80’s Music Wednesday

I love the 80's, especially, for moments such as this. Television was utilized so well back in the day. It is amazing. I kind of miss those days.

Enjoy, Billy Squier's Christmas is the Time to Say I Love You.

10 Years of Love Actually

I cannot believe that it has been ten years since Love Actually graced the big screen. My first thought when I heard this was that I was getting old. My second thought was how I was barely at the legal drinking age when it came out, which is sad, because I feel alcohol can be a necessity when it comes to this movie and how you are feeling when you watch it. So this little movie has been around for ten years, and I have probably watched it at least that many times if not ridiculous amounts more.

The movie is not specifically about Christmas, but it does take place during the holiday season. It has become a tradition to watch it every holiday and just maybe more if the mood strikes me. If this isn’t a film jingling out evenly time songs about the winter festivities, then what is the movie about? It is about love, actually. Pun sooo intended.

For those who have not seen this film, I will apologize about spoiling anything. It is not my focus to do this, but it will probably happen. In my defense, we are celebrating the decade run of this film, so it’s been around. I say this knowing that there are still quite a few of you that have not seen Love Actually. Hopefully by the end of this little rant, you will give it a chance. Let it be known, as fun loving and sweet as this movie can be, it is not for younger audiences, a fact that is quickly highlighted in the first ten minutes. Do not let the little ones watch this. There is strong language and nudity that is not exactly alluded to in the trailers. You have been warned.

This film is a British film, and although it is spoken in a language that we Americans may be able to understand, it is very much a foreign film. It is chocked full with an amazing cast of England’s best and brightest that is only ever in question by the fact that they chose Hugh Grant to play the role of the prime minister, and not Mr. Grant’s casting in general. There may just be a general distaste for politics in the movie altogether when our president is played by Billy Bob Thorton. Both excellent actors, just not who would be pictured running two of the most powerful nations in the world. Being that the movie is British and full of British actors, then you should be warned that the British humor shows up quite a lot as well. I have been told that it can be an acquired taste, so it has been presented for you to do as you wish with. Now on to the fun stuff.

The main theme is love, which is told in a series of smaller vignettes that intertwine between one another severely or loosely as we jump back and forth between them. The important aspects are highlighted within each of these small stories and they are not always the fun side of love. The basics include familial love, puppy love, attraction, growth, lust, friendship, unrequited, loss, and mourning.

As many times as I have watched this movie, I have grown with it. I understand certain aspects more now having gone through them then I did ten years ago. There are still certain feelings that have held true for certain stories every time I watch it. I may have identified with one character or another over several viewings, but I seem to still be closer to the character of Sarah.

Sarah’s story is that she has a crush on her coworker, which is fantastic for her later on when he reciprocates these feelings, unfortunately that’s not why I identify with her, though the man is quite the catch. What makes her story so important is her love for her very mentally sick brother. He is in a home, but calls her at all hours of the day and night. She not only deeply cares for her brother, but feels solely responsible for him. As much as I try to convince myself that I would choose differently based on the logic that nothing will change the situation of her brother if she decides to go from constantly sacrificing herself for her brother’s every need to supporting him fully with his needs but also balancing it with her own, the decision to not choose family is very understandably tough.

There is a scene where Sarah is driven home after a holiday office party by her crush. He had asked her to dance at this party, which is the first real sign of any kind of mutual feelings by him for Sarah. He, as gentlemen do, walks her to the door, and after some adorable awkwardness they share a kiss. This is the moment where all the hopeless romantics cheer, because the supposed impossible, according to Sarah, happened. Because the fine man crush enjoyed himself so much, he happens to invite himself to stay, a suggestion that Sarah is all too ready to agree with. She asks for a minute and does a happy dance out of sight which I did mentally with her. Then comes the part that makes me turn the volume of my potty mouth up to the highest levels.

Eventually Sarah starts to engage in activities that I honestly cannot blame her for one bit, but before anything more serious can take place, her phone rings. Her brother is having a delusion and is frantically seeking her counsel. She quickly calms him down and ends the call, apologizing to her bed fellow. The festivities have only just begun to recover from her delay when the phone rings again. It is the third and final time that the phone rings that gets me riled up as she removes herself completely from the situation with either stupidity or amazing willpower to focus and attend to her brother. I tend to lean towards stupidity as I cuss her out for a good two minutes, neighbors be damned.

I say this, but honestly, I love and adore my family. My closest friends are my family also. I may put them before myself too much at times, but I am a very mothering person. I feel that it is my job to take care of them, whether it actually is or not. That being said, as much as I cuss out poor Sarah for choosing her brother in that moment, I can’t help but wonder if I would choose any differently if it was me. We tend to be harsher on those we see ourselves in.

The other character I tend to relate to is Natalie. She is fresh in what she is doing even though it is clear she hasn’t exactly figured out what that is. My favorite part about her is her personality. She is honest, genuine, and a bit quirky. This may challenge her professionalism as it did in her first meeting with her boss the prime minister, but I love her more for that. I am a bit quirky myself, so I like this girl. She has a bit of a filthy mouth, which I am known for as well, so that is also a bonus for her. One of my favorite parts of this whole film is towards the end when is coming down the staircase to join her family in leaving, and she questions the room, children included, asking, “Where the f@#$ is my f@#$ing coat?” I remember texting one of my best friends immediately after this telling her that we needed to move to England, because we would probably be more appreciated there. She is adorable and real and for some weird reason considered the chubby one. I didn’t get that, and neither did the prime minister. She was young and so was I when I first watch it, so I have always connected with her.

