Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors

Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors (The Rajes #1) by Sonali Dev

So I’ve been wanting to read this book for quite some time, I believe the first time I checked it out from the library was on October 11, 2019-but life got in the way and I had to return it, check it out, return, and repeat until finally I had some free time during this COVID19 quarantine.

The story starts off with Trisha Raje, of the impressive Raje family line-in fact they are the descendants of a royal family. Her mother was a former Bollywood star and the family has had everything anyone could want-money, status, education, beauty, etc.

But unlike other books-I really liked that the characters knew they were blessed, that they are many who would give anything to be them, and didn’t go down the route of “all power and money is evil” or “woe is me I have money” or “I’m rich and entitled but l am “really” average“, etc. Instead this family knows what they have and all try to do their best to use it to help others in some way.

One summer, teenage Trisha was touched when she visited children at one of her grandfather’s charities in India. Most of the children were blind and with many nothing could be done, while there was quite a number would have been spared this fate with more interest, money, medical intervention, etc. She was determined to help and from there not only created a charity (with help of her parents) that assisted the afflicted children but dedicated her life to becoming a top surgeon, specializing in developing machines that would help remove tumors, growths, cysts, etc.

She is doing well in her career, but unfortunately is no longer a part of the Raje universe. She has been the black sheep of her family, as years ago she made a mistaken judge of character and that person hurt her brother very badly. Since then she and her father have had a strained relationship and she hasn’t been invited to any of their big events. Her brother just announced his run for governor and Trisha is through with being on the sideline, she’s ready to try and get back in her family again.

In other (good) news, Trisha is super excited to work on a new patient, Emma. She has an inoperable tumor wrapped around her optic nerves, and this new tech will remove it and save her life, although it will cause her to go blind. But living is better than dying, isn’t it?

After staying late at the hospital, she then goes to the family dinner/political event (late as usual) and discovers she missed the dinner.

Trisha is starving and decides to head into the kitchen, plays with something at the stove and almost ruins the chef’s sauce. She doesn’t understand why he is freaking out over it-and insults him, even calling him the hired help to her sister.

Meanwhile, across the pond in England, Darcy James “DJ” Caine grew up with his sister, Emma, having very few advantages in life. His father was Anglo-Indian and infuriated his family when he chose to marry a Rwandan refugee rather than a British girl. When DJ’s father passed away when he was young, his father’s family kicked them out of their house and they became homeless. Through a church program, their mother found a job and a place for them to live. His mother worked hard every day to send them to good schools, and in the afternoons DJ watched the landlord’s epileptic mother in exchange for free rent.

While DJ’s mother had high ambitious for her children to become scientists or engineers, DJ connected with his charge-she becoming a surrogate mother- and the two spent hours cooking. Life was hard, but they made the best of it, however it did start to push on him and as a teenager he did get into some trouble. After that he has been on the straight and narrow and went to Le Cordon Bleu and worked in Paris.

He comes to California to help care for his sick sister and through an old friend from Cordon Bleu, he has managed to land the Rajes as clients. He is working so hard to keep them (and hopefully cater more of their parties and events), losing it when a self-absorbed socialite almost destroys his sauce. To add further insult and injury, he not only had to grab the hot pot to secure it and burned his hands, she’s very rude to him, and he also overhears her calling him the hired help.

That should be the end of it, unless she comes to future events, except for one small thing: Emma, (the patient Trisha wants to operate on but doing so will turn her blind), is DJ’s sister. The two are now both thrown together as they work on convincing Emma to take the surgery, but as she is an artist she is very angry and upset about losing her eyesight.

They are then further brought together when Traisha’s sister Nisha, and her brother Yash’s campaign manager, has to take a step back. Nisha and her husband Neel have one daughter and have been trying for years to have more kids with each attempt ending in miscarriage. She’s pregnant again, and even though her doctor doesn’t say to, she decides to go on bedrest, asking Trisha to keep it a secret. With Nisha self-grounding herself, Trisha has to care of planning the next event-which includes the catering with DJ.

Life gets even more complicated when someone from Trisha’s past reenters the picture, Julia Wickham. Julia almost destroyed the Raje family when she plotted and threatened Trisha’s brother. Trisha is scared that Julia might try and hurt Emma and DJ, but she cannot reveal what Julia did as her brother is running for office and the last thing he needs is for all this to come out.

DJ and Emma meet Julia at the hospital, and she offers them a way to pay their medical bills. Julia’s plan is to create videos with Emma sharing about her story and creating a kickstarter so people can donate to it. As their medical bills are extremely high and DJ can only keep them afloat so long, they decide to trust her and let her into their lives. She further gains DJ’s trust when she shares how the Raje family destroyed her, left her with nothing, and she had to fight and scrape together to be where she is now.

That coupled with Trisha calling him hired help, and a few other misadventures, miscommunications, and mistakes between the two-when Trisha finds herself falling in love with DJ and his food, and decides to tell him-he flat out refuses and rips her a new one.

Can they overcome pride, prejudice, their own hurts, and hangups? Or will these two part ways after the dinner and never see each other again? Can they convince Emma to have the surgery? Or will Trisha and DJ lose her? Will they stop whatever plan Julia has? Or will she completely destroy the Raje family.

So I really enjoyed reading this book. In the forward, Sonali Dev states that this was inspired by Pride and Prejudice, but is her own story, and I thought she did a good job bringing in her own “flavor” (bad pun, I know), while creating a new story. I enjoyed how she adapted the story to a modern times, along with Indian culture. I think Jane Austen’s stories are extremely relatable to other cultures, as the elements in there are still present today. Growing up biracial, I could see how with my Mexican side there is still an emphasis of getting married before you are “an old maid”, the importance of family, having children, etc; while with my father’s side (Danish and Sicilian Italian) it isn’t as important. I wouldn’t see mind seeing more culturally diverse Jane Austen adaptions.

However, what I thought was really interesting was how Dev took elements from Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet and used them in both DJ and Trisha. You see at first I thought that Trisha was Darcy (rich family) and DJ was Elizabeth (as he is from a poorer background), but as I read on they reminded me of both the Austen characters.

Trisha as Darcy

  • Trisha has the money & status
  • Trisha insults DJ and he overhears her
  • Had a Wickham try to ruin her family
  • Feels strong guilt over them buying off Wickham instead of exposing her
  • Giving advice/deeply persuading her best friend (cousin)
  • Awful love confession (proposal)
  • Saves love interest’s sister

Trisha as Elizabeth

  • Trisha comes from a big family
  • Trisha was really close to her father (then something happened)
  • Closeness to an older sister
  • Best friend/sister gives advice on love
  • Makes quite a few conclusions and then realizes she was wrong

DJ as Darcy

  • DJ’s family is him and his sister like Darcy & Georgiana
  • DJ has had to be the father for his sister after their father passed
  • DJ’s relationship with his sister is more Darcy & Georgiana than Elizabeth & Jane
  • DJ’s name is Darcy, Darcy James
  • Broods a lot

DJ as Elizabeth

  • Trisha insults DJ and he overhears her
  • Comes from a poorer family
  • Doesn’t like Trisha because of something she says and when he meets someone who shares an unfavorable view of her, he instantly believes her.
  • His father dying and relatives kicking him out (exactly what Mrs. Bennet feared would happen to them)

You should read the book and tell me what you think. Is DJ Elizabeth or is he Darcy? Is Trisha Darcy or is she Elizabeth?

Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet (1940)

One of the most interesting supporting characters is Trisha’s brother Yash and I hope we have a future book with him (although I’m not sure which Austen character he is the most like? Colonel Brandon is the only one I can think off the top of my head that might work). He is a kind and caring older brother, supportive fiancé, survived the machinations of the evil Wickham, was in a car accident and lost his ability to walk-astounding doctors when he made it out of the wheelchair, encourages DJ to go after his sister, and stopped a terrorist attack on Alcatraz (pg. 17). Please tell me he is coming back.

So this book is more than just a story of Pride and Prejudice, it also is a love letter to food and food creation. Parts of it reminded me of my Mexican grandmother who would make things with no recipe but how she was taught and always had to feed us when she saw us. I loved reading about how DJ loves food, his preparation in making it, his desire to bring comfort to others. One of my favorite parts was when he was having a hard time talking to Emma-his worry, anger, and pain muddling up his words, and he put together the perfect breakfast for her.

How sweet!

So reading this reminded me of the show Hart of Dixie. In the show, Mischa Barton plays Dr. Zoe Hart who has horrid bedside manner and instead of her dream job gets told she needs to spend a year in a general practice. She moves to Bluebell, Alabama and ends up inheriting the practice from her biological father (it’s complicated, it’s a soap opera). She is kind of a know-it-all (treating the people of Bluebell lower than her) and focused solely on herself and her plan to get patients and complete her time-but eventually she gets a change of “heart” and grows to love the people and the town.

Trisha reminded me a lot of Zoe Hart. We hear her backstory and where she is coming from, but the way she relates to people-she is as bad as Zoe. They way Trisha treats DJ as he is just a “cook” is the same way Zoe treats Wade as he is just a “bartender”. Both believe they are better than the “hired help”. When she firsts meets DJ she tells him her surgical hands are more important than the dish he was cooking, she eats all the food at the tasting without him, and when she proposes she says she has never dated someone who hasn’t gone to college (forgetting that DJ went to Cordon Bleu).

But even with those flaws, you still want her to have a happy ending with DJ-mostly because like Darcy and Elizabeth, she realizes her wrongs and apologizes for them along with actually changing her behavior.

Emma’s storyline of being an artist with a tumor who’s choices are either death or blindness is heartbreaking. Every part with her was raw and real as she went through the stages of grief-grieving her loss of what she loves. I can’t imagine life without my eyes, and her storyline was beyond powerful.

Life seems grey..

Throughout the book there is also this theme of secrets causing issues and I thought it was really well done. Secrets can cause miscommunication, for instance Nisha doesn’t want anyone to know she is pregnant until she is out of the troubling stage. She makes Trisha promise not to tell anyone, and instead of including DJ in her confidence, her keeping him out of the loop causes some serious miscommunications. Secrets can also keep you from knowing the truth of a whole story and color your views. For instance, Trisha’s mother has a powerful secret she has kept because she doesn’t want her children to view her differently, but revealing it allows Trisha to better understand both her parents.

Hmmm…

At the end Dev says that she is going to write more books based on Jane Austen using some of the characters and I’m thinking it can’t be Nisha as she is already married. It has to be Asha or Yash and Asha sounds prime for a Persuasion retelling-family used to be rich, trying to pick up the financial pieces, always sad, growing older and is still unmarried…perfect for Persuasion.

And I saved the part I found most meaningful for last:

“You’re Indian?” This time the shock wasn’t a surprise. Both Emma and he favored their Rwandan mother.”

Yes! Finally, a book involving not only a multiracial character but finally a voice to what it feels to grow up multiracial. This is 100% truth for how it feels growing up a mix of different races, but your phenotype favoring one, and the way people treat you different.

I loved that this book had a multiracial character, as growing up there were no books or TV shows, except I Love Lucy that had that. Like I said in my review of The Colonel,  I can not express enough with words how it felt growing up and feeling so different and alone, with no one like you. This feeling of inbetween as you don’t really belong to one or the other.

I only wish it had more on DJ’s feelings of being multiracial. I’m not saying that him sharing how it feels to be dark skinned in America isn’t important, but being multiracial has its own set of issues, feelings, and ways of being treated that I wished she had talked more about. Take my niece for example, people would see her and think she is African-American: but she is Italian, Danish, Mexican, and African-American. Not only does she have to deal with the issues that face African-Americans, but she also has to deal with African-Americans not accepting her because she isn’t “black enough” and Mexicans not accepting her because she “isn’t Mexican”.

Any multiracial person can swap out Latino with their race and this describes what it feels like. Although I wouldn’t have used the word fraud.

I’m not saying what Dev has in there isn’t important, it is, I just wish she had expanded a bit more on DJ’s issues of growing up multicultural more. Did people of Indian descent treat him differently because of his dark skin? How did his Emma navigate this? Did he ever have to prove he was Indian, like I’ve had to prove I’m Mexican? I enjoyed what Dev did, I’m just starved for more as there wasn’t anything like this for me growing up.

Hmmm…

I really enjoyed this story, and I want to thank Dev again for including a multiracial character. I thought it was a great read, and I can’t wait for the next installment ( I looked it up, it IS Persuasion) and hopefully her versions of Northanger Abbey, Emma, Mansfield Park, Sense and Sensibility.

For more Pride and Prejudice, go to Pride & Prejudice: A New Musical

For more on Elizabeth Bennet, go to Elizabeth-Obstinate Headstrong Girl: Part II, Other Eras

For more on Mr. Darcygo to Modesto Jane Con: Defining the Definitive Darcy and Lizzie

For more adaptions of Jane Austen, go to Take a Chance on Me: Austentatious (2015)

Tonight Has Been the Birth of the Planet of the Apes: Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972)

Tonight Has Been the Birth of the Planet of the Apes

So we are almost done with out Planet of the Apes Wednesdays I’ve really enjoyed them as I think this has been the first time I’ve actually watched them all in order and completely through.

We open up in America 1991-Gorillas in orange jumpsuits, Chimps in green khakis. A whole new world.

So already digging two things about this film-Yes Roddy McDowell is in this one too (I just love him)! And it sounds as if they brought that awesome music from the first film- a tribal sound mixed with scifi.

So a lot has happened since the last film. It turns out Cornelius and Zira brought a space disease that killed all the cats and dogs in the world. Yes Taylor going through time disrupted the timeline and accelerated it.

Just like Cornelius had said, the people began adopting apes to have them be pets, and then when they become so good at everything, they start treating them as slaves.

All of them

The police/security guards are all dressed as gestapo and the apes aren’t allowed to gather and meet freely. They are training the apes to be slaves, just like Cornelius said in the previous film. Carry packages, tie shoes, shoe-shine, mop, waiters hairdressers, servers, etc. The apes are on leashes, yes they are man sized-look like people but treated like animals.

People are protesting as the apes take their jobs. They really get you on the metaphor. It is interesting as this is clearly speaking from the headlines of the, but some things are still relevant to today.

We see Cesare and the circus owner, Armando (Ricardo Montalban). They give us a brief recap of where we left off in the as film (I summarized above). So Armando has protected Cesare by keeping him away from the cities in his traveling circus. However, they have needed to go to the city to get a crowd and make more money

So WORST IDEA EVER!!! Why would you bring the most sought after talking ape who has been sheltered his whole life to the city where they treat apes cruel. You should have left him with the circus animals.

The police start roughhousing with an ape and, of course Cesare speaks out. They are close to being captured, but the attention is grabbed by someone else and they melt away into the crowd.

Cesare runs away and they hide out for a bit. Armando never should have brought him.

Armando tells Cesare to wait for him, he is going to the police and make up a story. If he doesn’t return by nine o’clock, the plan is for Cesare to head to the harbor and pretend to be an ape fresh off the boat.

