Filling the “Space Between”

Or- How I Spent My Summer Vacation

This summer I got to live a dream. Well two really. I, one, got to meet one of the few actresses I admired as a kid and I, two, got to work helping promote and market an independent film. To make the dream even more unbelievable, I got to work on a film directed and written BY the actress I admired as a kid!

For those unaware, that actress is Amy Jo Johnson and her film is called “The Space Between.” For those also unaware, my middle school years consisted of three main things; geeky TV, rhythmic gymnastics and  wanting to be a film director. So, in essence, this summer was the embodiment of everything 11 year old me dreamed of. 

GO ADULT ME!

Sincerely, 11 year old Danielle.

It all happened so simply. Joseph and I decided we needed to go to more conventions. Trying to save money, we focused on conventions closer to home. We found Fanboy Expo in Knoxville scheduled for the last weekend of June. We put it on our calendar and kept it in our mind. But then we saw who was attending; Amy Jo Johnson and Jason David Frank, the original pink and green power rangers. Now Joseph and I had talked for years about making power rangers costumes. We both loved the show as kids and admired the actors, but power ranger costumes are expensive and we always had a long list of other costumes that we were building or that others were expecting from us.

So here we are, given a local convention with our two favorite rangers and two people we had both grown to admire. Clearly, it was time to make some ranger costumes!

So we did. We sold a handful of old costumes and pieced together 3 new ones. A pink, green, and white Might Morphin Power Ranger.

I won’t go into all the stressful details of that adventure (and it was one hell of an adventure!) But when the time came, we were ready.  We had just enough money for an autograph from both, a photo with both, and two tickets to Amy Jo’s movie, The Space Between. We had no idea that last $20 would lead to so much more!

We get to the convention and everything goes expectantly. We walk around in costume and get lots of love, taking photos with tiny humans and their admiring parents. We sit through an awesome, if far too short, panel and goof it up with Amy Jo Johnson and JDF in our group photo.

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We window shop various vendor booths, and we make a ton of new Power Ranger friends along the way. I get my pink power ranger stand-up signed (which was a gag gift from a friend in high school) and walk away happy, expecting that to be the end.

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And then Saturday night we go to see The Space Between. I’d secretly been waiting all weekend for this and, I didn’t realize it at the time, but THIS was what I was wanting from that convention. About 30 or 40 of us go into a small room off the side of the convention hallway, with just a projector, tiny stage, and laptop, and Amy Jo herself. We sit through about 90 minutes of awesomeness, a quick Q&A, and walk out knowing that what we just saw was amazing. We literally can’t stop talking about it, and Joseph immediately buys the soundtrack off iTunes.

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Best soundtrack for a summer BBQ? Yeah I think so 😀

We both agree that we need to see the movie again and anxiously await the moment when we can own it. I mention to Joseph that she’s bringing the film to Nashville for one night, due to a contest of some sort. A young girl named Connie Jones won and we should offer to help out. Maybe we could work a merch table, or help sell tickets!

(For the record, Connie (CJ), is an AMAZING young lady who is nothing but heart and sincerity. She is a truly loving friend and she deserved every ounce of “win” that she received. This was truly her event, we were never more than her happy happy minions 🙂  )

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That’s Connie (CJ )on the left. Is she not adorable?!

The next day we wait until Amy Jo’s line is empty and then run into it. Jessica, the producer of the film, asks us what we want signed and we say nothing. We just wanted to tell Amy Jo how much we loved her film, knew it was coming to Nashville, and wanted to help wherever possible. They said they’d love to have us help and to contact them with our information when we got back.

I’m pretty sure I was jumping around and doing a little happy dance as we walked away.

I had to fly to San Antonio later that day for a technology conference, but it was super hard to stay focused when I all I wanted to do was tell everyone I knew, met, or saw about The Space Between and how awesome it was!

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It wasn’t until I got back to Nashville several days later that my summer changed completely.

About a week after the convention, I emailed The Space Between and reminded them that they’d met us in Knoxville, and we wanted to help out when they came to Nashville. Jessica emailed back and asked to meet up for a phone call later that week. (At this point I am so excited, I am pretty sure any spirits or insects in our house were giving me weird looks.) Mind you, I’m expecting to work a merch table, help with set up, or something similarly small.

Jessica tells me they need help finding sponsors, advertisers, and media. I also mention that we want to help the day of (which is originally what we were expecting) and she puts us down as volunteers. I immediately start looking into finding the above mentioned things, clue Joseph into her needs, and we start working together.

