It’s summertime, and for this pale-skinned TV lover, it mainly just means hiding from my natural enemy- the sun- and watching second string TV shows. There aren’t really too many to write home about, but let me quickly talk about one I’ve been watching:

Black Box is ABC’s attempt at drawing in Scandal‘s Gladiators during its summer hiatus.

x

 

It follows Dr. Catherine Black, a famous neuroscientist at the Center for Neurological Research and Treatment, as she tries to balance her job, personal life, and the secret that she has bipolar disorder. Sounds interesting, right? Unfortunately it starts to get uninteresting pretty quickly. Dr. Black’s fiance, Chef Will Van Renseller, and her have very little chemistry to the point that I’m rooting for them to break up. If that’s the master plan, then kudos to the writers, because I want more than anything for them to break up. The show is procedural, each week dealing with a new disease or disorder, but none of them every get too interesting; and even though they have a prime opportunity to feature a smart and strong female lead, she just gets defined by her disorder.

Now, I’ve mentioned most of these things on my family’s podcast (oh yeah, my family is trying out a podcast), but I’ll mention it here too: the show makes me want a bread bowl. They’ve set the whole show underneath some overpowering jazz saxophone. I feel like I’m back in college, sitting in my neighborhood Panera studying and jamming out to some smooth sax. I keep coming back to it every week though, probably because of fellow redhead Kelly Reilly, and I’ll definitely finish the season since I’ve made it this far. It’s a new show, so I understand it has a tall order to establish a cast of characters and an overall plot, and while each week has it getting better than the last, I have a feeling it might not be back next season. Sad too, because I really want it to stay on the air, at least to keep that street saxophone player working.

C'mon, let him keep his job.

C’mon, let him keep his job.

 

Other than that, it’s mainly just been me watching the Cooking Network, making pies, and watching Jeopardy. I’ve basically spent the early days of summer turning into my grandmother, now I just need to be retired to complete the transformation. My neighbors probably think I’m weird. Oh, and in case you missed it, this was an actual Final Jeopardy response last week:

For the record I knew the real answer- Alfred Nobel

For the record I knew the real answer- Alfred Nobel

Well, maybe with my new outlook on writing, and with a better grasp on my changing work life, I’ll actually start doing some more regular writing.

Yeah I'll probably see you in another four months...

Yeah I’ll probably see you in another four months…

What’s a girl got to do to get some working WiFi??

No seriously. My WiFi hasn’t been picking up at my house for about a week now. Add to that the fact that I was out of town last week, and the week before that packing for said trip, and that all equals a neglected blog and a lot to talk about.

That’s right- last week I went on a vacation. “But we don’t care!” says the one reader in Vermont. OH WELL. I’m going to tell you about it anyway, so… there.

I made a pilgrimage back to Walt Disney World. I had not been back since I left in 2011 at the end of my stint working for the Mouse. I missed that place so much! I’m a huge Disney fan, obviously, and a lot of my friends still work there, so it was great to catch up with old friends and have fun. What was probably the weirdest thing was trying to explain to my friends my new grown-up job, which sounds really boring when you just lay it all out.

This was basically me all weekend.

This was basically me all weekend.

I really want to write more about the Disney thing in a separate post, so I’m going to do that.

How about we do a “Watch This, Not That” sort of thing.

The Monuments Men and The Lego Movie: both are movies about groups of people searching for hidden relics, both have many notable actors and actresses, but probably only one of them is supposed to be funny. Watch The Lego Movie, not The Monuments Men, in my opinion.