Armando ends up in the governor’s office, and they torture question Armando more and more. Armando continues to fight them and protect Cesare. He continues to say that he has no clue about the chimps from space and monkeys.

The governor doesn’t believe him and is taking no chances. In the provinces, where the circus has been-there has been no issues. But in the city, there have been uprisings. One ape attacked his owner, which an aide says was because of excessive beatings, proof seen on the body.  But the governor doesn’t care. He doesn’t like them, and they all must be subservient or ELSE!

So Armando doesn’t come and Cesare sneaks into the harbor with the other apes. They are all freaking out-worried, but Cesare calms them down. When they arrive off the boat they are fingerprinted and taken to be trained.

That’s not good.

I really like the buildings on this, it kind of makes me think of Total Recall set design.

So the guards have flamethrowers, just like the Nazis. Yes, the Nazi vibe is really heavy here. We see it in the uniforms the guards wear, the camps to train the apes in, flamethrowers, apes having to wear certain clothes, apes having to be separate, etc.

Hmm…

Cesare is put in a pen with other chimps and given a banana . The other chimps have been going crazy as they have been starved all day, but Cesare shares the banana with the others.

Meanwhile the guards are torturing I mean questioning Armando. I like how the guards in charge of the apes are a mix of races, although only men. I guess women don’t get to be guards in this new world order.

So Cesare of course is just blowing the guards away with his talent, being much faster at picking up the training.

There are very few orangoutangs in this and probably because they have to be bigger and the makeup budget was slashed. The gorillas and chimps were much easier.

So they breed the chimps and gorillas like in Anthem by Ayn Rand. Cesare gets picked as a breeder and…

This movie is Anthem! Both films have a society were a small elite rule over a larger group that have to do “lower” things like janitorial, shoe shining, etc. They assign certain people to each other and breed them. One man rebels against them, and in Anthem runs off with their lady to recreate society.

Must be why I love that book, (I obviously saw this before I read it.)

Anyways…

They then chain the apes up to monoliths and sell them. Cesare is brough out for the bidding and the guard drops the cuffs and Cesare picks it up and gives it to him. Everyone can see that he is a chimpanzee of great intelligence and he goes for $1500 to the governor! Eep!

That’s not good.

So whenever the people speak to apes they say “no” a lot. I don’t think I say no to my cat that much, but then who could make a cat a slave? No wonder that was Aldo’s first word.

Breck: Ah, it seems the little fella’s not quite so bright after all.

MacDonald: No, but then brightness has never been encouraged among slaves.

The governor lets Cesare pick out his own name, as his wife has all their apes do it, and he chooses Caesar. What book were they looking at that the Cs were in the middle of the book? I guess if it was an “a-d” volume but it was a fat book.

Hmm…

Cesare walks taller than the others and more like a man. He is lead out and intrigued by all that he sees on the world. They climb through these tunnels, and they look like the ones they went through in Beneath the Plant of the Apes Yay! Continuity.

Caesar gets put to work on filing.

Meanwhile, Armando is still in questioning. They finally decide to release him after he signs a declaration. He doesn’t read it, but signs right away. He shouldn’t have don’t that.

Always read before you sign.

They put him under a machine that forces him to tell the truth-see shouldn’t have signed.

Bad luck is never ending!

He fights with them and they beat him, he ends up trying to escape and goes out the window falling to his death.

Ah, poor Armando. He never should have taken Cesare into the world, he should have left him in the circus. But if he had, we never would have had this  film.

Poor Caesar hears of it and cries,. The only father he as ever known!

So the governor obsesses about Cornelius, Dr. Zira, and ape uprising over and over-yet has their child working for him. Seriously-dude.

Caesar begins the uprising, by having all the apes collect items and start saying no. I like how he is there at each uprising-he is either there or his spirit is!

The Governor wants all bad apes to be rounded up and sent to the conditioning center, but because of Caesar’s rebellion the centers are full. He also is searching for the ape, Cornelius and Zira’s baby-convinced it is still alive!

The govenor’s aide, Malcolm Macdonald (Hari Rhodes), thinks the governor is being useless. Making a list of the bad apes, fighting the apes, he thinks he is committing folly and creating more problems, the governor does not agree. However, with all this extra work the governor is making them do, one thorough worker discovers that a crate from Borneo had a chimp in it-the one that was sold to the governor. The Chimp can’t be from Borneo as chimps don’t live there.

Th governor calls for Caesar to be sent to his office, preparing to kill him,  McDonald feels bad and doesn’t send him in as he is on an “errand”.

The governor keeps calling McDonald and he ignores the governor until he can’t no longer. He is at a crossroad, he does’t want Caesar to be tortured and murdered, but what can he do?

Caesar speaks t him, and McDonald’s eyes just go bam with shock-he is a much better actor than Brent.

I like how Caesar and McDonald talk about revolution, McDonald is African American and does’t agree with society, as after all it was only 30 years go (the year is 1991 in the film) that African Americans were be treating similar to how the apes are now. But at the same time he doesn’t want a revolution, killing, etc

“Caesar: [to Malcolm] You above everyone else should understand.”

As they talk the Gestapo come storming down and McDonald’s conscience and morals win out over duty. He releases Caesar and he scurries off. Cesar tries to hide, but is eventually found and chained to be tortured into talking.

They put Caesar into the torture machine to try and get him to talk, to prove he is the ape they have been searching for. He just screams in agony. But eventually the pain is to great and Caesar finally gives in and says help

McDonald sneaks away and cuts the power to let Caesar be free as he doesn’t want him to be electrocuted to death.

Cesar appears to be dead, but I know he isn’t They should know better to always check a pulse! I’ve seen enough horror films. They aren’t really dead right away.

Cesar goes over and kills the guard.The revolution has begun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

La Liberté Guidant le Peuple (Liberty Leading the People)

Viva la Cesare!!!

He goes to where all his ape buddies/followers are waiting and the uprising begins!!!

It is interesting how this film doesn’t have a lot of dialogue, as a majority of your cast is silent, but the film is really intriguing as they know how to show you how you feel. I feel a lot of today’s film’s don’t know how to just give us the visuals and let is be intelligent enough to know what they are trying to show and represent.

Governor calls his men trying to take the apes down, but it’s not gonna work. They are coming for you Man in the High Castle!

You now this film reminds me a lot of I Robot. I think they copied a lot from this film. All the people need to be inside a sthe Ape army marches on.

What the humans don’t realize is that they have been planning for this moment and are prepared to take over.

They police keep telling the apes no and to go back, but they persevere-a silent army that will be be silent no longer.

The apes net the humans, being reminiscent if the first film. Well done writers, well done.

The apes storm across the plaza with weapons picked up from the police they have stopped. Armed and organized! With shields!

But then they stop. What are they waiting for?

Fire, earlier they had poured gasoline in the square and they set it on fire and storm off-ape versus man! I think it is obvious who would win.

Chaos, fire, and fighting-what every Dystopian Future film has to have! (Think about all the ones you have seen, they all have those three things in them).

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO One if the apes burns the books!!!!!!!!! OOOOOOOONOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO I no longer approve of your revolution.

The governor barricades himself, but the apes cut through the door. And in comes Caesar storming the gates and shooting up everyone.

Caesar saves the governor though just to confront him. Caesar asks him why did you turn your pets into slaves? He says because we were born from  you. You are the beast that resides in us and you must be shackled and destroyed.

They take him out t be killed and they stab and kill the humans. MacDonald tries to stop him, telling him what he is doing is wrong. He begs him to show humanity to the men. But Caesar coldly replies that he is not human! Caesar starts giving a speech that is a glimpse of the future (or past film?)

