The Hunger Games leaves me craving for more


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53:366(Y2) - The Hunger Games

53:366(Y2) - The Hunger Games (Photo credit: Nomadic Lass)

If you like reality shows, good-looking teenagers killing each other, and Lenny Kravitz ―he doesn’t sing but exudes sex appeal― in a minor role, “The Hunger Games” is for you. Donald Sutherland does a great job playing the bad guy.

I went to see this movie, not knowing what to expect. the movie takes place in the future in a place called Panem. There has been some cataclysmic even that destroyed much of North America. Our heroine, Katness Aberdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) lives in District 12 which is the old Appalachia. There are dirty miners coming home from work, ramshackle houses, and a gate that keeps everyone inside.

Our main character is a strong 16-year old teenage girl. She’s a little rough around the edges, but you know she’s downright beautiful, smart, and courageous. She’s brave enough to go under the  fence that is supposed to keep everyone in their own district. She has the admiration of a very good-looking male teenager who is her friend. Katness is really good with her bow and arrow and hunts wild game to keep her family going. (This is against the law).

The way this new civilization keeps the peace is by having “Hunger Games” every year.  There are 12 districts, and the civilization is being punished for a rebellion in which a 13 th district was destroyed. Each district picks two volunteers, a boy and a girl, to fight it out in the city. Only one can be a winner.

The rest of the movie takes place in the wealthy capital where the contestants get makeovers, stay in plush surroundings and finally fight it out. They place tracking devices inside the contestants so everyone can watch the killing on TV.

I won’t tell you who wins. You’ll have to figure that one out by seeing the movie. There is a unique twist, one you wouldn’t expect.

It’s not so far from today’s society where people watch other people’s lives on TV to get a vicarious thrill. I’m talking about the Reality shows that are not really reality, but are orchestrated.  (Not to mention how we’re all needy and watch “news” 24 hours a day.)

This movie has everything you need to hold your interest: a good plot, romance, good acting, excitement, good-looking kids and it keeps you guessing about what is going to happen next.

Unfortunately, it leaves you hanging a little. I guess that’s because they’re coming up with another movie next November.

The only thing I questioned was parents bringing their kids to see this? Wouldn’t this scare them, or are we so used to violence that this is no big deal?  It is PG13, but I saw children much younger than this at the movie.

What’s your opinion?

Do you think people should bring their young children to this movie?

I’m not sure on how far we can go with subject matter without being offended? I guess I was, just a little.

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How should children act at a private gathering?


Childhood

Childhood (Photo credit: Vineet Radhakrishnan)

I went to a  gathering where there about 40 people. There were tables and chairs set up, and people were eating snacks and drinks.

There were some kids playing tag right in the eating area.  The parents were sitting at a table and smiling while the kids ran around. They weren’t just walking around. They were going at break neck speed. The funny thing was they kept running around me, and avoiding the parents.

I said, to one in my best teacher voice, “you shouldn’t be running in here.”

He looked at me and said,”you’re kidding! ”

I finally went up to the mother and asked, “Is that your child?”

“One of them is,” she answered.

“Aren’t you worried they might get hurt in here? I have to tell you their running is really annoying.”

The man who was in charge of the event looked at me and said, “that’s how we roll around here.”

I couldn’t believe it. It wasn’t a playground, and nobody was supervising them. (Except for me).

Was I being an old curmudgeon or was I right?

What do you think?

Please comment.

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Live & Learn

“For some of us, it’s time to own up, step up and do what success requires. It’s that complex and that simple. We’ve read enough. Thought enough. Talked enough. Planned enough. Avoided enough. Hoped enough. Intended enough. Waited enough.

Now it’s time to do enough.”

~ Craig Harper

 

 

 

 


Image Credit: Making Things Happen

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Dancing With The Stars Week 2


 Hosts

Brooke and Tom were as fun as ever. Is Brooke starting to look a little shop worn? Today she was wearing a yellow sequined gown with a peek-a-boo slit  showcasing her very fake breasts.

Dances and Dancers

Roshon Fegan and Chelsie (Quickstep)

Roshon is a Disney Star and mega talented. He did a professional job. He seems like he has the natural talent to win by a mile. She was wearing an elegant white dress, and they looked so great together.

Score: 26/30

Sherrie Shephard and Val (Quickstep)

You gotta hand it to Sherrie. She is overweight, and shouldn’t look good, but she does. You figure she’s going to make a fool of herself, but just the opposite. She shows you that self-confidence can make worlds of difference in how you come off to others. She has some talent too.

Score: 23/30

Melissa Gilbert and Maxim (Quickstep)

Melissa is a pro all the way, but she isn’t a perfect dancer. I thought she did a competent job, but it was a little awkward. She will probably stay on the show for a while because people like me are fond of her from her TV days.