Robert Crowley creepin in the back

Robert Crowley creepin in the back

While The Monuments Men, George Clooney’s film based on the true story of a team of past-their-prime soldiers searching for stolen art seems good in theory, it kind of fell flat. It felt like they were trying a little too hard. It was made with the Oscar formula. Take some big named actors, add a great leading lady, make it a period piece with bonus true event points, and finally bring Bill Murray in on the project and you’ve got an Oscar contender. But something went a little off with the formula for this film. Don’t get me wrong, the movie was good, and I didn’t regret seeing it, but there wasn’t that Oscar buzz around it like the nominated films have. Critics tended to feel worse than I did about the film, having it average a sad 34% on Rotten Tomatoes. Many critics noted it’s slack narrative and over-use of nostalgia. Since this is largely based on real events and real people’s lives, I don’t want to be too harsh on the actual story, but it does seem a little self-important in some parts. Clooney pushed the film’s release from it’s originally slated December to February, causing it to miss this year’s award contentions, which probably turned out to be a good thing.

so much art jealousy...

so much art jealousy…

The Lego Movie was hilarious, though. I saw this with one of my best friends and we were laughing the whole time. I saw it again later with my little brother and it was still funny. If you’ve been living under a rock, this movie, about Legos and made of Legos, uses the voice talents of Chris Pratt (Park and Rec), Elizabeth Banks (The Hunger Games), Will Ferrell, and Morgan Freeman. And when I say “made of Legos”, I really mean made of Legos. It was a mix of stop-motion animation and computer animation, with everything, from water to lasers, being made out of Legos. Seeing all the creations the artists made for this film made me a little ashamed that all I could ever make was a stack of Legos (“It’s a… tower thing….”). The film was great for everyone, parents and kids alike, and never took itself too seriously. Rotten Tomatoes critics gave it a fresh 96%, and many are calling it one of their favorite animated films — one of those being my 11-year-old brother.

Lego gif

Without making this post too long- I do have about three weeks of stuff to possibly talk about- let’s talk real quickly about TV.

Starz started its newest series, Black Sails, a few weeks ago.

The intro credits are really cool too

The intro credits are really cool too

Seemingly shot in the Pirates of the Caribbean section of Disney World, this show is a prequel to Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island. It follows a young Long John Silver, all limbs still intact, as he joins Captain Flint’s crew. All sorts of other famous pirates are there and piracy ensues. If you’re a fan of Pirates but hate the sailing aspect of it, then this show is for you! No seriously, the show was four episodes in and they’ve been on their little Pirate Island the whole time. This past Saturday’s episode finally had some sailing, and the whole episode was pretty good. It was definitely an episode that brought a lot to the table story-wise. The gore-factor of this newest episode made it seem like they were trying to have it compete with Game of Thrones (could you blame them, though? That’s the show to beat on the premium channels right now). Muscular plus: Tom Hopper, formerly Percival in Merlin, brings his muscular arms to the role of Billy Bones and he does not disappoint.  (Black Sails airs Saturdays at 9e on Starz)

Those arms.

Those arms.

These past couple weekends were also great because House of Cards blessed us with its newest season. Holy gravy.

I can't handle it.

I can’t handle it.

They shot out of the season 2 gate and just stormed along with where they left off with last season. I was lucky enough (unlucky enough?) to be sick all weekend with a stomach flu, which meant all the time for me to watch the whole season. If you haven’t seen any of House of Cards, you really need to get on that. I would probably say that it’s the best Netflix original they have to offer right now. Kevin Spacey is great, as always, and Robin Wright, who won a Golden Globe for her role as Claire Underwood, is just as flawless. So manipulative, so calculating, so good! If you’re a fan of Scandal because it has the political drama factor, then you need to get to watching this show. You can watch both seasons over the next few days while we’re in the last stretch of Scandal hiatus (Thursday’s so far away!!!). If you like the American Beauty or The Usual Suspects (which is also now on Netflix) versions of Kevin Spacey, then you’ll like this show too. Seriously though- go watch it. Side note- is there a Team Meacham? If so, where do I join?

I volunteer.

I volunteer.

Ok, this post is getting long. I’ll quickly say how bummed I am that I missed out on the Olympics, especially Curling.

These guys know how to party.

These guys know how to party.

I also want to acknowledge Johnny Weir taking the Gold Medal in Accessorizing. Congrats to him!

Seriously. Share your necklace collection with me!

Seriously. Share your necklace collection with me!

And The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and Late Night with Seth Myers have both officially started.

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The Pickle has been passed down

I’m such a fan of both of these guys, and I’m excited to see how their shows progress.