Not much time later, we attend another convention here in Nashville called ‘Heroes and Villains Fanfest.” It’s a predominantly DC comics oriented con, but we decide to change things up a bit and go as power rangers on Sunday. Near the end of the day, a young lady dressed as Eleven from Stranger Things catches up to us and mentions the movie. She introduces herself as Connie, the SuperHost for the movie showing coming to Nashville. She is the one I knew won the contest. I immediately told her YES! We did know about the movie and were helping out.

From this point, it was all a wild and crazy blur towards September. Several phones calls, emails, and Skpe calls later,  I’m knee-deep into grassroots marketing for The Space Between and I am LOVING it! Joe starts working with Jessica on designing and making the Media Wall, and I keep hitting up businesses and shops for sponsorship. We are in talks with Connie (CJ) regularly, (accompanying her to the theater, discussing Q&A questions,) have expanded our movie contacts to include two other individuals working on promotion, and somehow get made Superhosts ourselves!20708191_923275604480389_4321342713408946948_n

We’re promoting the hell out of this film, stressing over numbers, but staying overly excited the whole time. I’m talking coworkers into going, friends and family into going, and hoping and hoping the whole time that people realize that I’m not in this because of the director and writer (well not ONLY because of the director and writer) but because I really, TRULY believe this movie to be worth their time.

Finally the big day comes, we get to the theater, and I manage to contain my excitement. That excitement finally bubbled over when Amy Jo Johnson gave an impromptu concert after the evenings Q&A. I got to show a film I truly believe in to friends and family, and every one of them loved it. (As they should! It’s AMAZING!) When it’s all over, and we walk back to our car, I felt truly happy, and still a bit hyped with adrenalin and excitement. It all happened so fast, I can’t really put how thrilling the whole night was into words, but it is definitely a night I will never forget.

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Now, several drafts and 2 weeks later, I can type out my account and tell you exactly what I did this summer.

This past summer I got to meet one of the nicest and most genuine celebrities I have had the pleasure of meeting who also happened to be one of the few actresses I truly admired as a kid.I got the privilege of helping promote and market a very heartfelt and witty film with a captivating story and memorable soundtrack, while making some long-lasting and true friends in the process. Finally, I got to sit down and listen to the pink power ranger give a private concert to myself, my husband, and my friends (new and old), and I enjoyed and treasured every minute of it.

So thank you to Amy Jo Johnson, Jessica Adams, CJ, and everyone else involved for letting Joseph and I peek into this awesome world for just a little bit. I felt like I was part of something bigger and important, with a film that had such a meaningful and touching influence. Thank you!

If you would like to watch The Space Between (which you should!) You can find out more info on how to download it HERE, at The Space Between website. Also check out the link HERE for more photos of our awesome Superhost night! 

 

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I Ship It! (TV and Movie Edition)

I’ve been meaning to update my blog for a while and figured something light and uplifting was needed, so today I present to you ‘I Ship It” where I list all the geeky relationships I ship because…well no real reason other than I want to. And yes I realize most of these are in fact coupled in their fandom but whatever. I’m still writing it!

Hodgins / Angela (Bones)

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Oliver Queen / Felicity Smoak (Arrow)

Olicity

Barry Allen / Felicity Smoak (The Flash)

I know, I know. i have her twice but dang it, I like her geeky, nerdiness and I want her to have all the hot guys!

barry and felicity

Harry Potter / Ginny Weasley (Harry Potter)

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Newt Scamander / Porpentina Goldstein (Fantastic Beasts)

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Kimberly Hart / Tommy Oliver ( Might Morphin Power Rangers)

pink nd green

William T. Riker / Deanna Troi (TNG)

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Hera Syndulla / Kanan Jarrus (Star Wars Rebels)

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Willow / OZ (BTVS)

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So what about you? Is there any you ship that I miss? Any that you disagree with? Share your thoughts in the comments! 🙂

Fantastic Beasts & Why I Love Them

Tomorrow I’m going to see the latest movie by J.K. Rowling, Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them, for the 4th time since opening night 9 days ago. It is set in the same wizarding world a Harry Potter, but about 70 years earlier, in 1926. The famous wizard with the lightening bolt scare is no where present, and yet I think this may be my new favorite HP movie. It’s crazy I know, but it’s a fact I can’t deny. Here are 5 reasons why.