Score: 20/30

Jack Wagner and Ann (Jive)

For some reason, this guy turns me off. He seems conceited. “ I don’t have much bum to shake” he says in rehearsal.

He did do a good job dancing. I was hoping he’d fall or something. No chance.

Good news: the judges weren’t crazy about him!

Score: 21/30

Gladys Knight and Tristin ( Quickstep)

In the rehearsal segment they showed, I noticed Gladys looked old. (Maybe older than me?)

I was disappointed in her dance this week. Her dress was beautiful blue and silver but she seemed a little tentative. She does have good musical rhythm. Surprise! But her posture, not so good!

Score: 19/30

Katherine Jenkins and Mark (Jive)

British opera diva was embarrassed to shake her rear. (She’s had tea with the Queen). She got over it. Nobody deserves to be this beautiful and talented. I can’t even hate her cause she seems modest.  The judges loved her! She’s first.

Score: 26/30

Jaleel White and Kim (Jive)

He did a very competent job, but not as good as last week. He let us all in on a secret: he had to be coordinated to make his character, Steve Erkel, look like a  klutz.  This guy has talent! But he still looks a little nerdy.

Score: 22/30

 Maria Menounos and Derek (Jive)

They were super together, and she has an injured  rib. I’d give her a good chance of staying in the competition for a while. But, her laugh is really annoying.

Score: 25/30

Martina Navratilova  and Tony (Jive) 

I admire your work ethic, but stick to tennis. At least she was wearing pants today, but I wasn’t crazy about the bra covered with net. I think she was truer to who she is by giving both Len and Carrie a kiss.

Score: 17/30 I thought the judges were generous! She’s last.

Dan Driver and Peta (Quick step) 

Those football players make fabulous dancers. At least “Quickie” did a great job this week. It was practically perfect.

Score: 24/30

Gavin Degraw and Karina

Gavin proves that you can be musical and not be a great dancer. Karina did a great job. He did gave an extra 13 hours, but it wasn’t worth it.

Score: 21/30

William Levy and Sheryl Burke (Quickstep) 

Sexy, sexy and sexy. Sorry ladies, it looks like he has a woman and a small child in the audience. He is a very good dancer. Wow!

Score: 25/30

What do you think?

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Rainbows are Always Special


Rainbows are magical to me!Today when I saw a rainbow, I thought about my mother. I was with my mother when I saw my very first rainbow. I was about four years old. We hurried out the front door to look at it. It made a big beautiful arch over our house. I will never forget the vivid colors: pink, yellow, green, and blue. Was it because the world was still so new to me?

Today, after all the contemptuous weather―rain, hail, wind— I saw a double rainbow. It came with half the sky filled with sunshine. I’m glad my husband was home, so I could share it with him.

I know there’s a logical explanation. Sunshine reflecting off the moisture on the earth. But I like to think there’s some magic involved!

Sometimes it’s true, the best things in life are free!

Smokers: At least don’t smoke in the park


Today I went into the park as I frequently do in the morning. So, what do I see? The same nice looking man sitting on a park bench, reading a book, and smoking his cigarettes. When he finishes one, he starts another. I know this because after I’m finishing my walk, he’s usually lighting up another one.

He’s there every time I go to the park. He obviously knows how to read. (That does take a certain amount of intelligence).  At the same time he’s sucking on his cigarette and blowing out all the carcinogens out into the fresh air.

He is doing it in full view of everyone starting a 1.4 path jogging path. Explain to me why someone in this day and age would be engaging in this lousy habit? And out in public? He knows he’s going to get bad looks from people jogging around the path. Maybe he’s a masochist, and wants people to give him sidelong looks?

If I could write him a note this is what I’d say!

Letter to Mr. Smoker

Dear Mr. Smoker,

Why do people come to a park? Maybe to get healthy, and enjoy the environment.  Not to watch you destroy your body.  Not to take a whiff of your smelly cigarette.

If you’re going to smoke go in your house, lock the door behind you, and smoke to your heart’s content. But don’t do it in the park! You don’t want to expose the squirrel birds, turtles, and little kids to your  second-hand smoke.

Why not just put on a big  cardboard billboard that says: I don’t care about myself.

Please don’t violate my park, or yourself with this nasty habit.

Sincerely,

Little old lady who enjoys the park

Nothing worse than an ex-smoker

When I was in my 20’s, I did smoke.  I knew it was bad for me, but I did it anyway. I didn’t have any trouble quitting after I got asthma every time I took a drag on my cigarette. I couldn’t breathe. That made up my mind for me. There’s nothing worse than being unable to take in air. I was actually in the bathroom, turning on the hot water, and using the steam to breathe. I finally got it. It really wasn’t good for me!

I’ve never regretted smoking that last cigarette. And I can breathe without wheezing. And the best part: I’m still alive!