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Oi. Lots of pictures in this post.

Thanks for putting up with my ramblings, did I miss anything? Anything you think I should be watching? Talk amongst yourselves!

The New Olympics Commercial Will Have You Feeling All the Feels…

I’m doing lunch coverage at the front desk for my office, which means I can try to power through a blog post! Whoo hoo!

Now, I love my DVR, and I never typically watch commercials, but last night as I was finishing my Golden Globes post I let the commercials play through on the Intelligence Pilot from last week. What caught my attention were some commercials that were pretty emotional, and I thought I’d write a quick thing about them.

I don’t know if you are on to P & G Brands’ game, but the parent company of brands such as Tide and Dove know exactly who to target with their audience and how to do it. Quite obviously, P & G recognizes their main buyers are women, more specifically than that, their buyers are likely moms. As a sponsor of this year’s Winter Olympic Games, they started airing their new commercial with the Team USA logo attached. Take a second and watch:

This one is on Proctor & Gamble’s offical YouTube account with a description reading: “For teaching us that falling only makes us stronger. For giving us the encouragement to try again. Thank you, Mom.”

Their channel is also filled with athlete profiles thanking their moms for all they’ve done throughout the athlete’s journey. Many feels on the P & G YouTube account and on their corresponding Facebook Fan Page.

But I wasn’t too surprised that they aired a Mom-oriented campaign for the Olympics. Think back to the Summer Olympics in London last year and you’ll probably remember your heart swelling from this commercial by, guess who:

“The hardest job in the world, the best job in the world. Thank you, mom.” Are you crying yet? P & G went for the emotional jugular with their ad campaign, but I think it’s working out well for them. There’s another one that’s also good, here, but I didn’t want to make this too video heavy. Watch it though, it’s cute, too.

But if those commercials didn’t get you the first time around, Microsoft is prepared to get you. Or, at least, their plan is to inspire you. They lauched this new commercialrecently:

“These heroic women show what spirit, courage, and perseverance can achieve. May their bravery inspire us in 2014 and beyond,” is the description added to their official YouTube video. How exciting to see such a positive ad for women to see, both young and old. It definitely inspired me. Dr. Deborah Koehn was a delightful story to hear about, too (if you have now idea what I’m talking about, watch a thing about it here).

I definitely think that’s a great way to kick off the year. Some really great commercials that don’t offend, only uplift. It’s kind of nice that, since we can’t escape the commercials, at least we can enjoy ourselves and get inspired. The responsible ad agencies should be proud of their work, I know I would be. How about you, one reader from Vermont, do you have a favorite commercial from last year?

Now, excuse me, I feel like I should go call my momma… 🙂

It’s Awards Season, y’all!

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I cannot confirm or deny that I was drifting off at my desk because I stayed up way too late last night catching up on my Golden Globes and my stories. Today is definitely one of those days that I wish I didn’t give up caffeine cold turkey, but super glad I’m keeping up with movies and TV. I tell you what, last night did not disappoint!

Before I get too far down the Globes rabbit hole, let me quickly break to say this- DOWNTON!!!!!!! I’ll do a different post about that, because this episode had some very polarizing opinions about the storyline, but I, personally, thought it was one of the best episodes of the show. It’s about time Julian Fellowes shook that house up with things besides first world, who’s-going-to-dress-me-now? problems. Again, my opinion, but whatever.

Now- back to the task at hand. The Golden Globes were so glamorous! Well, mostly glamorous (I’m throwing shade at you, Paula Patton). The night was so glamorous, a pipe literally exploded with anticipation. Yes, there was actually a pipe that burst and flooded the red carpet, causing some brawny firemen to work to quickly clean up. But everything worked out, and luckily no gorgeous dresses were harmed in the process, though some dresses probably SHOULD have been harmed… (see: Paula Patton, shade)

mmm... gross.

mmm… gross.