  1. The Beasties. Nifflers, Occamies, Bowtruckles, a Demiguise…all this creatures are lovable and relatable and you want them to be protected and understood. The love they show Newt Scamander is unparalleled and exactly how you wish all human/animal relations would be.
  2. Newt Scamander. The awkward, lovable, and emotional magizoologist from Hufflepuff is everything a nerdy, geeky, animal loving girl could want. He is caring, dedicated, loyal, and just plain adorkable! His love for his creatures is perfect and very apparent. He CARES for his creatures and their wellbeing and it shows. “If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.”
  3. The supporting cast. Literally ALL the other actors and characters! They all encompassed their characters to perfection and really let it show through their portrayals. Especially Katherine Waterston. Her portrayal of Tina Goldstein was perfect. Her emotion, especially at the end, was amazing and had me in tears. (Which is saying something as I do not cry at movies normally.) Also that little skip as she walks away….ugh!
  4. The story. I know some people have complained about the plot and how simplistic or  choppy it seems, but I have to disagree. I loved the plot and story and yes, it seems a bit like a prequel, but the relationships that were built and spelled out more than made up for any story elements that may have seems out of place. To be clear, I didn’t have a problem with the plot AT ALL, I’m just mentioning it as others before have mentioned it.
  5. I want and NEED to know more! I need to know more about Newt, his history, and his beasts. I need to know more about MACUSA and president Picquery. I need to see more of the wizarding world in America. I need to learn all about Ilvermorny. There is so much unexplored history here, that I can’t resist learning it all and am SO looking forward to seeing where it goes from here!

Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them has brought the magic of the wizarding world back to life in a new and fantastic way. It’s opened up a whole new world of magical beings, places, and characters and that is so exciting! I’ve seen it 3 times because each time I leave feeling wonderful and surrounded with magic. That feeling you get when you enter the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios for the first time…that’s the exact feeling I get every time I’ve sat down and watched Newt and Jacob chase down Occamies and an Erumpent.

So tomorrow when I watch it for the 4th time, I’ll completely treasure the fact that I’ve found a new magical love and have had the joy of sharing it with some of my closest and dearest friends and family. I love Fantastic Beasts and Newt Scamander. Now I need to get all nifflers I can find. And some bowtruckles for Joseph.

Slut Shamed in Jeans

This past weekend I attended the Heroes and Villains Fan Fest in Atlanta with my husband, Joe, and our friend Leland. It was a small con (review to come next) but it was fun, the celebrities were personable and friendly, and the vendors were nice and into the whole thing.

Saturday afternoon I wore my Suicide Squad Harley Quinn (yes, another Harley. Don’t be hating!) and it went over very well. Had several teachers from the neighboring conference ask for pictures and there was a general approval and complimenting of the costume. I also must add that I LOVE wearing Harley, especially the SS version. I feel comfortable in it (as comfortable as you can be in sequined boy shorts and fishnets) and really get into the character. At no point do I feel naked or underdressed while in the costume which is a big deal. Instead I feel empowered, attractive, and cute.  Yes I wish the shorts were a bit longer, but they cover everything they need to cover and it’s no different than a bathing suit bottom or leotard. (Also just for the record, I skipped out on the heeled shoes and instead went with a sensible knee high red converse instead.)

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Sunday rolls around and I decide to wear Harley again, only more of a”casual” Harley. I wore the same shirt,jacket, boots, gloves, and wristbands but wore jeans instead of the booty shorts and fishnets, and a black & red wig instead of the pink &blue. This was mainly due to the fact that I didn’t want to remove airbrushed makeup  in a random bathroom since we’d have checked out of our hotel, and I really wanted to wear the red and black wig before we left. All in all I was comfortable, but wouldn’t consider this a costume.

Fast forward a few hours and a lady comes up to me to compliment my costume, with her 8-12 year old daughter trailing behind her.

“I love your Harley!”

“Oh, thank you.” (I was a bit taken aback but pleased because, well, it wasn’t really a costume in my mind but yay for the acknowledgment!)

“Yes I love that you did this version.”

“Excuse me?”

“A modest version.”

“Oh, well I have the other version. This is my casual one, just for today. I wore the other one last night.”

“Oh well I’m a mom. And I like the boots!”

Wait…..WHAT? I was shocked and appalled. I WISH I was quicker with my wit and could have come up with something to say back, but instead I just wandered off still annoyed with the woman’s comments. There was something about it that didn’t sit well and it bugged me.