What’s Wrong with Smoking: It’s a free country

In case you live in the dark ages, and want to know why smoking really is bad for you, take a look at the CDC Statistics on why cigarettes aren’t good for you. It’s on the blog roll. (What is really disturbing is that high school kids are still picking up that first cigarette.)

It contributes to every kind of cancer, causes premature death, and hurts every vital organ in your body.

It doesn’t help when TV cable shows glamorize it. Mad Man, and Shameless are two cable shows that come to mind. I guess that tobacco industry still has a big presence. Too bad they can’t make gas out of tobacco.

Don't you just want to put this in your lungs?

Maybe someday, it will be outlawed altogether. That wouldn’t bother me at all.

What do you think?

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TSA Searches Wheelchair bound 3 year old. What do you think?


Now, I’ve seen everything . The TSA searched a little wheelchair bound 3-year-old little boy on a video I just saw on YouTube.  Supposedly the little boy was scared and was trembling.

Another woman was detained because she was carrying over $8,000, and they thought she might have embezzled it or stole it from someone. I have no idea why someone would be carrying that amount of money on them. It would make me suspicious too.

The TSA does say terrorists have hidden bombs and things in prosthetics. That’s how the TSA justifies personal searches. And I wouldn’t put anything past a terrorist. If the TSA missed something, everyone would be all over them for not doing their duty.

When I take  my sleep apnea machine through security, they always have to do a test on it. One time, someone stashed some dynamite in one, so they searched them all.  That did make me feel ridiculous. It’s bad enough that I have to use one, but does everyone have to know about it? The last time I traveled, I didn’t take it because I didn’t feel like going through the hassle. (I’ve heard that they stopped doing the test.)

I’ve seen people do silly things. One time I saw a person bring a swiss army knife that could be misconstrued for a weapon. They were upset when they took it away. How can you get upset about that?

I forgot about a whole new bottle of sun-tan lotion I had in my purse. I was irritated when they confiscated it, but it was a stupid oversight on my part.

I know every time I take a plane, I’m not looking forward to the security check.  First of all, I hate taking off my shoes, being pressured to put all my stuff in baskets. (I can never remember whether the purse gets its own basket, etc.) I hate taking my computer out of its case. I’m not a fast mover, so it’s a little intimidating.

Personally, I figure it’s worth a little inconvenience to check everyone out.  I wish they could do it without traumatizing people. I know if my privacy was drastically invaded, I would be more than a little upset. There should be a better and less invasive way to screen people.

TSA insignia

TSA insignia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’d hate to be blown up mid-air. And we know it’s happened more than once.

What’s your opinion on this? Have you ever had a bad experience, or seen someone’s privacy invaded unnecessarily?

You can find the wheelchair video in related articles that follows this post.

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Project Runway All Stars: Speeding Up the Creative Process


sNEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 19:  A general view of ...

If you’re a fan of “Project Runway,” you’re  probably loving Project Runway All Stars.

In case you’re not familiar with Project Runway, it’s the television show where people are forced to create fashion with limited budgets and time. Sometimes they are required to create fashions out of odd materials.

There are a panel of judges who decide which contestant goes home. It gets down to three contestants who make fashion collections. The one deemed the best by the judges wins the competition.

The producers of Project Runway All Stars started out by  featuring 13 of their most talented designers from Project Runway, and pitting them against each other.

As of March 15, the remaining contestants were:  Mondo, Michael, and Austin.  All of them are talented and it’s fascinating to watch them create clothes under pressure. If they win, they will claim a pile of money plus some other goodies.

In the last challenge they only had four days to create 5 looks. At the last-minute a 6th look was added. Fortunately, they received help from some contestants that were already eliminated. They were forced to use fabric from past creations.

My favorite designer is Mondo. He has an uncanny ability to match up prints and think of great ideas. During the last show, he used a therapy theme because he was feeling depressed over the challenge. I loved the design featuring the Rorschach test . He has a quirky style and an endearing personality.

Austin makes glamorous clothes that would be fun to wear. He seems like a kind guy, but at the same time he plays the diva. He also takes over and leads when necessary.

The last competitor is Michael. He makes chic clothes, but unfortunately, he doesn’t leave room for a bra. (This omission is upsetting the judges.) Michael’s smile lights up the TV screen and he plays the peacemaker when people get upset.

Why I like this show

I admire people who can think outside the box, and demonstrate their creativity. I enjoy watching them create, and the end product is usually fabulous. The show also mirrors life. We may not all be creative, but we’ve all had to overcome obstacles.

Why this show makes me squirm

The judges can be cruel when they critique people and send them home. Who hasn’t been hurt by being rejected at one time or another? Unfortunately, that’s part of life too.

Who do you want to win? Why do you think reality shows are so popular? Do they serve a purpose?