The night got off to a great start with the beautiful Tina Fey and Amy Poehler’s opening remarks. I liked the now much quoted explanation of Gravity as “a story where George Clooney would rather float of into space and die, than spend another minute with a woman his own age…” *cut to Sandra Bullock laughing her butt off*. For some reason though I loved the joke “American Hustle, or as it was known by it’s working title: Explosion at a Wig Factory.” Also, Amy Poehler poked fun at herself a bit with the help of Jennifer Lawrence, and everyone knows that a celebrity making fun of themselves is never not funny.

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The night got off to a sweet start with Jennifer Lawrence winning Best Supporting Actress- Comedy/Musical. Hooray! And Nicholas Hoult was there to give her a congratulatory smooch- adorbs!

Be still, my X-Men loving heart

Be still, my X-Men loving heart

She didn’t even fall on her way up to receive her award this time, even though she looked like she was doing a glamorous cosplay of New Legs Ariel. Everyone is hating on her dress, though! Oh well. I thought it was simple and pretty. She’s a young girl who is known for doing what she wants, and I think she probably loved the dress. There were plenty of other young actresses who made worse dress choices than her (Emma Stone and Zooey Deschanel). Congrats to Jennifer Lawrence on her win, her on-again man, and for doing what she wants and not giving a hoot. You go girl.

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Where’s her dinglehopper?

Congrats to Jacqueline Bisset on her overdue win with Best Supporting Actress- TV/Mini Series, but what was going on? I’m in agreement with everyone’s confusion on her long and drawn out acceptance speech and will admit I got up to grab some more wine only to make it back in time for her to power through the walk off music and continue going. I can only imagine the poor souls in the control room trying to figure out what’s going on: “Okay, play the music. Alright, lady, wrap it up… she’s not going anywhere… she beat the music? Play it again, louder.” Awkward….

Behind the Candelabra wins for both the lead actor and best miniseries. No surprise there. While I wanted American Horror Story: Coven to win, I knew they could not beat the taught-faced, piano phenom and his boy toy. It was a good movie though, so I was excited to see them win, even if Michael Douglas’s win was overshadowed in my mind with his throat cancer deal late last year *shudders*.

ugh... throat cancer

ugh… throat cancer

Elisabeth Moss came out of nowhere with her win for Best Actress in a TV/Mini Series. Another you go girl goes out to her. I love her on Mad Men, and even though I have not seen Top of the Lake, I’m sure she’s great in that too, obviously. Jessica Lange did not look happy to be beaten by the underdog this year, but oh well. Shout out for Moss’s dress- so beautiful- and her sassy little cut. Long side glance at Lange’s dress though for looking like a carpet bag… (just saying)

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Sad dress :(

She had an uncredited role as the carpet bag in Saving Mr. Banks

Margot Robbie truly did have a breakout performance in The Wolf of Wall Street this year. It was kind of weird to think back to her shy little character on the short-lived Pan Am and see her show-stopping look last night. Poor girl got hazed though when the teleprompter apparently cued the wrong presenter’s part. Nice to see that Jonah Hill can’t even be spontaneously funny in times like that. Oh wait, not funny… what’s the word… oh yeah- sad.

Jonah you were no help.

Jonah, you were no help.

And now I can finally talk about shade-worthy Paula Patton’s dress. It reminded me of a Georgia O’Keefe painting, to the point where, when I first saw it, I thought, “I haven’t been to the Fine Arts Museum in a while…”

Seriously, what is happening here?

Seriously, what is happening here?

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Which is the painting and which is the dress??

Shade was thrown at that weird shoulder vagina thing and I only broke it to laugh at her oddly ironic joke. Did you miss it? Aaron Eckhart, who joined her in presenting, said something along the lines of “A drug dealer, a psychopath, and a sex addict…” and Paula chimes in with, “Sounds like my kind of man!” Yeah, Mrs. Robin Thicke, we all are reminded that any time “Blurred Lines” comes on the radio. I wonder how much the writers enjoyed writing that joke, I’m sure I’d put that one on my résumé. Anyways, Bryan Cranston won the well-deserved title of Best Actor in a TV Series- Drama for final season as Walter White. And he got to stick around as Breaking Bad won it for Best TV Series- Drama. I especially liked them thanking the fans for sticking with them during their less-formidable seasons in the show’s beginnings, that was very nice to say.

