Monthly Archives: July 2015

Burning Paper Towns Down

I had promised Thing 1 that we’d go see “Paper Towns” when it was released, since we had both read the book. I was ambivalent about the book version, as it bounced around like a Chihuahua puppy. However, I totally appreciated the ending of the book, with its, “Hey look! She’s a jerk!” Thing 1 enjoyed the book and didn’t like the ending so much.

Off we go to the matinee showing! Thank goodness I purchased a special popcorn and drink container because I get cheap refills all year long!


Summary of “Paper Towns:” Quentin (or “Q”) is a seventeen year old kid who has been in lust with his mysterious neighbor, Margo Roth-Spiegelman , since she moved in across the street when they were kids. She blossoms into the “IT” girl in high school and Q is portrayed as the pining dork that hangs out in the band room with his two best friends. One random night, she breaks into his window and asks him to help her extract revenge. He does it because she’s Margo Roth-Spiegelman, girl of his dreams, and he has a Honda Odyssey van. As their felony-filled night comes to an end, Q just knows that Margo will be his true love …


But alas, Margo takes off because she is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside of an enigma. Q finds clues and, with his friends, leave Florida right before prom night to go find her and bring her home! And then the movie makes a left turn from the book and Thing 1 and I were scratching our heads. The director throws in sex (not shown but talked about). There’s also a highly unlikely couple (Ben and Lacey) getting together because of a few hours in a minivan.

*My translation of the face palm moment:*

Ben: I like you for you, not because you’re hot.

Lacey: I know that I’m popular and never talked to you before yesterday and will probably ditch you like the disease that I told Q that I used to have, but will you go to prom with me? *bats eyelashes*

Ben: Duh. You’re hot. I mean, yes!

Me: Puh-lease.

no scott

Even the ending of the movie is junk. The book lets the readers realize just how selfish Margo ends up being. The movie makes her out to be a misguided teen, trying to find herself. Also, when the camera cuts to Q getting ready for the prom at the end of the film, his mom is lovingly standing in the doorway. Thing 1 leaned over and whispered, “Yeah, like you’d let me go to prom after that!” Exactly, my child.

I don’t recommend this movie. If you do find the need to see it, make sure you are of high school age. And check your expectations at the door. Even my high school senior niece thought it was “okay” but didn’t like the ending. There is swearing (yes, the f-bomb), underage drinking at a party where the parents are mysteriously absent, and a naked boy running from a girl’s bedroom (but he has his hands over those bits). The plot downplays the seriousness of the “pranks” and unless you want to have a criminal record, I’d avoid those particular ones. Except the wrapped car…that’s just plain fun.

Personally, I didn’t go into the movie expecting much and it delivered. Oh, the soundtrack was actually good, though. The movie didn’t reveal that Margo was a self-absorbed girl who didn’t like her parents’ rules and ran away. She didn’t care for Q, she just manipulated him and his feelings for her.

The one highlight for both Thing 1 and the random girl in the theater (who squealed so loudly that we laughed) was the cameo by Ansel Elgort. That girl had a serious fangirl moment.


*$%&!$# and All That

Thing 1 asked me the other day, “Why do they have to swear in songs?”


I have no idea. I’m not going to claim to be pure as the driven snow and say that no vulgar word has crossed my lips. In my former occupation as a police dispatcher, I’m ashamed to admit that more than once, during a milkshake of stress, haste and frustration, words uncommon to my every day conversation slipped out. So rare were the times that usually someone within earshot would whip their head around and their mouth would drop open. It was enough to shame me into apologizing and revert back to my non-swearing ways.

*cue my faux elderly voice* “Back when I was a kid, there weren’t cussin’ in songs.”

grumpy gma

* Disclaimer:I’m sure some songs had cussing but they weren’t widely popular.*

Besides the fact that it is biblical to: “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth…” (Eph. 4:29), it sounds ignorant. I will now sit back and wait for the flaming to occur.

This is my own personal opinion and experience. An acquaintance of mine (one I cannot dismiss from my life due to external circumstances) bowls me over with his swearing. He can use a certain word as a noun, verb and adjective – all in the same sentence. When I mentioned to him that it was a bit much, he was offended.