MacDonald: Caesar… Caesar! This is not how it was meant to be.

Caesar: In your view or mine?

MacDonald: Violence prolongs hate, hate prolongs violence. By what right are you spilling blood?

Caesar: By the slave’s right to punish his persecutor.

MacDonald: I, a descendant of slaves, am asking you to show humanity.

Caesar: But, I was not born human.

MacDonald: I know. The child of the evolved apes.

Caesar: Whose children shall rule the earth.

MacDonald: For better or for worse?

Caesar: Do you think it could be worse?

MacDonald: Do you think this riot will win freedom for all your people? By tomorrow…

Caesar: By tomorrow it will be too late. Why a tiny, mindless insect like the emperor moth can communicate with another over a distance of 80 miles…

MacDonald: An emperor ape might do slightly better?

Caesar: Slightly? What you have seen here today, apes on the 5 continents will be imitating tomorrow.

MacDonald: With knives against guns? With kerosene cans against flamethrowers?

Caesar: Where there is fire, there is smoke. And in that smoke, from this day forward, my people will crouch and conspire and plot and plan for the inevitable day of Man’s downfall – the day when he finally and self-destructively turns his weapons against his own kind. The day of the writing in the sky, when your cities lie buried under radioactive rubble! When the sea is a dead sea, and the land is a wasteland out of which I will lead my people from their captivity! And we will build our own cities in which there will be no place for humans except to serve our ends! And we shall found our own armies, our own religion, our own dynasty! And that day is upon you… now!”

So I know some people were upset since Roddy McDowell clearly states in the previous film, that the leader of the one who rebelled against the humans was called Aldo and the leader in this film was originally Milo, then Caesar.

But I think it worked. I mean they didn’t know they were to become the parents of the future leader or plan for it. And it was never thought they would go to the past so the timeline was disrupted, first by Taylor, then Brent, and then Cornelius and Dr. Zira.

Caesar: But now… now we will put away out hatred. Now we will put down our weapons. We have passed through the Night of the Fires. And who were our masters are now our servants. And we, who are not human, can afford to be humane. Destiny is the will of God. And, if it is man’s destiny to be dominated, it is God’s will that he be dominated with compassion and understanding. So, cast out your vengeance. Tonight, we have seen the birth of the Planet of the Apes!

Fire consumes the city and the apes cheer. But what will the future hold? We will find out next Wednesday when I review the last film of the original Planet of the Apes: Battle for Planet of the Apes. 

I wasn’t sure I would be able to do all five but I’m feeling super confident- I think I’ve got this in the bag.

To start Horrorfest VIII from the beginning, go to Count Dracula the Propagator of This Unspeakable Evil Has Disappeared. He Must Be Found and Destroyed!: Horror of Dracula (1958)

For more Planet of the Apes, go to We Think We’ve Got All the Time in the World, But How Much Time Has the World Got?: Escape from Planet of the Apes (1971)

For more Roddy McDowell, go to Take Your Stinking Paws Off Me, you D*** Dirty Ape!: Planet of the Apes (1968)

For more dystopian future films, go to Don’t Go in There! You Don’t Have to Die! No One Has to Die at 30! You Could Live! LIVE!: Logan’s Run (1976)

Book Club Picks: The Mother Keeper

So as you all know I started a book club, because you know me and books…

Every month we read a book and I do a little post on the book we read and discussed. What can I say, I just love books.

There is no theme, other than with each month, a different member gets to pick a book, whichever one they want. This time the book club member chose:

The Mother Keeper by Paula Scott

So in my last book club book review I had chosen The Far Side of the Sea by Paula Scott and our book club actually got to meet her!

Afterwards, we all started following her on instagram, facebook, etc. One book club member spotted this on facebook and afterwards wanted to read it.

Paula Scott told us that she started writing this years ago and tucked it away, bringing it out later when her daughters wanted a romance as she wouldn’t let them read Twilight (thank goodness).

She tweaked it here and there and rewrote it-this being the finishing product.

Jenny McBride and her husband Kevin, live in Colorado, are celebrating New Year’s Eve and ecstatic for their pregnancy. They can’t wait or the baby, dreaming of all the things they would like to do.

Both are Christians and strong leaders in their church. That night Kevin had a drink, something Jenny does not approve of, and she insists on driving them home in the snow. A car comes careening their way, and crashes into them. Jenny loses her uterus, Kevin his leg, and both their baby.

Nooooooooooooooo

Jenny can’t believe this happened to her, her whole life she has been a good Christian and this is what happens to her? She is hurt, depressed, and angry.

Noooo!

Meanwhile, in the country areas of Tennessee, teenagers Ellie Ryan and her boyfriend are making plans for the future. Jamie is a big football star and will get a scholarship, while Ellie can get one with her amazing grades. However, there is one wrinkle-Ellie is pregnant.

That is not good,

She doesn’t tell her boyfriend, she just breaks up with him. She then heads to the pregnancy crisis center where her sister had gotten an abortion before she took off to California. Ellie hasn’t heard from her since.

At the center, Ellie meets Patsy Klein, a pastor’s wife, who invites her to come stay with her and take part in their church’s Mother Keeper program. The Mother Keeper program, is when a family takes in a pregnant teen and helps take care of her until she has the baby. Sometimes they adopt the baby, help arrange adoptions, or just help them until they can figure out their next step. They pay the food and medical bills through church funding/fundraising.

Ellie stays with Pastor Klein, Patsy, and their three boys-Shawn, Seth, and Stephen. For Ellie, this a dream come true as she is finally part a perfect family.

Shawn is upset when he hears that a pregnant girl from Sutterville-Sucksville-is going to be living with  them. He has enough on his plate with football, a scholarship to Vanderbilt, his beautiful girlfriend Jill who desires him. But meeting Ellie and spending time with her-Shawn realizes that the life he has been living isn’t what he wants at all, but what does he want? Now, he doesn’t know.

Hmmm….I need to rethink my life’s choices

As Shawn and Ellie grow closer, Shawn wants to marry her and raise the baby together. But the assistant pastor contacts his sister Jenny, she having gone through a spiritual battle and grief, is ready to adopt-Ellie’s baby. What will Ellie decide?

Many more decisions will be made as secrets are brought out in the open: a secret affair, true parentage revealed, murder, rape, and a fight over who will adopt Ellie’s baby.

Wow!

This was a a fantastic story and a real page turner. Paula Scott doesn’t pull way from anything, but hits the truth hard.

What?

It’s funny because it certain characters reminded me of ones from Desperate Pastor Wives and The MasterpieceThat was completely unplanned by us. In DPW, Jennifer Shores too has lost a baby, and becomes angry with God; having to go through her journey, getting close to God, and figuring what is next in the future. In The Masterpiece, Grace Moore is kept by a family until she has her child, and goes through a similar battle over who will adopt her child, along with having family issues she has to work through.

It was a fantastic book, and I strongly recommend it.

For more Book Club Picks, go to Book Club Picks: Far Side of the Sea

For more by Paula Scott, go to Book Club Picks: Until the Day Breaks

For more Christian novels, go to Book Club Picks: Desperate Pastors’ Wives

No One Would Have Ever Guessed

Jane Austen is the Queen.

Of what, you may ask? The Queen of opening lines.

Now I have talked about this before, but it definitely needs to be going over again. We all talk about Pride and Prejudice:

But you know what, that isn’t the best one.

I know! You are probably freaking out-but it is true. This is the opening line to Northanger Abbey:

“No one who had ever seen Catherine Morland in her infancy would have supposed her born to be an heroine. Her situation in life, the character of her father and mother, her own person and disposition, were all equally against her.”