I was slut shamed while wearing jeans!

It wasn’t just that she said she liked my modest version, it was the implied meaning behind it. In essence she was slut-shaming me from the day before, even though she never saw it as far as I’m aware. In front of her daughter, she was berating girls and adults who do the full on SS version of Harley Quinn because she viewed it as wrong in some way. And in coming up to me and saying the comments, I was made to feel bad because I HAD done the “slutty” version in the past. Now I don’t feel bad for doing the original screen accurate version, but part of me felt like maybe others thought I was doing the casual version because I didn’t approve of the actual version myself and that annoyed me even more!

And the comment “Oh well I’m a mom…” Like that gives you an excuse?! If anything, that should give you LESS of an excuse to slut shame someone! Teaching your daughter that it’s ok to look down on someone because of what they wear? Implying that an adult wearing booty shorts is somehow less of a person because it’s not modest enough? And let’s be honest, the SS Harley is FAR from the most scandalous version of Harley Quinn out there! Injustice, Arkham Asylum, New 52 Suicide Squad and New 52 for example, show FAR more skin.

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What the mother SHOULD be concerned about is the character herself. Harley isn’t a character that young girls should strive to be. She’s twisted, demented, insane, and obsessed. her relationship with Joker is the epitome of an abusive relationship. However, her growth and progression is admirable, especially in the latest comics and her dedication to her friend and pets is very heroic.

So are the fishnets, booty shorts, and heels really what you should be most concerned about if your daughter wants to dress up as Suicide Squad Harley? Or is maybe more important to focus on the character herself?

Down with the “Dab”

I know I need to update my blog with the rest of the Orlando trip from over a month ago, and I’ll get to it. But first, can I just say how much I hate the Dab?! For those unaware it is a ridiculous dance move where you sneeze into your right elbow while throwing your left arm out to the side.

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These are not my students. Not even from my school. It’s been taken free use off of wikipedia. 

I’ve looked up the origins of this buffoonery move and found nothing of substance. Various artists are claiming responsibility for the craze and frankly, it’s nonsense. It’s always just some slight move they did in a music video, on stage, or at a football game. It’s literally meaningless.

So why do I hate it do much?  I’m a teacher. So far this year I’ve been hit in the face not once, not twice, but three times by a student “dabbin” in the hallways. We’ve only been in school for a week and half!!

When discussing science lab safety, we discussed not touching your face with your hands if you sneeze, need to scratch your nose, etc. So the boys decide to demonstrate the proper way to sneeze. In your elbow while dabbing.  There was a LONG and detailed discussion right then and there about how there is no “dabbin” in the science lab. EVER!  (Can you imagine? I did and it was horrific!)

Then I see it out in the stores and in public. Narrowly avoiding being dabbed in the face on countless occasions. Due to my  limited height, the out-thrown arm is directed straight at my face.

So parents do me a favor. Discourage this nonsensical dance craze. Do it for the teachers and height impaired people of the world. They’ll thank you.

 

Sumo Jerky: Subscription Box

A few weeks ago Joseph and I joined a subscription box called SumoJerky. And it was amazing! A monthly box of flavored beef jerky? Yes please!

I first saw the company of a youtube station I subscribe to called “The Tim Tracker.” I quickly jumped onto Cratejoy, found Sumo Jerky, and ordered my own 3 piece box of jerky. (Cratejoy allows a 2, 3, 6, 12, 30, or 60 bag per month subscription.)

After you order your box, the owner, Ryan Leudecke, emails you for specific taste preferences and dietary restrictions.  Talk about personalized customer service. Needless to say I was super excited to get my first box.

Oh hell, here’s the reviews!

Jerky #1:  Sweet Meat Jerky, Classic TeriyakiIMG_7812

This was a local jerky as it turns out, and it was pretty good. It was organic with little preservatives which is always nice to see.  It wasn’t dry, had lots of flavor, but it was just teriyaki; nothing too exciting. It was good though! I would get this if found outside the subscription box.

Jerky #2: Righteous Felon Craft Jerky; O.G. HickoryIMG_7810

This was our favorite. It was tasty and savory and not dry. The smoky flavor was flavorful but not overpowering.

Jerky #3: Bull & Cleaver; Chili Bites IMG_7809

This was our spicy option, and it was spicy. Not super hot, but had a decent kick. My one complaint; it’s salty. It’s super dry and salty. This is the one we haven’t finished yet just because it is so dry and salty.


