You’re Gonna Miss This

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Y is for You’re Gonna Miss This, a song by Trace Adkins.

Even though I am a Texas girl who has lived in Texas with country music most of my life, country music isn’t really my favorite. I don’t dislike it. I enjoy going two stepping with my husband on occasion, for example, but my playlist has very little country music.

One song that is on the playlist though is the song, You ‘re Gonna Miss This, because the lyrics always hit me as a really good reminder to slow down and enjoy the moment.

Like many good country songs, it tells a story. This story is of a young woman, first in a hurry to be a grown up. Then in a rush to have a bigger house and some kids. Then she is a stressed out mom dealing with that house and her kids. At each stage, Adkins sings the chorus below.

You ‘re gonna miss this
You’re gonna want this back
You’re gonna wish these days
Hadn’t gone by so fast
These are some good times
So take a good look around
You may not know it now
But you’re gonna miss this

I don’t know about you, but I have been guilty of letting the days rush by and I know there are some times I would want back. So when the days with the kids are long, sometimes it is nice to hear Trace Adkins sing about a harried mom like myself and remember that these are some good times that I’ll want back.

So I do try to soak it all up and enjoy the little moments. Like today, the kids and I got home before their dad and went for a walk. They wanted to go to the “sand park”, which is really just the sand volleyball court of an apartment complex near our house. I had a million other things I would rather do, but outdoors on a beautiful day was a good place for them to be, so off we went.

They got messy.

They got loud.

They were Wolverine and Captain America and who knows who all else.

They laughed and played and explored.

I stood watching them and thought of what a great little timeout it turned out to be, in the sunshine and cool breeze, away from all the stuff I should be doing. And because I was working out what my blog post would be as I watched them, I thought about this song and how I would miss this.

Having three crazy, energetic, silly, loving and precious boys to chase around, to teach, to hug and to laugh with won’t last forever.

And I will want this back – So I better remember to not be in such a hurry, to stop and look around and see these good times.

What will you want back? Feel free to tell me about it in the comments.

I hope to see you back for tomorrow night’s last A to Z post! We’ve almost done it! ๐Ÿ™‚
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X = $1.50 a day

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X is the amount of money that can be spent on food (and drink!) in a single day, every day for 5 days as part of the Live Below The Line UNICEF campaign to raise money and awareness for the problem of extreme poverty.

I am dedicating this X post in my A to Z challenge to the many who have committed this week to living Below The Line.

X is for Extremely Dedicated.

X is for Extremely Inspiring.

While I did not join in the campaign this year I can definitely support those who have made the commitment. And so can you!

Do what you can,
Where you are,
With what you have.
-Teddy Roosevelt

Follow people on Twitter or Facebook using the #BelowTheLine or #LiveBelowTheLine hashtag.

Retweet and Share to help spread awareness and to lend support.

Find a team or a person to sponsor.

Check out what people are managing to make work on so little.

I’ve been checking out some of the meals that have been posted. Many are posting pics to Twitter or have blogs showing the food they’ve eaten with pics and stories about how they are doing. It’s eye opening! And makes you feel grateful.

If you want a place to start, check out Team A World Elsewhere, a group of some friends I follow on Twitter.

Or follow Amanda Abbington – best known (by me at least) for playing Mary in Sherlock ๐Ÿ™‚ @CHIMPSINSOCKS

Or watch a video from UNICEF Jr ambassador, Tom Hiddleston, talk about his experience with the challenge last year.

Keep up with UNICEF all year round for many ways we can help.

Unless someone like you cares
A whole awful lot,
nothing is going to get better.
It’s not.
-Dr Suess The Lorax

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What I loved about Only Lovers Left Alive

Today is our day off from the A to Z Challenge, so I’m sneaking this response to (finally!) getting to see Only Lovers Left Alive into this my normal Sunday post day.ย  Tomorrow the A to Z will resume with X and we will finish up this week.ย  It’s been really a fantastic experience, but I really will be happy to go back to once a week posts, so I can focus more time on my book.ย  ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ll admit, the main reason I was so stoked to see Jim Jarmusch’s new movie, Only Lovers Left Alive,ย wasย for my fangirl favorite, Tom Hiddleston, who stars as the reclusive musician vampire Adam. But the movie is really a beautiful little treat of a movie, so I would recommend it even if I weren’t a Hiddleston fan.

The fabulous Tilda Swinton stars as his longtime lover (and fellow vampire) Eve.ย ย Though they have loved each other throughout a great deal of time, they live separately, Adam in a ghostly Detriot and Eve in Tangiers. Eve sees Adam is sinking into a darker state, possibly considering harming himself, so she makes the trip to be with him.