Wow

Listen to that. AMAZING!!!!

That’s awesome

People look at Catherine and thought she had no chance if being anything but just a regular average person. She had no outstanding family, nothing that at first glance set her apart, she wasn’t drop dead gorgeous-she was a wonderful person but to most just seen as average.

 No one would have ever thought her do have any adventure, have a great romance, mystery, suspense, anything. But guess what, she does.

Wow. I love that. People may see you and judge their expectations of what you will be or achieve based on family, where you grew up, your appearance, whatever- but you don’t have to fall into that line. You can do whatever you set yourself to-no matter what others think.

Don’t hold yourself to others expectations, but achieve your own.

Yep powerful words. Don’t let others views of you or judgement stop you, do your thing. Be what you want. And work to achieve what you are going after.

And Catherine will not let any of those things stop her. 🙂

For more Northanger Abbey, go to Why is Northanger Abbey Always Ignored?

For more on Catherine Morland, go to You Put the Jedi in Pride & PreJEDIce

For more Ayn Rand quotes, go to Why Everyone Should Read Gone With the Wind 

 

Why Everyone Should Read Gone With the Wind

B is for Best-Selling Novel

a69b4ca4298dba8019c409c680b86ba4

Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

When it came to look for a Best-Seller to put on the list I decided to start first with 1916, as that book would be celebrating its 100th anniversary.

Double double yay

But I didn’t see any I was a very big fan of so I went to 1926. Nothing there as well.

uh-no-gifuhno

I decided I would then check 1936 and if I couldn’t find a book I was a fan of I would try 1896, then 1886, then 1876, and then go back to 1946 and on and on until I finally found something.

However, I stopped at 1936 with Gone With the Wind.

a69b4ca4298dba8019c409c680b86ba4

Gone With the Wind was published in 1936 and at time sold 176,000 copies. It was a best seller in 1936 and 1937, winning the Pulitzer Prize in 1937, and by 1938 sold a million copies. In 1939 the film came out and the book sold two million copies.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

My first introduction to Gone With the Wind was when I first watched the film when a friend and I were going through AFI’s list of the best films. We made it to #15 before we became too busy and haven’t finished doing it since.

Oh well.

Oh well.

Anyways, I watched it and thought the movie was really good. The cinematography was absolutely stunning, it was full of good quotes, and Clark Gable was just amazing as Rhett Butler (funny thing is Margaret Mitchell didn’t want him as she thought he wasn’t handsome enough to be Rhett).

d549b4faaf2a3cabbf50d47ae0761bdd

I didn’t care for Scarlett as I thought she was a…

ThewomenBadnameBitch

And thought she was just horrible, not Vivian Leigh’s performance but her.

Then three years later, as it was on my reading list, I decided to read it, borrowing my mother’s copy. And when I read it I was amazed at how it was a truly fantastic book!

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

And I believe that everyone should read it at least once.

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

So the book is a huge epic! It follows the Irish O’Hara clan from the father’s immigration into the new world and settling in the South, the radical changes from the Antebellum period, to the Civil War, and the Reconstruction era.  At the heart of all this chaos is the story of the beautiful, ruthless Scarlett ‘O’ Hara and the dashing soldier of fortune, Rhett Butler.

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

So let’s list off why one should read this book:

A) Shows How the Irish were Viewed in America

GonewithtthewindThomas_Mitchell_as_Gerald_O_Hara

So we start off with Gerald O’Hara, head of the clan. Back in Ireland he was a part of a Catholic Emancipation group, like the Ribbonmen or such and ends up having to flee because of his political activities. He comes to America and isn’t always treated very nicely, as the Irish weren’t. Often they were made fun off, not allowed in certain areas, and thought to be taking over jobs. He starts working in his brother’s store but what he really wants is land, the very land that was denied him back in Ireland as no Catholic Irish could ever own anything.

DreamingCinderella

He eventually wins a plantation in a poker game and spends a long time building it up and having it be one of the richest ones in the area. He then decides to marry, but while these Southern families enjoy his wealth and propsperity; none could ever think of marrying their daughter to an Irish immigrant who’s family is unknown. The only thing for him to do is try to find a woman somewhere else, as he returns to his brother for help in finding a bride.

Yes, most don’t realize this but the wealthy South wanted to be like the old manors of Europe. Be the master of the land with pure bloodlines of other wealthy families, not bringing any low class in, and very racist against any that weren’t established in their group. This kind of racism against the Irish and Catholics went much farther than the South and was seen all over the country. Many times Irishmen and women had the lowest class jobs, found it hard to get land and keep it, and found themselves competing against African Americans who would work for lower wages (in the North). While Gerald O’Hara does extremely well, a lot of Irish weren’t able to ever reach that, especially in the South at this time.

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

B) Scarlet O’Hara

Scarlett-O-Hara-vivien-leigh-14696603-1024-768

Scarlett is a Southern women in the Antebellum period and has very little schooling. All that is expected of her is to marry well and have plenty of children. But Scarlet has always felt different and out of touch with the time she lives in.

scarlett-o-hara-scarlett-ohara-38642541-500-674gonewiththewind

She is extremely intelligent and has great business acumen. In fact it is often remarked that if her brain had been born into a boy she would have been able to go far.

Scarlet doesn’t have life easy either. With the Civil War she finds herself becoming a nurse, a midwife, and eventually has to take on the plantation or risk starvation. Because of those experiences it makes her hard, as with the book we see how she is constantly worried if things will turn out alright, if they can make it, or if they will be back to starvation; everyone looking at her to take care of everything.

I don't know what to do

That is an incredible burden to be laid on a teenager (as she is about 17 or 18), let alone one who’s education was “how to look her prettiest”. She becomes tough because if she doesn’t, none of them will survive.

Scarlett-O-Hara-scarlett-ohara-29273874-500-600gonewiththewind

When the home is attacked, she defends it shooting the deserter and protecting the home and people.

supernaturalgunblowoutdeanwinchesterwestern

Now she does steal her sister’s boyfriend, so she has faults, but she does it because she has foresight none of the others do. He has a hardware store, but when Scarlet takes over she also creates a lumber mill, triples the money, and is able to provide for everyone. Even though she accomplishes all this everyone still tells her she isn’t being a lady, running businesses and doing better than her husband. They try to convince her to stop, but she keeps on doing it. Using her “ladies mind” which contains a powerful way with numbers.

Who'sGoingtoStopMeAynRand

She continues to be this strong, forceful woman throughout the rest of the novel; even though she does make a lot of bad personal decisions. Still, for a woman in the 1800s to have her own business, earn her own money, choose who she will marry (several times), is pretty awesome! She is a powerhouse of a character.

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

C) Not as Racist as People Think

HateTwilightZone

People had slaves and if a book mentions it, that is not racist. In fact in this book the slaves aren’t really shown to be stupid, slow, or other clichés; except Lettie who is mentally disabled (something we understand more now than we did then). There is the house slave who didn’t want to work in the fields, but being a house slave was seen as better than an outdoor slave and slaves on the inside often treated the field slaves as being lower class.

StirsTea

In fact this book isn’t racist to African Americans, but points out racism and hypocrisy that African Americans faced from those who were trying to free them. It is often remarked that while the North wanted the Southern slaves to be free, that did not mean they actually wanted to work with those freed slaves or have them near. There were plenty of racist people living in the North fighting for African American rights, but if they were near an African American they would still treat them cruelly. Mitchell points this out when the new Republicans brought in by Reconstruction say they would never have an African American nanny their children as they have “diseases” and “uncouth ways”. In fact they would much rather ship over an Irish immigrant than ever let their child be touched by someone black.