 

And that’s it! The three we got! All were very good, but some were better than others. I really hope he sends some more spicy and creative flavors. Maybe some fruit flavor and ghost pepper!

If you like beef jerky, I recommend trying Sumo Jerky’s subscription box. It’s worth the cost and the personalization is excellent.

Wanderings in Orlando: Day 2

Storms, CowFish, and Yetis

Day 2 was our first official day in Orlando and our group began the day in 3 parts. Kayla and Tami headed over to the venue, mom and I remained at the hotel, and Neal slept in over at Universal.

Mom and I slept in a bit, not much but a bit, got dressed, had some free breakfast (for the record, we went during the busiest part of the morning and it was VERY crowded!) and after hunting and snagging a table, we sat and made our plans for the day. First on our list, explore the hotel!

10 minutes later, we’d sufficiently explored. (The hotel really was THAT small.) So now it was on to #2 on our list: pool time!

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When we’d left the pool a few minutes earlier, there was no one there. Just a few minutes had passed and it was surprisingly busy! Not crowded, but busy. All the shady lounge chairs were taken, so instead we chilled at a table. We read a bit, played on our iPads, and just chilled. Neal joined us a bit later.

From this point we got hungry and decided a trip to Universal CityWalk was in order, #3 on the list! After we changed, collected all our things for the afternoon and evening, we headed out to Neal’s hotel, the citywalk, then #4 on our list. From here our adventure begins! Here are some helpful tips we discovered along the way.

Tip #1: Wear the Appropriate Shoes

IMG_7170A trip to the parks requires the appropriate walking feet adornments. For me it’s tennis shoes, for my mom, it’s croc sandals. Apparently it’s totally kosher now to wear mismatched sandals, as my mom quickly discovered on the path to the water taxi.

Kudos to my mom for finding the humor in the situation and not requesting to go back to the hotel to pick up the correct shoes.

Tip #2: Funny Names are Full of Surprises! 

IMG_7173Once the water taxi got us to CityWalk, we planned our attack for foods. CityWalk is FULL of interesting and exciting eateries, but what we ultimately decided on was a place called Cowfish: Sushi, Burger Bar, which specializes in burgers and sushi.

Our table was up three floors and in a a round room, like a turret. It had an AMAZING view of Universal’s Islands of Adventure, so if you go, I STRONGLY recommend you ask for the top room facing IOA.

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I mean check out that view of Hogwarts and the Hulk coaster!

Mom ordered a burger which she liked, but there was too much. If you’re not a big eater, try getting something off the children’s menu. Neal and I both ordered sushi.  And it was delicious! I got the Dion’s OMG! Roll; Tempura coconut shrimp,kani, english cucumber coated in tempura; topped with fresh mango, avocado, spicy honey marmalade, and coconut flakes. Click this link for a full menu!!

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Tip #3: Rain Makes for a Tricky but Non-Busy Night at Disney!

After running up to Neal’s room to chill for a bit and let a storm pass (or so we thought,) we headed out to Animal Kingdom! My mom and I were very excited to experience AK after dark with the new nighttime safari, light and projector shows on the Tree of Life, and I personally was anxious to ride Everest in the dark!

When we first arrived, it wasn’t raining. This is important because until we left, we fought the rain the entire trip. This had a few advantages; it kept the heat down and it kept the crowds small. On the other hand, we had to dodge and weave our way through the park, hiding under overhangs, at pin carts, concession stands, and under dinosaurs in order not to get drenched! I will say this though, Disney patrons don’t let a little rain ruin their dance party!

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Yes every one of those people are out dancing in the rain. No joke, they did so for a good 15 minutes. Kudos to them!

It was a busy night so I’ll sum up the key points quickly!