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Mixed Feelings About Getting Old


Baby Boomers: How many of you are proud of your age?After all, research indicates that there are around 72 million of us running around the USA

The Baby Boomers’ 60th birthday

The Baby Boomers’ 60th birthday (Photo credit: Christchurch City Libraries)

and most of us are still pretty vital.

Today I went to an event, talked to several people, and told them my age. Then, I asked, “How old are all of you?”

At first they ignored me, but after my insistence, “I told you my age, now tell me yours,” they confessed to the years they’ve been living on the earth. Just as I suspected, most of them were born within a year or two of me.

What’s really wrong with aging? 

Is it harder to admit we’re closer to the end than others?( We’re talking death here.) Is it because we don’t have the fresh appearance of youth? Let’s face it, it’s not exactly pleasant to look at wrinkles, age spots, skin tags, hair appearing in odd places or white hair.

In “The Picture of Dorion Gray” by Oscar Wilde Dorion Gray made a deal with the devil. His picture would age, not him. He was a hedonistic person, and his portrait reflected that. Do you think people’s looks in the end really reflect the lives they led?

Maybe Rodgers and Hammerstein  knew something important when they wrote these words to “Put on a Happy Face” from the musical, Flower Drum Song.

“I knew a girl so gloomy she wouldn’t laugh or sing. She wouldn’t listen to me, now she’s a mean old thing. So spread sunshine all over the place, and put on a happy face…”

I started noticing my age when I was substitute teaching. I was around 50.  The teachers looked like they could be my kids, and when I told my age to classrooms of kids they were stunned. I’d make them figure it out. I would say, “I was born in 1950, subtract that from the current year, and you’ll know how old I am.”

“Isn’t it time for you to retire?” I’d hear more than once.

Am I a hypocrite because I dye my hair?

It’s a little intimidating for me to look into the mirror and see my grandmother or mother. I haven’t had the nerve to let my hair go grey yet. I’m too vain. I wonder if I’m fooling anyone.

What about plastic surgery?

Unless you intervene with plastic surgery, won’t the truth show up on your face anyway?

I admit that it is disturbing to see that my upper eyelids have disappeared.  They’ve always been droopy anyway. I knew it was going to happen. I do have some lines etched on my face.

Honestly, if plastic surgery was more reasonably priced, I might seriously consider it. How much fun would it be to have people think that I was younger than my real age?  It would be interesting to see if they talked to me differently too.

But, is deceiving people a good idea? How about deceiving yourself?

Elderly beauties

I have an aunt who is almost 90, and she looks pretty good. She swears it’s Oil of Olay, but I think it’s because she’s a terrific person. There’s always Betty White. She’s 90, and her career is going great guns. She did admit to eyelid surgery, but that’s it!

So there you have it. Mixed feelings about getting old. What do you think?

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Why Michael J. Fox Inspires Me


Michael J. Fox

Michael J. Fox in "Back To The Future"

Michael J. Fox was on TV tonight. You have to admire his spirit.  He’s not afraid to get on TV and speak his mind, and he makes sense too. He was interviewed by Donny Deutsch who was a substitute host on CNN’s” Pierce Morgan.”

I have a lot of nice family memories surrounding Michael J. Fox. My kids, husband and I would watch “Family Ties” together. We adored Alex P. Keaton whom he played from 1982-1989. We took all three kids to see  “The Back To The Future Trilogy.” I also enjoyed the last series he did,”Spin City. He made over 20 pictures. His movie career screeched to a halt when he got Parkinson’s Disease.

I think Fox’s energy is what appeals to so many people. Fox has directed his energy to finding a cure for Parkinson’s Disease, a neurological disorder.

He’s raised millions of dollars with his foundation,” The Michael J. Fox Foundation”.

I’ve read all his books he’s written, and they’re all inspirational. His first book was called, “Lucky Man.”  Through his disease he found out what was really important in his life, and it wasn’t fame. He’s married to the beautiful actress, Tracey Pollen, and they have 4 children. Fox is happy she’s in his life. He made it clear that even with his disability, life is worth living.

He even touched on the fact that Rush Limbaugh had to apologize to him several years ago when he thought  Fox was exaggerating his illness when he made a political endorsement for a candidate. Deutsch asked if he had words for Limbaugh. Fox looked earnestly in the camera and said, “Keep talking Rush, keep talking!”

Fox brought out that it’s nice to listen to people who don’t agree with you. Then, you can point out their inconsistencies. Great suggestion.

I really took what he said it to heart. Even though he was directing his final words to people with Parkinson’s, anybody can apply it to their own lives. “I’m talking like you’re talking. I know I’m moving. I don’t need to hide anything anymore. I’m secure,  I have a great family, work to do, and things to keep me busy. Others don’t and they need to know research is being pursued. Learn as much as you can, experience one day at a time. Leave yourself open to possibilities”….

People like Fox inspire me.

Who inspires you?

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