What jerks

What jerks

Many say that Mitchell started this “Mamie” stereotype  creating a myth that all Africans were pleased with being slaves; which Mitchell does not do. Like The Help, which by the way everyone loved and praised, she shows that because the nannies lived in the house and raised the children they sometimes became like family. It didn’t happen with everyone, but in this case Mamie was a mother to Scarlet more than her own mother.

Also people are all different and have their own views, even if they live in the same area. Mitchell presents a look at the many ways people regarded slavery; indifferent as Scarlet, necessary as Mr. O’Hara; and how some treat African Americans rudely, cruelly, or like family.

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

D) The Person You Love are Not Always True

MiserableHeartmargaretMitchellgonewiththewind

Scarlet is in love with Ashley Wilkes, but they could never marry as her blood (Irish) is too inferior for the Wilkes family. He is to marry none other than his cousin, but instead of flat out saying that to Scarlett, Ashley likes how this beautiful woman who everyone wants loves him and leads Scarlett on, trying to make sure her “flames of love kept burning” because it made him feel good. He was such a jerk and a coward! I mean we’ve all had guys like that who say “they would make the commitment”, but their life isn’t quite together yet. They haven’t reached their plans. And then when you try to move on, they always snag you back, bemoaning that if only things were different; trying to get you to wait for them.

onthehookIMYMwanttobewithyoujustnotrightnowscreen-shot-2016-11-21-at-8-12-18-pm

They get their poisonious hook into you and keep you.

Don'tlovebecauseyoudontdestroypeopleyoulovegrey'sanatomy

My friend was in the snare of a guy like Ashley for three years. He would go on about how they couldn’t be together, she deserved someone better; but as soon as she started to move on or see other people he would pop in about how much he cared about her. Constantly stringing her along in this cycle.

mensayandthinkdifferent

Thankfully she finally realized it or she would have been like Scarlett constantly pining after something she thought she needed when the real prize laid before her. It is horrible, and this book really teaches you the errors of being stuck on someones hook.

HearthasNoRoom trunk

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

E) Stop Looking to the Past

TimeWhenNotBroken

Like most people, Scarlett gets stuck in the past. All she can do is think of Ashley and wish of Ashley.

MoveForwardStopLookingAtPastLeverageNateFord

How many of us have had a broken heart and instead of realizing how that person wasn’t right and deciding to move on, we cling to the past dreaming, wishing hoping. How many of us waste our time like Scarlett?

lovely bones Susie Don't look back

Scarlett was so consumed with her dreams and thoughts of the past that she was blind to the person who really loved her, that if she had only let her dream of Ashley die and stop mooning about him she would have seen how much better Rhett was for her.

moveon

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

F) Never Be afraid to Say How You Feel

newGirlkeepfeelingshiddenturnweird

Everyone talks about Scarlett’s blindness and how she was unable to see what she has but you know who was a real coward? Rhett! Rhett never told her he loved her until the very end. Maybe if he had not been so afraid to admit his real feelings and told her the truth about how he felt instead of distancing himself for the fear of her breaking his heart or lording over him, then they might have had a chance at true happiness.

Yes it can be hard to be vulnerable, or share your heart with others. Things can go very wrong of the person doesn’t care. But they can go just as bad of you say nothing and let the person you love pass you on by.

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

G) Hold On to Tomorrow

tomorrowisanotherdaygonewiththewind

As Little orphan Annie says, “So you got to hang on ’til tomorrow, come what may!” Even after all she’s been through, Scarlett has an optimism that seems to go against everything else about her. She has faith that in tomorrow things can change. Life is hard now but in the flip of a dime it could turn out better. This kind of optimism we should instill in our life as well. Anything could happen tomorrow, don’t give up as things can get better.

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

To start the 30 day challenge from the beginning, go to It Was a Pleasure to Burn: Fahrenheit 451

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

For more on Gone With the Wind, go to At the End of the Rainbow: 17 More Irish Heroes

For more on Margaret Mitchell, go to I Will Survive

For more Ayn Rand quotes, go to The Power is Yours

christmas-flowers-banner

Today’s carol is O Little Town of Bethlehem. Phillip Brooks visited Bethlehem in 1865 and three years later wrote the poem, asking his organist Lewis Redner to write the music.

“As Christmas of 1868 approached, Mr. Brooks told me that he had written a simple little carol for the Christmas Sunday-school service, and he asked me to write the tune to it. The simple music was written in great haste and under great pressure. We were to practice it on the following Sunday. Mr. Brooks came to me on Friday, and said, ‘Redner, have you ground out that music yet to “O Little Town of Bethlehem”? I replied, ‘No,’ but that he should have it by Sunday. On the Saturday night previous my brain was all confused about the tune. I thought more about my Sunday-school lesson than I did about the music. But I was roused from sleep late in the night hearing an angel-strain whispering in my ear, and seizing a piece of music paper I jotted down the treble of the tune as we now have it, and on Sunday morning before going to church I filled in the harmony. Neither Mr. Brooks nor I ever thought the carol or the music to it would live beyond that Christmas of 1868.”

Amazing. Now it is famous and such a part of the festive year. My favorite version is the Nat King Cole one.

christmas-flowers-banner

For more Christmas carols, go to We Wish You A Merry Christmas

The Power is Yours

So today is a very important day.

im-importantbigdeal

It is not a holiday or anniversary; but much more important.

Hmm...

Hmm…

Today is Voting Day!

vote

Whatever party you are, it doesn’t matter; you get yourself to the polls and honor the right that the people who created this country fought hard to win.

4thofJuly

The right that people die trying to keep safe for us.

veteransday

A big thank you to all servicemen, past and present

This is a right that not every person in the world has, but we are lucky enough to have. So exercise that right!

Let'sdothis

I will end this post with one political thought. Here is a quote I think encompasses my beliefs and something I hope you all consider as you think long and hard about who to choose in any office.

aynrandcommunismsocialism

And to quote Forrest:

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

For more on voting, go to Right to Vote

For more Ayn Rand, go to A Real Individual

A Real Individual

individualrights

Yes, if we really want to be an “individual” or “individualist” we have to care about each person’s inalienable rights, the core things that belong to each person, and not protect or one group (or minority).

individualrightsaynrand

Sometimes we might not respect their choices or beliefs, but by trying to force them to abide by your thinking, and take those rights away- that is just wrong. I may not agree to what others say, think, or believe; but I respect your right to do so. I only ask that you respect mine.

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

For more from Ayn Rand, go to Move It or Lose It

For more quotes from Atlas Shrugged, go to Where We’re Going, We Don’t Need Roads

For more quotes, go to You’re My Best Friend

Move It or Lose It

Who'sGoingtoStopMeAynRand

Yep, I’m doing what I want and haters better get out of the way.

Future

Yep, nothing is going to get in my way.

nothinggoingtogetinmywaystopme

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

For more Ayn Rand, go to Helping Hands

For more Last Kiss comics, go to Small and Proud

For more on Matthew Wilder, go to I’ll Make a Man Out of You

Helping Hands

Help. Sometimes we want it and sometimes we don’t. Sometimes we want to give it and sometimes we’d rather not. Well, this is my view on it:

Helping-Handk

And for expectations after you help:

acceptinghelp

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

For more on Lloyd Alexander, go to Remember, Remember the 5th of November

For more on Ayn Rand, go to Where We’re Going, We Don’t Need Roads

For more of my favorite quotes, go to The Eye of the Storm

Where We’re Going, We Don’t Need Roads

So it’s that time of the year again!