“It’s how all people talk.”

confused - no

No. No it’s not.

It’s a struggle to find books, movies and songs in a world that shuns the Lord. I have a “five-page flip test” for YA novels prior to Thing 1 reading them for swearing and/or sex. Would it shock you to know that nearly 50% fail? Or would you deem it “normal?” One cannot even peruse Pinterest without random cussing on comments or Pins.

I can’t shield myself, my family or my readers (aw…you’re my readers!) from swearing in the world, but I can let you know that you will never read it from me. I’ve educated myself on terms of expression. Or even harder, I’ve just shut up. What can I say? I like to talk/write.

In reviews of movies or books I post, I will mention if there is swearing and/or sex/sexual innuendos. It’s rough because it’s rampant. I’m also not going to judge if you think me old-fashioned or puritanical for not swearing.


It’s my choice and since it’s in the Bible, I’ll defer to His judgement.

Inside Out – Your “Happy” Place

Okay, let me preface this review of Inside Out with a disclaimer: this is my opinion. I’m entitled to my personal view. Don’t hyperventilate if it doesn’t line up with your outlook. (P.S. I love both Disney and Pixar)


And that said…I thought it was “okay” and nothing more.



Shhhh…I’ll hold you and sing Soft Kitty until you recover from that sentence.


Honestly, it’s what I refer to as, “Meh.”



I know a lot of readers will not understand my review, but you ARE here, so let me explain. I recommend this movie to all ages. We had a pleasant surprise and had a trailer for the Christian band Hillsong that preceded the movie. There are three and a half parts of this movie that I really liked and the rest of the movies was mediocre with some funny one-liners tossed in for seasoning.


The movie is based on emotions inside the young girl’s mind: Joy, Sadness, Disgust, Fear and Anger. They are all involved in her (Riley) memories while growing up, with Joy being the leader of this “happy girl.” Joy makes sure that there is a lot of cheerfulness in Riley’s life and very little of the other emotions. Trouble starts when Joy and Sadness are taken from Riley’s central headquarters (where memories are formed) and dashed away to her long term memory.


And true to Disney/Pixar form, they fight through the perils and find that they needed to work together.

the end


No really. That’s the synopsis of most Disney/Pixar films anyways.


However, unlike a plethora of collaboration films that I enjoy, Inside Out fell flat for me. Riley succumbs to Anger and runs away and I have a really big problem with an eleven year old who is happy one day and running away the next. After she steals from her mom’s wallet. And explodes in anger at her dad. Don’t get me wrong – I know kids do those things, but it was totally out of Riley’s character. I guess it made for a good plot.


My three and a half highlights? Thing 1 agreed with me on these points:

  1. The back and forth argument of the Mom and Dad’s emotions. Epic! If you’re married, you probably enjoyed it as much as I did.
  2. The hilarious montage at the end of the film when the camera jumps from character to character, letting the viewers glimpse their emotions. Thing 1 particularly loved the cat.

½   Riley’s imaginary boyfriend. “I’d DIE for Riley!” “I’m from Canada.”

  1. Bing Bong. He was singularly the most important character of the film for me. I never had an imaginary friend, but my brother did. When Bing Bong disappeared, I wept – as in tears streaming down my face and heartbroken. I am a silly person by nature and it was crushing to watch him fade. I encourage ridiculousness and whimsy (when appropriate) with my own kids because growing up is hard. The one thing that made Bing Bong’s demise better was dedication in the end credits:


“This film is dedicated to our kids. Please don’t grow up. Ever”


Thank you, Disney and Pixar, for including that dedication. It harkens back to Peter Pan and his Lost Boys and I find no fault in that.


I’m going to go buy a Bing Bong Funko Pop toy and he will sit on my desk to remind me to use the imagination God gave me!

bing bong

Remember, Remember the Fifth of November




“People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.” – V


V for Vendetta is one of my all-time favorite flicks. For an actor (Hugo Weaving) to represent a character behind a mask so thoroughly by movement and voice alone, without the benefit of facial expressions, is nothing short of amazing. Evey Hammond is played by Natalie Portman and once her hair comes off, the actress shines.