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Alex Ebert and his hipster ‘do won for Best Original Film Score. And Bono and crew won for Best Original Song. I thought that was pretty special because they did work with Mandela for many years, so, as they said, they were writing from the heart. *small feels*

But the highlight of all of that was P. Diddy (Sean Combs? I’m not cool enough to know what name he goes by now) being more awkward than I have ever been in my lifetime. I write a blog called “The Awkward Redhead,” so I know I’m awkward, but I have never been on that Bono-Diddy hug level. Those awkward hug moments make my night. Honestly, you can catch up on all of the acceptance speeches and winners any time following the awards, but what you’re really missing are the candid moments with the awkward hugs and unanswered high-fives. Truly the most magical moment of award shows…

I live for these moments

I live for these moments

Jon Voight looked like the old man at the beginning of Phantom of the Opera as he robbed Aaron Paul of the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor- TV/Mini Series.

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Christine…. Christine….

Aaron Paul was robbed, I say! And so does, like, all of the internet honestly. But as upset as I was about it, when they showed Liev Shreiber looking so proud of his TV dad, I quickly stopped yelling at my TV. (Just in time to riff on that scarf!) Side note- Amber Heard had a lot going on with herself last night. She’s such a pretty woman, but that eye makeup aged her and that weird pompadour was just… weird… I could have done with just my favorite TV firefighters, Taylor Kinney and Jesse Spencer. Fun Fact: Taylor Kinney is dating Lady Gaga and Jesse Spencer is actually Australian, as evident by his wonderful accent. Both of these are facts my mom did not know, so that could also be a fun fact for you.

Spencer, left, Kinney, right

Spencer, left, Kinney, right

I’m really glad Amy Adams chose a deep plunge dress for the evening, or else people might not have recognized her as she accepted her award for Best Actress in a Movie- Comedy or Musical. But all kidding aside, she was wonderful in American Hustle, deep plunges and all. She was also great in Spike Jonze’s Her, so this award only helped reassure her that she is doing amazing work and to just continue doing what she’s doing. She looked, as always, and was just as equally charming. I want to meet her and just talk about the shared plights of redheads everywhere. Congrats to Robert Downey Jr. too, I guess, for apparently getting to keep his tux. At least that’s what he said, in his weird intro, would happen if Amy Adams won.

a-mah-zing

a-mah-zing

ROBIN WRIGHT WON BEST ACTRESS! Well, in a TV series- Drama, at least. I’m so happy for this one because she was on my wish list of winners for the evening. Granted, on my wish list she shared the win with the amazing Tatiana Maslany of Orphan Black (more on that show in blog posts to come), but win nonetheless. She looked adorable as she ran up to the stage and stunning as she said her thank yous. House of Cards is such a great show (more on that in other posts, as well). If you have not seen it yet, you have plenty of time to watch the first season on Netflix before it’s Season 2 premiere on Valentine’s Day. Hop to it!

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Of course Jared Leto won the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor- Motion Picture. Of course I thought Bradley Cooper was amazing in American Hustle, and I would never turn down a moment to see more of Michael Fassbender, but Jared Leto was apparently amazing in Dallas Buyers Club. I say “apparently,” because it’s next on my must watch list, but I have not see it yet. Still, based on his other stuff, I’m sure it truly is amazing. I’m excited to watch it.

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You win the Man Scarf Awards, too

I now take this moment to pause and recognize my love for Emma Thompson. I mean, seriously, she looked so beautiful, just like she has for all of the Saving Mr. Banks press tour. It’s always a treasure to see her do anything, so I was happy to see her tonight, too. She came on stage, heels in one hand, martini in the other, and reminded us of the incredible task writers have to bring our beloved stories to life. She threw her shoes over her shoulder, exchanged her martini for the envelope, and congratulated Spike Jonze on his win for Best Screenplay-Motion Picture.

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I was so excited to see Jonze’s newest film, Her, win this award. I loved this movie, probably my favorite out of the award season. I’ll have more on the movie soon, until then, trust me on my word that it’s good. Go see it.