  • Dinosaur the Ride wasn’t as traumatizing this time as it was on my honeymoon. I swear I was so stressed out riding it back then, all I could talk about was how awful and scary it was! (For those unaware, the object of the ride is to rescue and bring back a dino before you’re destroyed by a meteor. You are literally racing the meteor that destroys the dinosaurs!)
  • Big giant dinosaurs also make excellent cover from rain. Just keep in mind that water and curved surfaces mean said water takes a specific path, and it’s usually not a straight shot down to the ground.
  • They don’t shut down the safari for anything, not even storms! We rode twice, both times during a storm and once after dark. Also, giraffes apparently aren’t very happy with rain. All the other animals were out and about, playing in the water and springing through the savannah. Not the giraffes though. Nope. They hid in their little crevice both times.
  • Speaking of the night time safari, it was phenomenal! It was so nice to see animals that don’t normally do much during the day really getting active as the sun set. The lions, which usually are hidden, were all out on the rocks; one even chilling as high up as he could get! Also their entire experience is different, with a “never ending sunset,” a moonlit forest, and a unique storyline and script.
  • Yak & Yeti is by far my favorite sit down restaurant at Disney. However, their quick service is not. It was ok. Expensive and just ok. Skipping that one next time!
  • Expedition Everest is AMAZING in the dark! Keep an eye out at the top of the first hill, and you can see Spaceship Earth at Epcot to your left.
  • CHOCOLATE COVERED PINEAPPLES! My new favorite Disney snack. It was amazing. Neal bought it for me and ahhhhh. SOOOOOOO GOOOD!!!!
  • The projector shows on the Tree of Life are lovely and very touching! They are short as they rotate shows every 10 minutes or so, but it’s worth a stop. We stopped by on our way out and caught the deer one and it was adorable. If you have to catch anything at AK after dark, make sure it’s that!

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All in all we were at AK from about 3:30 to 9:40. The park technically closed at 11, but mom was concerned about waking up Kayla and Tami if we got back too late. We did. They got a bit annoyed, but we used our cell phones for light and the next morning they were over it. (I think!)


As a whole, it was a great, but busy day and it was only day 2! Day 3….that’s a whole new bag of adventures.

 

Up next….. Wigs, Airplanes and Cupcakes!! 

Who You Gonna Call: A Ghostbusters Review

(**** This review is Spoiler Free!****) 

 

Last night I had the privilege of viewing the new Ghostbusters movie a few days before it’s official release. Ignoring the fact that they made us wait outside in the sun for 2 hours (apparently the sneak peek crowd is “too loud” for other movie patrons,) I really enjoyed the movie! There are a few things I should clear up first.

  1. While I was a fan of the original films, I was never an uber-fan. Therefore I had no real nostalgic investment in the success of this film.
  2. I like Melissa McCarthy, and have since Gilmore Girls. This doesn’t mean I watch all her films, but it does mean that I trust her acting ability.
  3. I went in having not watched more than the first teaser trailer. I never saw any of the full length trailers or listened to the new version of the song.
  4. I haven’t watched the original in a year or so.

With all that squared away, here is my honest review!

It’s Not a Reboot

Contrary to popular opinion, I don’t view this film as a reboot. By definition,

Reboot means to discard all continuity in an established series in order to recreate its characters, timeline and backstory from the beginning.

That sounds right when you first read it, but I don’t view it as such for a few reasons. The first being the characters. The ladies play all new characters with no connection to the previous cast. Not by name anyway. To reboot the movie truly, in my opinion, they would have used the exact same characters and same basic storyline, which they did not do. Also nowhere does it say the previous continuity was discarded. We assume it was, but maybe it wasn’t.

I also don’t think it’s a remake.

A remake is a film or television series that is based on an earlier work and tells the same story.

This wasn’t the same story. Not even close. Yes it was based on earlier work, but the second half of the definition is not applicable in this instance.

Instead, I offer an alternative type. A “What If” film. Simply put, it asks the question what if the guys had been gals? What if it took place in modern day New York? What if the ghosts were more malevolent, bigger, and meaner? This is what I believe the new Ghostbusters is,  a “What If” film. and a thumpin good one at that!

Homage Well Payed

One of the biggest concerns with this film was that it would ruin the original. It would stomp all over the traditional ghostbusters and destroy their legacy with bad female stereotypes and disregard for it’s origins.

This didn’t happen. At all. In fact, it was the complete opposite. Throughout the entire film there were numerous references to the original film. From locations and jokes, to specific ghosts. It was, however, all done very respectfully and with dignity. One scene specifically I believe payed homage in a very appropriate way. I won’t post it here, but I will say it involves an iconic locale.

Powerful Role Models

If there was ever a film that exuded girl power, this is it! the women in this film have no concern for their looks or matching clothes, but instead have a focus on science, ingenuity, and engineering. The stereotypical dim-witted blonde receptionist is traded out for a dim-witted male receptionist (Chris Hemsworth) which I’ll get to in a bit 🙂 The women are all intelligent and witty (mostly) with a strong sense of sisterhood and duty. But most importantly, they are role models!