The scene where she packs to go to Detroit is fantastic. She lovingly selects from her stacks of books that fill her small home the ones she can pack into her suitcase. She touches the pages with tenderness and I think any reader, human or undead, could relate to that type of affection.

Adam has books in his home as well, but it’s instruments and musical equipment that fill his space. His gentle loving touch is directed toward antique guitars and a beautiful instrument Eve buys him near the end of the movie. And toward Eve, of course.

There is a scene when Eve arrives at Adam’s home where he welcomes her over the threshold, removing her glove and holding her hand to his face. Oh my, swoon.

Jarmusch gives us such lovely quiet littleย scenes and the movie is filled with simple moments and beautiful details. They play chess and discuss historic people they’ve known while enjoying a blood Popsicle. They go to a club with Eve’s troublesome sister played by Mia Wasikowska and Ian, played by Anton Yelchin, who helps Adam locate some hard to get items. Adam goes dressed as a doctor (Dr. Faust ๐Ÿ™‚ ) to see Dr Watson, played by another favorite, Jeffrey Wright, to fill his blood supply needs.

Then there is a scene where Eve confronts Adam about something she finds that shows how he is seriously contemplating harming himself. I can just feel the ‘how could you possibly consider harming yourself’ panic she might feel at the possibility. Of course maybe I am projecting. ๐Ÿ˜‰

But then they dance. And it’s my favorite scene in the movie. The connection between the two as they playfully but lovingly dance is so beautiful. Yes, I cried a bit.

I know I have said beautiful so many times, but so much of what is great about the movie is how it looks. Tom and Tilda are just striking and they look like the world’s coolest vampires. Adam plays the violin at one point and just watching his hands…well okay maybe that is the Hiddleston junkie talking. Still, it’s lovely.

I would say this is worth checking out, if it is available to you, though it isn’t in the widest release, which stinks. It is true that this movie is a smaller, indie, art-house type movie, but it’s a shame that more people don’t have access or opportunity.

I may need to take advantage of my opportunity and see this one again. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Watson

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W is for Watson. Dr. John Watson in the BBC series Sherlock specifically because this post is about my Fangirl love for the show, the writers and the cast. ๐Ÿ™‚

Warning, this post may contain spoilers if you have not had the fortune of watching this show, you may want to read with caution. I will try to note when I have a spoiler.

My sister, who is currently on a plane taking my mom to London (and to Paris), told me about this show. While I am not fortunate enough to make it on this trip with them, I took a little mini trip around London with Sherlock. Not a bad way to go, even if it’s just through the magic of television and not in real life. ๐Ÿ™‚

Before I gave in and gave the series a try though, I was kinda just ‘meh’ about watching it. It looked okay, but I already enjoyed the Robert Downey Jr./ Jude Law movies by Guy Richie. What would I really like about a TV show?

It took one episode and I was hooked. Part of the reason is Martin Freeman’s John Watson. But of course Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock is great fun. While I enjoyed Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law as Holmes & Watson in the movies quite a lot, there is just something about Cumberbatch and Freeman that feels … just … perfect.

Part of that may be the world that creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss created. I like the modern day setting and the way they come to and work through their cases. I like that Watson is a veteran and that he writes a blog about their exploits. I like how they incorporated the celebrity and fandom culture into the show. I like the way the writers have developed this deep connection between Sherlock and Holmes that many confuse for (or hope for to be) more than just friendship. All seem such a modern day take on good solid source material.

I should say here that I have a total writer crush on Moffat and Gatiss and I love that Gatiss plays Sherlock’s brother Mycroft. Theirs, too, is a fascinating relationship to watch develop. And some of the more hilarious scenes, too.

But it is ultimately the interplay between Watson and Holmes that makes the show so enjoyable. I have literally laughed out loud at this show and their interaction more often than in most true comedies. And I find it is almost without fail something said between the two of them that had me cracking up. (Spoiler Alert) I believe my favorite episode is Season 3 Episode 1 The Empty Hearse and a large part of that love is watching John deal with the realization that Sherlock is alive and not killing him for it. Sherlock being so clueless that John would be so upset was funny. John repeatedly losing his sh*t and trying to beat on Sherlock for doing that to him is just priceless. The moustache! The restaurant scene! The Kiss! All and all just a great episode. (Written by Gatiss)