It opened in 2006 and was written by the (then) Wachowski brothers. It is rated “R” for violence and language. I do NOT recommend this movie to anyone younger than 18 for the following reasons:

  1. The brutal fight scenes are just that – violent and bloody.
  2. A scene with crude language preceding an attempted sexual assault on a female. It is thwarted, but may be uncomfortable for some.
  3. The almost desperate need for the director/writers to glorify the gay and lesbian characters. Their sub-stories of persecution, while convincingly told, detract from the story itself which is about freedom from a tyrannical government.
  4. The language rating is warranted. The f-bomb is dropped.

doge v for vendetta

The government in the film is totalitarian. This fictional government lacks no heavy-handed tactics: they murder dissenters, quash all freedom of religion and use prisoners for medical experiments. *Please, reader, brush up on your world history and see that these tactics have actually been used and are still used by governments extracting absolute control.*


“God is in the rain.” One of the most pivotal quotes from the film, it is just a string of simple words that makes for a good quote. God is omnipotent and omniscient. You can’t limit Him to the rain. And in the same breath, the movie characters use His name in vain. Even the priest with a penchant for young girls drops the f-bomb. Irony abounds.

V apron

Expect a payload of violence in this film: the foiled rape scene (no skin showed), grisly mass grave shot with some naked bodies, and an amazing slow-mo sword/knife versus bullets fight…just to name a few. Lots more, but some of the choreography for the fight scenes is breathtaking. This is a movie about one man starting a revolution by means of revenge.


There has never (and I use that word with every bit of its meaning) been an onscreen kiss that has been so impeccable than the one between Evey and V. It is concise; the gravity of the meaning of the kiss to a man behind a mask that she has never laid eyes on, staggering.


The over-all points I took away from the film were multi-faceted but are narrowed down to one quote from the movie:


“Behind this mask there is more than just flesh. Beneath this mask there is an idea… and ideas are bulletproof.” – V


This character was tortured by the government, didn’t die and succumbed to his idea of revenge. Eventually, his idea changed. Evey realized that her idea is freedom from oppression. I watched the movie and felt my own ideas stir within (read: I’m in possession of neither fireworks nor Guy Fawkes masks).

v fireworks

“Are you, like, a crazy person?” – Evey

“I am quite sure they will say so.” – V

Back in the Saddle Again…(for real this time)

I am a writer. I doodle idea sentences during a sermon if something the pastor says sparks an idea. There is a voice recorder on my phone for when inspiration hits at a stop light. No accurate count has ever been attempted as to the number of notebooks that have torn papers from them, sacrificed to half-ideas to be worked out “later.”

Why do I admit all of this to you perfect strangers?

For months (too many months) this blog has marinated. No…let me be honest; when something marinades, it sits and becomes flavor infused. This blog has dried up and become the type of over-cooked chicken you have to fight to chew. My good intentions of “I will write this weekend” kept morphing into “I will write that next weekend” until I was left with a chasm of nothing written.

 You trusted me

And so…I’m back! What brings me back, you say? It was a video from a writing class that I’m enrolled in that spoke volumes to me. (Thanks Jenna Benton!)

*Warning…overt Christian views ahead!*

Christian Garage

I’m not going to hide behind an implied sense of living. I’m a wife, mom, Sunday School teacher and writer who wants to point others towards the grace that God has given me. Now, I’m not saying that I’m graceful or even a worthy example to follow. What I am saying is that when I take stock of my life so far, I am blessed by the Lord. Yes, there are bad times. Epic, face-palm, “why-did-I-do-that?!” decisions and sometimes, those consequences sting. But there is mercy and grace at God’s feet, even during the ripples caused by the stone I threw into the pond.


So I’ll be getting back in the saddle with this blog. Seriously. It’s on my weekly calendar now and that is where the important stuff of my life lives – handwritten in between youth group events and birthdays.

You lucky readers get to read my ramblings! Unless you unsubscribe and there are so few of you that I’ll stalk you and beg for you to come back.

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