One character, Jillian Holtzmann, played magnificently by Kate McKinnon, is an nuclear engineer. Throughout the film she is creating, editing, and testing numerous inventions and paranormal weapons. Her social awkwardness is endearing and comes to a very accurate speech near the end of the film. If I’d seen this film when I was a young girl, I would’ve jumped onto the engineering bandwagon instantly! Truth be told, I wouldn’t have been a good engineer, but the passion would’ve been there.

Melissa McCarthy’s character, Abbie, is a paranormal scientist and an author. Two very inspiring occupations, even if one isn’t exactly a profitable career. Abbie is goal oriented, headstrong, and not easily defeated. She knows what she wants, what she needs, and how to get it without using her “female gifts” or looks. The way Abbie deals with the “haters” of the film is exemplary and a great example of how to deal with the haters and trolls.

Erin Gilbert, played by Kristen Wigg, is a more odd character. She is an author and established physicist at Columbia University about the be on tenure when all hell breaks lose. Her character deals with discrimination, prejudices, and misconceptions throughout the whole film. Sadly, her character also falls into several female stereotypes including her interactions with Chris Hemsworth’s character, Kevin, and a brief scene about her outfit being too conservative.

Leslie Jones plays a character named Patty Tolan. She’s your stereotypical New York subway worker who sort of stumbles into the group. Only she isn’t and she didn’t. While speaking and acting very much like a typical New Yorker, she used her street smarts and knowledge of the city to good use. She knows the history of various locations and hotspots, and isn’t shy about joining in the ghostbusting fight. In fact, she insists on it! But what may be even more important, is her respect for her fellow team members. Not once does she not make fun of them for being scientists or quirky, but she embraces the differences and strives to learn all she can.

A physicists, nuclear engineer, paranormal scientist, two published authors, and a New York subway worker. Not a bad team!

Chris Hemsworth: The Eye Candy

This is really all his character is. Eye candy. yes his character, Kevin, plays a pivotal role later on, but from the beginning he is just there for his looks. While I appreciate the tongue in check approach to the receptionist position, I did miss seeing more of his actual acting ability.

But to be fair, he seems to REALLY be enjoying himself on camera. He clearly had fun with this part and as a whole, we enjoyed having him on screen. I’ll call that a win!

New Beginnings: New Stories

I loved the story. It was very different from the original and very well done! It made sense and I loved how they explained various parts. (Instead of just showing us a finished proton pack, they describe how it works and how it was made.) There was a good deal of technical and scientific jargon thrown around and some big words here and there. Some people have complained that the script was juvenile and written by a child… unless that child has a working knowledge of partical physics and paranormal science, I highly doubt it.

Another complaint was the effects. This I don’t get. The effects were made specific to the film and I thought they did a great job. The ghosts looked like ghosts, the slime looked like slime, and at no point did I watch the film and think I was viewing Batman & Robin. Also, the ghosts are scary. VERY scary. Probably a bit too frightening for anyone younger than 12. Unless they like having a fear of mirrors.

Next the acting. I found the acting enjoyable. The actors seems to click very well and it didn’t seem forced. Was it Oscar worthy, no. But I have seen bad acting and this wasn’t it. For the record, McKinnon clearly was the break out performer of this movie. She was amazing and quirky and I loved her.

Ah  the Cameos

And now for the bad. The cameos. There were a lot of them, and none of them seemed natural. It was exciting when they appeared, but after the first one, you just kind of expected them. Was it nice that they were there, absolutely. Could they have done it better? Absolutely. In my opinion, don’t go for the cameos. Go for the story.


 

And that’s it! My review in a nutshell. It’s a controversial movie (though I still don’t see why) but it’s an excellent film  with an excellent cast. Don’t let the haters and trolls stop you from seeing it, and don’t let your preconceived notions stop your curiosity.  And most importantly, don’t hate on others who DID enjoy the movie if you don’t. Let’s not ruin this for all the young girls out there who are excited to see strong female characters in a non-female dominated genre.

Do it for the future engineers, physicists and scientists.

 

Summer Wanderings in Orlando: Day 1

Day 1: Hamsters, Buffalos, and Lightening

Recently I got back from a weeklong trip to Orlando to watch my aLogo-5_smwesome cousin compete in potentially her last Irish dance Nationals. I traveled with my cousin Kayla, my aunt Tami, my mom, and my brother Neal.Yes it was as hot and uncomfortable as you would imagine, but it was so worth the humidity and stickiness!