Of course the internet has exploded with love for this show and for Cumberbatch especially, so Fangirl
that I am, I pin or tweet Sherlock stuff all the time. There’s so
much love for Cumberbatch, which is
well deserved, but I really do enjoy the entire cast. I love Una Stubb’s Mrs Hudson. Rupert Graves’ Detective Lestrade is fun and wonderful as well. And I gotta admit to finding Andrew Scott’s Moriarty attractive and am starting to wonder what I have about the bad guys. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I guess it really is #GoodtoBeBad

It’s very easy and very fun to Fangirl about this show. Just beware of time spent scrolling through pictures, it can be addictive. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Below are some of my favorite quotes. But you really do need to watch it, for the first time or again. ๐Ÿ™‚

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I’m not a psychopath, Anderson. I am a high functioning sociopath. Do your research.
– Sherlock

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I’m in shock. Look I’ve got a blanket.
– Sherlock

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Shut up everybody, shut up. I’ve got to think. Don’t move. Don’t speak. Don’t breathe. I’m trying to think. Anderson, face the other way, you’re putting me off.”
-Sherlock

*******************

You, being all mysterious with your cheekbones and turning your coat collar up so you look cool.”
-Watson

(Hello! Those cheekbones are pretty spectacular! And the coat does look cool! ๐Ÿ™‚ )

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“Every fairy tale needs a good old-fashioned villian.”
– Moriarty

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“Anderson, don’t talk
out loud, you lower the IQ of the entire street.”
-Sherlock

*********************

“Brainy is the new sexy”
– Irene Adler

(Can I get an Amen?!? ๐Ÿ™‚ )

Valar Marghulis

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I apologize this post is late. I saw Only Lovers Left Alive last night and I couldn’t focus on my Game of Thrones Fangirling for all the loveliness of that movie. I shall post a review on Sunday for that. I hope you come back and check it out. ๐Ÿ™‚

But V is for Valar Morghulis which is High Valryian for ‘All Men Must Die’. High Valryian is the language of some of the people in George R R Martin’s engrossing fantasy series Game of Thrones. Martin ruthlessly illustrates that theme by killing off many a character, some of which are absolute favorites. I admire the boldness of the writer who can create so many diverse and developed characters and then allow so many of them to die to serve the story. In Martin’s world – many a man or woman will die, so as the saying goes, don’t get attached.

I am a fan of his books, but came to the books because of the HBO series. I enjoy both the books and the series thanks to a pretty fair representation of Martin’s story. D.B. Weiss and David Benioff the writers of the HBO series do a commendable job taking the scenes a reader will know and love and bringing them to life on the series. Martin’s world of Westeros is sprawling, covering many lands with multiple stories happening all over the place. The HBO series location shoots are surprisingly authentic and stunningly beautiful and while the books are always better, the imagery of the show is pretty darn close.

Then there’s the cast! Martin has a huge collection of main characters and side characters and then new characters when he kills off others. Wow, that man can create characters! Good ones. Rich characters that you love or hate (cough cough Geoffey). Characters who scheme and fight and struggle in the Game of Thrones. One great quote that helps define the series is “When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die.” There are lots of players in this game and it’s captivating to watch them play.

I love the casting of the HBO series. Tyrion Lannister (who no one wants to admit is a favorite character because that will mean Martin will kill him haha) is such a great character and Peter Dinklage just kills it in that role. Then there are Daenerys Targaryan, played by Emilia Clarke and Arya Stark, played by Maisie Williams, two strong female characters whose stories are some of the best in the series. Both actresses pull off great performances that do not disappoint the reader in the slightest. Lena Hedley’s Cersie is possibly more engaging than the character on the page, and as a reader I don’t offer praise like that lightly. I was extremely sad to see Richard Madden’s Robb Stark meet his untimely end because his character was also better than the character in the books. And that’s not just because Madden is a smokin’ hot Scot. But that sure didn’t hurt! ๐Ÿ™‚

The characters and the cast are amazing, the setting spectacular and the story is captivating. Since it’s HBO, they don’t skimp on the sex or violence so it’s not for everyone, but I put this on my highly recommend list as well. Some of my favorite quotes are listed below. And I’ll see you later for W for Watson post which will be my post on my love all things Sherlock. ๐Ÿ™‚

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A mind needs books like a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge. That is why I read so much.
-Tyrion Lannister

************

If I look back, I am lost.
-Daenerys

************

This life is as fragile as a dream and nothing really is as it seems.
-Sansa Stark

************

Never forget what you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like
armor and it can never be used to hurt you.
-Tyrion Lannister.