Happy-New-Year

It’s time for our year in review! This is a time to reflect on what the past year held for us, the big posts, what’s new, and what you all seemed to like the most. 😀 Something I did this year that I have never done before is post every single day, in fact I have reached my 300th and 400th post in this year.

Double double yay

So even though what I have listed below may seem like a lot, especially compared to the previous year’s reviews, this post is actually only covering a few things. You really should check out the year yourself. To start at the beginning go here.

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

1) The Views

DisturbWhileRead

This year I had 31000 views!!!! Isn’t that amazing! I had only 9,542 views last year, which means this blog has widely grown! I have all of you to thank along with twitter and the good people at Buzzfeed who have been using my pics and linking them back to me. The top viewed day was October 11, in which I posted my review of Scream 2It’s Happening Again, Isn’t It?: Scream 2.

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

2) The Number One Post

Princess Leia

The number one post this year came during my 30 Days of Disney (see #17) in which I wrote about my favorite Disney princess. Since Disney has acquired Lucasfilm that makes Princess Leia a Disney Princess, and, in my opinion, the ultimate one. To read more go to A True Princess.

Second place went to a post from my first Valentine’s Day countdown, Fulfilling the List: A Walk to Remember. In third was a post from my 2013 Halloween countdown, I Saw Goody Osburn With the Devil: The Crucible. In fourth place a post dedicated to my sixth month anniversary, Happy Anniversary. And rounding out this list we have in fifth place, a post all the way from my first holiday countdown, HorrorfestA Monster Race: Scooby-Doo and the Reluctant Werewolf

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

3) The Followers

Thank-you-in-many-languages

So this community has really grown in numbers and I can not describe how pleased I am about that. We have gone from 14 followers in 2012 to 42 followers in 2013, and are now at 169. That’s amazing!

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

So enough about the statistics and numbers! Let’s move on to what was covered this year and what changes I have made to the blog!

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

4) Quotable Quotes

yourlifeAynrandatlasshrugghed

I started a new category this year called Quotable Quotes. These are different quotes from books or sayings that I just absolute adore. Since I’ve added it, I’ve had a gazillion of them posted. In fact, almost every post has a quote or saying now incorporated in it. Be sure that 2015 will bring many more!

For more on Ayn Rand, go to In Their Proper Place: Metropolis (1927)

For more Quotes, go to The Final Chapter

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

5) Social Media

Twitter

This year I have expanded myself throughout social media! I am on facebook, twitter, and tumblr. Follow me for extra goodies, including my #ManCandyMondays and #FilmFridays.

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

6) Quizzes

MeanGirls

Go here to see who you are

Another new category I added this year was quizzes. Everyone loves personality quizzes, right? Well I’ve decided since I love to take them, that I might as well incorporate them in my posts. They are fun, and I always include the link so you can take your own.

For more Quizzes, go to What a Fanatic!

For more on Mean Girls, go to Food, Food, Food!

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

7) Chinese New Year

HorseCard

With 2014 we saw a return of the Chinese New Year post, but it being a bit different. Because there are so many lovable Horse characters, I decided to list 14 of my favorite fictional horses from books and movies; instead of favorite moments involving horses. To read the post, go to A Horse’s Tale

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

8) Romance is in the Air: Part II

Valentines

I brought back my Romance is in the Air: 14 Most Romantic Moments. I have to say some of them may be unusual, but my blog, my choices. The movies I covered were: It Happened One Night (1934), It’s a Wonderful Life (1946), Roman Holiday (1953), Mystic Pizza (1988), The Little Mermaid (1989), Anastasia (1997), Flintstones Viva Rock Vegas (2000), Princess Diaries (2001), The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002), Love Actually (2003), The Notebook (2004), Persuasion (2007), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II (2011), and Catching Fire (2013)

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

9) Scenes from My Life 

StoryOfMyLifeSomeLikeItHotMarilynMonroe

As every year I like to include little snippets of my everyday life. Such as my brush with death in Final Destination: Bike Edition. A weird experience in the mall, A Trip to the Mall Turns Into the Twilight Zone. Getting attacked in Snow White of a Day. Phone harassment by an ex-girlfriend in Do You Know Where Alex Is? A teddy bear I could NOT get rid of no matter how hard I tried in The Teddy Bear that Would NOT Die! My views on clothes of the day in Fashion Show. A day of incredibly BAD luck in Just One of Those Days…Nights…No DaysHow ordering pizza can be more than ordinary in Pizza Delivery. My attempt to start a revolution and its failure in Viva La Révolution. My attempts to dye my hair in That Girl is Poison. An exercise attempt gone horribly wrong in The Little MorelandA chance meeting with a really hunky guy in Just a MomentHow chickens really hindered my day in Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?  And an attack by a Christmas Tree in O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree.

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

10) My Favorite Movie Lines

MovieQuotes

As promised I brought this back! I tried to post every month 100 of my favorite movie lines: Episode III: Revenge of the My Favorite Movie Lines, Episode IV: A New Favorite Movie Lines List, Episode V: My Favorite Movie Lines List Strikes Back, Part VII: It Was Said One Night, Part VIII: The Little Movie Line List, and Part IX: Adventures in Movie Lines.

In June I did a whole post on my favorite Disney movie lines, Episode VI: Return of the Favorite Movie Lines ListIn October I did a post on my favorite horror film lines, Part X: The Movie List That Would Not DieAnd in November, I did an ’80s themed post: Part XI: A Movie Lines List Excellent Adventure.

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

11) Verne’s Back

TheReturnoftheLivingDeadVerne-PosterArt

2014 saw the conclusion of the Verne Saga. Some of you may have read my Verne Saga, but for those of you who have never heard of it before, Verne was a guy who kept hitting on me and never leaving me alone. Everytime I thought it was over, he’d pop up again. Although this last sighting was the very last one…I hope.

To read the Verne Saga from the beginning,  go to Flirting With Disaster

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

13) Honoring Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice Book Cover

Two years ago marked the 100th birthday of Pride and Prejudice and I was hoping to do extensive posts on the book; going over the novel, reviewing books based on it, movies, TV series, etc. Unfortunately, things happened and I was unable to continue. However, I did pick it up this year, and here are the posts I did on it. In Flu Season I talk about how Kitty is treated unfairly. In Just Can’t Get a Break I discussed how worse off Mary has it. In First ImpressionsI talked about all the wrong things Mr. Darcy did when he was introduced to everyone. In Oh NO YOU DIDN’T I wrote on Elizabeth’s reaction to Darcy calling her “tolerable.” In The After Party, I wrote on how one always discuses what went on during a dance when it has ended. In An Assembly Such As This, I reviewed Pamela Aidan’s first novel in the Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman series. Be assured there are plenty more to come.

Now when I was working on going through the novel, I decided it was unfair to the rest of the works to ignore them all. So what I have decided is that I am going to try and do all at the same time. Reading so many chapters in one, and matching that in all the others. Of course, along with doing books based on, films, etc. I have already started on Sense and Sensibility. 

sense-and-sensiblity

I have so far done only one post on it, A Family Affair, but there are plenty more coming. I also will be doing something on Emma as December 25th marks her 100th birthday as well.