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You are as beautiful as your films, sir

On the tails of my excitement came Andy Samberg’s win for Best Actor in a TV Series- Comedy. I am so happy to see this new show become so successful. I felt like there was a looming cloud over the Fox show, since the network doesn’t have a great track record for their live-action comedies (pour one out for Breaking In, The Loop, and even Arrested Development). But this show is doing great! What made Samberg’s unexpected win even better was the bromance between his former SNL costar and him. So adorable.

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Poor Despicable Me 2 and The Croods didn’t even stand a chance against Frozen. While all three movies were very enjoyable, and great for audiences, Disney and Pixar usually have this category locked. Congrats on the Best Animated Feature Film, Frozen! Let’s go build a snowman! Side note: Captain Kirk is always a welcomed sight, and Emma Watson’s dress/pantsuit was beautiful. The gown version of a snuggie, but beautiful.

It's like a little baby unicorn

It’s like a little baby unicorn

As much as I love Woody Allen and his films, and I truly do, his lifetime achievement award portion was kind of weird, as most of the typically are. Emma Stone looked like she was channeling someone in between Annie Hall and Woody Allen in that weird outfit, but I liked it from the top up, if that makes any difference… And Diane Keaton was her usual self, so no surprise when she started to sing the Girl Scouts song. I actually thought her part was kind of sweet, due to the fact the two have been friends longer than I have been alive. So moving on…

Best Motion Picture Comedy went to American Hustle, like I thought it would, though I was hoping Her would win. Either way, I enjoyed them both.

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Alfonso Cuaron rightfully won Best Director for Gravity. I haven’t had the chance to see it, partly because I’m still recovering from my terrible Astronomy class last semester, but I also have not had the chance. Still, well deserved win for him.

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Now the important part- Leonardo DiCaprio FINALLY WON Best Actor in a Motion Picture- Comedy or Musical. Took them long enough. He even took time to honor Bruce Dern’s body of work in his speech and thank Martin Scorscese for the influence he’s had on Leo’s career. Wonderfully done, Leo. While The Wolf of Wall Street is a little too much for me, it was excellently made and led by an amazing actor. Another well deserved, if not long overdue, win. Odds are in your favor for Oscar, Leo!

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About dang time

Another great, and overdue, win for Best Actor in a Motion Pricture- Drama for Matthew McConaughey. I especially liked the “Alright, alright, alright…” as he walked up to the mic, throwing it back to his role on Dazed and Confused. (Geez, the amount of movie trivia I know off the top of my head… someone pay me for it, please).

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Shortly following his win, Cate Blanchett looked stunning, as usual, as she won the award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture- Drama. I’m excited to see Blue Jasmine, I’ve heard so many great things about it. I just wish Woody Allen was there to actually get all the recognition coming his way.

My underdog, Brooklyn Nine-Nine won Best TV Series- Comedy or Musical (hooray!) and the always lovely Amy Poehler won Best Actress in a TV Series- Comedy or Musical, finally. A lot of finally’s tonight HFA, great job! Amy even made out with Bono before heading up to accept her award- bucket list check and check…

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I’m very happy to see her win. She was great on SNL and she’s great on Parks and Rec. Another deserved win for the evening.

Last, but certainly not least, the Best Motion Picture- Drama was awarded to 12 Years a Slave. A surprised Steve McQueen made his way up to the stage to say his sweet thank yous to all who helped him. His sweet reaction to his win was a pleasant way to end the evening.

Thanks, Sarah Paulson, for making sure he thanked everyone

Thanks, Sarah Paulson, for making sure he thanked everyone

Phew! What a night. Not that anyone will care that this is so late after the awards, but I did have a real person job I had to do today. What did y’all think of the awards and the movies honored? Give me your thoughts! 🙂

Oh- and I cannot talk about the Globes without mention this lovely pic:

All the yes's

All the yes’s

That’s right, internet, that is Michael Fassbender and Benedict Cumberbatch dancing to Notorious B.I.G. at an after party.

Emma Thompson approves

Emma Thompson approves