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There is only one god and his name is Death. And there is only one thing we say to Death.

Not today.
-Syrio Forel

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Can a man still be brave when he is afraid?

That is the only time a man can be brave.

Usual Suspects

Gotta say this is such a cool movie. The writer in me loves the big reveal ending. Ta-Daaa! It’s magic.

I am also a huge Kevin Spacey fan. This was one of the roles that really seemed to launch him to stardom – and for good reason. He owned that movie, which wasn’t easy given all the well written characters and talented actors. Spacey is so unassuming you believe everything, so as they unravel the ending, it’s just perfect.

Gabriel Byrne is also a favorite as Dean Keaton. Isn’t that a great name by the way? I love it. Keaton may need to be a future character name. (Writes that down.) Byrne is very easy on the eyes, but I am an accent junkie so I love listening to the man speak. He’s also quite a talent and this is one of my favorite characters that he plays.

Benicio Del Toro, Steven Baldwin, Kevin Pollack, and Chazz Palminteri all give strong performances also, but it is so very much about the writing! The writing was what made this movie and the Oscar for Best Screenplay was well earned.

Below are some of my favorite lines. If you haven’t seen this one, and can stand a lot of bad language, it’s also on my highly recommended list. ๐Ÿ™‚

Fenster- They treat me like a criminal, I’ll end up a criminal.

Hockney- You are a criminal.

Fenster- Why you gotta go and do that? I’m trying to make a point.

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Cop: I can put you in Queens the night of the hijacking.

Hockney: Really? I live in Queens. Did you put that together yourself Einstein? You got a team of monkeys working around the clock on this?

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Verbal – A man can convince anyone he is somebody else, except himself.

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Agent Kujan – A rumor’s not a rumor that doesn’t die…

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The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist. And then like that, poof. He was gone.

The Power of One

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T is for The Power of One by Bryce Courteney. All right, the title is essentially a P, but I am fitting this one in because it is one of my all-time favorite books. And it is the correct title. ๐Ÿ™‚

I picked up my first copy of The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay in paperback off the shelf in a grocery or Wal-Mart type store in preparation for the trip that took my family from Texas to Indiana. I was about to be a junior in high school and the move was not our first (or last), but it was one of the biggest.

It turned out to be the perfect book at the perfect time. Has that happened to you before? It’s incredible when it happens and this was one of those times.

Bryce Courtenay crafts an expansive tale taking us from our main character’s early childhood to his young adulthood through some extreme difficulties and beautifully triumphant moments. The novel is Peekay’s story, but is also a story of South Africa.

Courtenay paints a colorful story so vivid you can feel the heat as Peekay watches his first boxing match and starts learning about the Power of One. You imagine the cacti in the garden Doc has planted as he helps Peekay’s budding genius find roots. You wince as Peekay starts climbing in the ring, but you cheer and cry and read again and again how Peekay topples opponent after opponent. You can imagine the debates and laughter between Peekay and Morrie and feel a little proud as they make some crazy things happen together.

I loved the language and descriptions. I loved the So Real You Feel You Know Them characters. I loved the relationships between the characters that Courtenay builds and lets us see. I love the simple little scenes and the big moment scenes.

But the biggest love I have for this book, and what I think is best about any of our favorite books, is how it made me feel. I was the scared little boy in the beginning of the book, feeling weak and powerless. But then I got to grow from that weakness into newfound strength. I went from being alone and feeling invisible to being honored and respected, even if it had some mystical meaning behind it all I didn’t fully understand. I got to see little beat big and feel like maybe anything was possible.

My life was nowhere as challenging. I was just a Texas high school girl moving to a new state and another new high school. But even though my challenges were far different, I was still encouraged by (and thoroughly enjoyed) this book.

I have read it more times than I can tell you. I have purchased the book 3 or 4 times because paperbacks couldn’t last. The trade paperback I have now is in good shape though. I am probably about due to read it again. (Adds to my TBR pile.)

Yes, there is a movie that was made based off the book, but it is extremely disappointing. They cut out Doc, who is one of the best characters, and they stick in a love interest! I love a good love story but that did not belong in a movie based on this book. The book is always better, of course, but the movie that’ll play in your head as you read Courtenay’s descriptions far exceeds that pitiful one.

I will say there are some
scenes that area bit tough. This is not an easy world where Peekay lives. But go read this one. The really tough scenes are important to the overall story. It is also a tiny bit lengthy. But I really think you’ll be glad you went on this journey.

And like me, you may go back again and again.

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