There are many other people to follow, enjoy, or even become disappointed with throughout the progress of the movie. It is a rollercoaster of a film and it does not apologize for it. I have personally fell out laughing, screamed out it in horror, teared up or cried depending on the exact mood, or just radiated with happiness throughout the entire viewing of Love Actually. It has been a wonderful ten years of viewing this film yearly, and still manages to remain fresh. Happy anniversary and thank you for entering my life.

Amuck, Amuck, Amuck.

It is that time of the year where my ringtone gets changed to Dead Man’s Party by Oingo Boing. The Hocus Pocus dvd gets put on while I dig out my Buffy Halloween episodes to watch immediately after. Throw in various horror movies and my month is set. My personal traditions have changed over the years, trading in the lighter, cuter fair for a something a bit more twisted. This is a little sampling of the growth of my traditions throughout the years for one of my favorite holidays. Whether it be enjoying favorite movies, dressing up, or carving pumpkins, this season has always offered fun and great memories for me.

I was fortunate enough to have a mother who made my costumes growing up. I may not have always been appreciative of this when I was younger, begging for one of those horrible plastic trash bags with a mask that not only blinded you for the night but greatly limited your oxygen intake. A girl just wanted to be She-Ra, I guess. She’s made me many things over the years. As I said in my last post I went as Batman when I was five. It started because I had a black Batman t-shirt with just the emblem on it that I loved. My mom went out and bought a basic black mask and some black material and fashioned a Batman mask with a flowing cape connected in the back. It was pretty sweet, but that was how awesome my mom was. One of my favorite costumes she ever made was Pippi Longstocking. She even made the wig. Unfortunately, due to a hit of sickness, I didn’t get to go out that year, but wore it at home snuggled on the couch watching the Halloween specials on television as I recuperated. If I ever have kids someday, I hope I can do as much for them, but I think I may need to go a couple more rounds with a sewing machine first, because the last time we had a challenge the machine won. It’s definitely a goal to learn to sew better. I can mend, but I’ve never taken on the challenge of a full project before.

Trick or treating was an interesting affair growing up, as well. Living next to cornfields, there wasn’t necessarily a lot of traffic coming your way or anywhere for you to really go. That meant we had to make the trek into town, which not only meant legit trick or treating but a parade.  I eagerly joined in the menagerie of monsters and fairy princesses as we proudly marched our bedazzled and ghoulish visages down the street for all of my small hometown to see. When we came to the end, we were released upon the houses to gather our bounty of sugary confectionaries and numerous cheap plastic toys that we didn’t mind getting year after year. This was happiness as a child. Eventually we got too old to trick or treat which meant I hardly saw any, because no one came out to our house, not that I blame them for not wanting to travel to the middle of nowhere

During high school, I would dress up on Halloween for the school festivities. One year, I went as Buffy. Shocking, I am aware. I remember working hard on making a stake from real wood to go with my outfit, also ensuring the end remained blunt to not cause injury. I am a nerd, so there is always a level of perfection taken when entering such endeavors. However, being the good little girl that I was, I immediately marched down to the high school administration office to check on whether my newly made stake would be considered appropriate enough to keep with me while on school grounds. Yeeeeah, it got confiscated as a potential risk. I was patted on the head for using good enough judgment to ask, then sent off to first period. I was pretty bummed, but I got it. Unfortunately, that kind of bummed me out for dressing up for a while. I would rarely do it after that until I graduated from college.

Since I wasn’t really into dressing up anymore when I hit college, my friends and I started a new tradition, and a silly one at that. Usually we would go to whatever preferred horror movie that was out in the theaters. The other thing that we did was look up some haunted place in the area and try to go find it. Unfortunately we never found any of the places that these road trips were intended for, but the drives were usually a blast. I loved hanging out with my friends and catching up, and they loved hanging out with me and doing whatever they felt could possibly annoy or irritate me, like rolling open the side door of my car as we drove sixty miles an hour down the highway. It wasn’t exactly dangerous, because there was a special catch in the track that allowed the door to be opened while driving for extra ventilation. It probably wasn’t recommended when traveling at the speeds we were. Thankfully, we are all still alive, and I did not murder them in the process. We no longer go on our trips anymore, mostly because we are pretty spread out across the country. I personally don’t want to, because I think the potential for getting any citation from the local law enforcement concerning these activities isn’t exactly classy at our age. I do wish we found that haunted cheese factory, though. It’s the one that got away.

Now, I mostly just watch movies and enjoy the youngsters trick or treating coming to the door. I have a tier system when giving out candy. Everybody gets something, but if they come as one of my favorite characters or in something extremely awesome, extra candy will be given. Extra is always given out to those dressed as Sleeping Beauty, Stitch, Star Wars characters, Thor, and various others of my favorite marvel characters. I am still waiting for some precious child with extraordinary parents to come to my door dressed as either She-Ra or Jem. I will just hand them the bowl and call it a night.

I am sure that there are other people out there that enjoy the holiday as much I do. I would love to read about some of your traditions whether it be decorating, baking, or anything else fun like that. This is a safe place to divulge what you love, so feel free. Thanks for reading!