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

14) Painted Portrayals

Bethphage-Jesus-enter-Jerusalem

For Easter, I once again discussed different pieces of Art that depicted Christ. This year I chose The Last Supper by Juan de JuanesDuccio’s Betrayal of Christand Reubens’ The Elevation of the Cross

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

15) Musical Stylings of Me

SabrinatheTeenageWitchgroovin

So I continued my posts of my favorite songs. This year I covered The Final Countdown by EuropeUnbound (The Wild Ride) by Avenged Sevenfold, Carry on Wayward Son by Kansas, Na-Na-Na (Na-Na-Na-Na-Na-Na-Na-Na-Na) by My Chemical Romance, Highway Star by Deep Purple, Rock You Like a Hurricane by The Scorpions, Animal I Have Become by Three Days Grace, and In Love with the ’80s (Pink Tux to the Prom)There will be many more as I love music!

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

16) Scenes of Supernatural

wantManSupernatural

Since my love of Supernatural is extremely strong and I include stuff from them all the time (i mean they have a gif for everything), I have also included a Supernatural category this year. There is plenty in the past and even more of Supernatural in the future.

For more on Supernatural, go to I Before E, Especially After P

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

17) 30 Day Challenge: Disney Edition

DisneyLove

Every day in the month of June I did a post on something I love about Disney. I’m such a Disney girl, that these were hard choices but I was able to complete them all. Day 1) Your Favorite Disney Princess, Day 2) Your Favorite Disney Prince, Day 3) Your Favorite Disney Heroine, Day 4) Your Favorite Disney Animal, Day 5) An Underrated Disney Movie, Day 6) Your Favorite Disney Villain, Day 7) Your Favorite Disney Male Sidekick, Day 8) Your Favorite Disney Female Sidekick, Day 9) A Disney Film You Like but Others Hate, Day 10) The Most Aesthetically Pleasing Disney Film, Day 11) Your Favorite Disney Song, Day 12) Your Favorite Disney Love Song, Day 13) Your Favorite Disney Villain Song, Day 14) Your Least Favorite Disney Song, Day 15) The First Disney Movie You Ever Saw, Day 16) A Disney Movie that Makes You Laugh, Day 17) Your Least Favorite Disney Classic, Day 18) Your Favorite Disney-Pixar, Day 19) Your Least Favorite Disney-Pixar, Day 20) Favorite Disney Sequel, Day 21) A Disney Movie that Makes Your Cry, Day 22) Saddest Disney Death, Day 23) Your Favorite Disney Theme Park Ride, Day 24) Your Favorite Disney Kiss, Day 25) Your Favorite Disney Classic, Day 26) Your Favorite Disney Original Movie (DCOM), Day 27) Your Favorite Disney Hero, Day 28) Your Favorite Scene from Your Favorite Disney Movie, Day 29) Your Favorite Disney Remake, and Day 30) Your Favorite Disney Character of All-Time.

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

18) Getting Over a Heartbreak Series

HeartHurtsDon'tKnowCanDoAgainHeartbroken

This July I started a series of songs to help someone get over a break up. I would post every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday from July to September. It was a lot of work but fun as well. The songs I chose were If It Means a Lot to You by A Day to RememberThe End by SilversteinI Don’t Love You by My Chemical RomanceNow You’re Gone by Everyday Sunday, Heartbreak Hotel by Elvis Presley, Good or Bad by Action Item, Love Stinks by The J. Geils Band, That’s What You Get by Paramore, Chin Up Kid by Forever the Sickest KidsI’ll Be Alright Without You by Journey, For a Pessimist, I’m Pretty Optimistic by Paramore, Missing You by John Waite, Gone Forever by Three Days GracePut Me Out by The Used, But It’s Alright by Huey Lewis & the News, Since U Been Gone by Kelly Clarkson, Move Along by The All-American RejectsUp and Up by Relient K, Red Rubber Ball by The Cyrkle, Over You by Daughtry, I Don’t Want to Be in Love (Dance Floor Anthem) by Good Charlotte, Here I Go Again by Whitesnake, Love Will Find a Way by Pablo Cruise, Don’t Stop Believin’ by JourneyThe Lining is Silver by Relient K, Whip It by Devo, Be Good to Yourself by Journey, Any Way You Want It by Journey, Unbound by Avenged Sevenfold, Here I Go by Relient K, and I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor.

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

19) Harry Potter

Harry Potter Slytherin

So this year I read all the Harry Potter books and saw all the movies. I am planning on doing a post on my thoughts of them soon. (I just have so many ideas and never enough time!) But because of that, I included a new category on Harry Potter and have mentioned it in many posts. And, yes I am a Slithryn, just like my favorite character Snape.

For more on the Harry Potter Series, go to When in Doubt

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

20) Horrorfest III

horror films

So this was the third installment of my horrorfest series, that is 31 days of horror films or Halloween episodes.

I covered the following films this year: Metropolis (1927), The Wolf Man (1941), Shadow of a Doubt (1943), Laura (1944),  Under Capricorn (1949), Dial “M” for Murder (1954), I Was A Teenage Werewolf (1957), Queen of Outer Space (1958), Jaws (1975), An American Werewolf in London (1981), The Terminator (1984), Scream (1996), Scream 2 (1997), Phantoms (1998), Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet the Wolfman (2000), Scream 3 (2000), Along Came a Spider (2001), The Ring (2002), When A Stranger Calls (2006), The Mist (2007), The Lovely Bones (2009), Vampires Suck (2010), The Wolfman (2010),  Scre4m (2011), Godzilla (2014), and Gone Girl (2014). 

I also reviewed the following TV episodes: Happily Ever Aftermath from Grimm, Monster Movie from Supernatural, Tuesday the 17th from Psych, and Who’s Afraid of Cory Wolf? from Boy Meets World, 

And I did a post on 100 of my favorite movie lines from horror films, Part X: The Movie List That Would Not Die. 

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

21) The Fifth of November

V for vendetta V remember the 5th of november

So celebrating the 5th of November isn’t exactly new as I have done it in the past. However, the last time I did it, it was on Doc Brown’s amazing idea of Time Travel. This year I did it on V for Vendetta. To read the post, go to Remember, Remember the 5th of November.

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

22) Fandom Posts

tumblr_static_keep-calm-and-join-fandoms

This year I started a series of posts on things I am a huge fan of or fandoms I am in. It was supposed to just be one post, but instead has become very many. I post every Sunday, with each post covering six of the things I fan over. So far I have covered: Agatha Christie, Alfred Hitchcock,  Anne of Green Gables, Archie ComicsThe Avengers, Avenged Sevenfold, Awkward, Back to the Future, Batman, Bones, Boy Meets World, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Captain America, The Chronicles of Narnia, Copper, Criminal Minds, CSI, DanisNotOnFire/Dan Howell, Deadwood, Diagnosis Murder, Disney, Downton Abbey, Frank Peretti, The 4400, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Friday Night Lights, Game of Thrones, Garfield, Gilmore Girls, The Godfather, and Jane Austen

If you would like to check these out, go to Fanning All Over the Place, Simply Fantastic, Fantastic Fantasies, A Whole Lot of Fanfareand What a Fanatic!

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

23) Thanksgiving
give-thanks-to the lord 1 chronicles

Two years ago I did a Thanksgiving post, and I decided to do it again this year. I not only talked about what I’m thankful for, but pie, Twin Peaks, and Supernatural.

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

Last year I mentioned I found this on Pinterest:

Jar of memories

But I ended up with so much stuff I actually had to do a shoebox full. Just so you all know, I will be posting on that shortly.

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

So happy 2015 everybody!

And don’t forget to dress like this!

backtothe future2

And this!

Backtothefuture2

May this year be as awesome as always imagined!

happy_new_years_2015backtothefuture

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

To read a review of the year 2013, go to Looking at the Past, Focusing on the Future

For the review of the year 2012, go to Looking Back, Moving Forward

For more on Back to the Future, go to Just a Friendly Reminder