We’ll skip the fact that they decided to hold nationals in Orlando In July. Instead let’s focus on the adventures had in Orlando! (At this point I realize I need more photos. Ding-dang.)

And So Our Adventure Begins

Having come from Nashville and everyone else from Louisville, I met up with my family at the airport. It was a bit later than I had intended, but no biggy really. The first thing we notice is the humidity (Who wouldn’t right?) but after a while we got used to it. Ok, three of us got used to it! We headed over to the car rental place. Both my aunt and brother had each rented a car so theoretically there was plenty of room for all of us. Theoretically.

You see, Neal was a late addition to the trip and as such, we recommended he stay at a different hotel. It may sound rude, but this proved to be very benefitical in the future. He chose to stay at the Loews Royal Pacific at Universal. A personal favorite hotel of mine (it was my honeymoon hotel!) I was staying with my aunt, cousin and mom down near Seaworld.  Neal got a Jeep Patriot. My aunt….a Kia Sol. Yes, the hamster car. Now imagine if you will, 4 grown women with a weeks worth of luggage, purses, carry-ons, a separate bag for dancing, and a dress bag all shoved into a tiny Kia Sol. I wish we’d taken pictures.

Also this was a brand new city for my aunt to drive in. I knew where to go and how to get there but the GPS was our guide of choice. At this point I should mention that both my cousin’s and I’s GPS said different directions. We went with Kayla’s and a lot of reassurance from myself. Oh, also, it was about to storm. So that was fun!

Finally we get to the SpringHill Suites Orlando by Seaworld and prepare to check in and unpack. We pull up behind a family with two little girls who felt a strong need to tell my mom and I everything about everything. We get a luggage cart, stack everything haphazardly onto it (outside, in a lightening storm, in the dark) all the while hearing two tiny human females singing “Let it Go” and dancing about.

(PAUSE FOR A QUICK REVIEW OF THE HOTEL)

As a hotel, it wasn’t bad. The room was a suite with a pull out couch which was my bed. When I pulled it out though, it was crushed, stained, and the springs were poking out. Yeah…didn’t sleep on the mattress! Instead I slept on the couches cushions, which was much more comfortable! The hotel itself was minimal. There was free breakfast in the morning and a constant supply of lemon water throughout the day which was excellent and convenient. There was  poolside bar with food and it was meh. I wish this hotel had had a sit down restaurant or inside eatery type place. Luckily there were a lot of restaurants within walking distance.

Our view from the pool was also quite extraordinary with a perfect view of the new coaster, Mako. The people at the front desk were very friendly and helpful and accommodating.  There were amble places nearby to eat and get things and it’s connected to the iRide trolley system.

But it was far away. Unless you’re going specifically for SeaWorld, it’s a bit of a distance to everything else.

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(AND  NOW BACK TO OUR REGULARLY SCHEDULED PROGRAM )

After unpacking, riding the luggage cart a few times, and generally getting acquainted with the area, we decided to get dinner. There were several options thrown about, but ultimately we chose Buffalo Wild Wings. We called Neal, informed him of the plans, and walked the 30 feet to our dinner.

Now let me say that in general, the wait staff looked very nice and put together. They were friendly, talkative, and kind. They were also slow. REALLY slow. We actually chose BW3’s (what we call the chain in Louisville) because we figured it would be faster than TGI Fridays. We were horribly wrong. It took forever to get anything. Drinks, food, the check…it didn’t matter. It took an eternity. Also it was loud. Excessively loud, even for a sports bar.

Also, just a random observation here, but when did high ponytails come back in style? Or is it just for teens in Florida? I assume the table of teenage girls next to us weren’t starting a new trend but I commend them on the height of their ponys. It was impressive, if not completely identical.

Needless to say after we were done and back in the room, we all immediately went to sleep. We all had a very busy schedule for the next day. Some of us were going to get wet and happy and others were going to be frozen and grumpy. But that’s another story!

Throwback Thursday /Beachy Goodness

 

Outer Banks 2014

Two summers ago I was 30 some-odd hours away from joining my parents, aunt, uncle, and cousins for a weeklong beach vacation in the Outer Banks. This was Joe’s first time at the Outer Banks and the joys of renting a ocean side beach house. It was fun! Even if we arrived later than the rest 🙂

We did some pretty cool stuff, minus getting sunburnt and a day of rain. Grilling fish, climbing lighthouses, and eating custom made donuts.  It was relaxing and I will always miss the Outer Banks when I’m not there!

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