Every Month at the Quarter Moon There’ll be a Monsoon

So I have experienced quite a lot of terrible rainstorms.

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When I was nine there was a tornado warning on my birthday. (My birthday takes place in a season where there is zero rain, so it was a really random year.) There ended up being no tornado, but it was really rainy and windy.

I don’t remember it being too bad as we didn’t have to do anything in school but hng out (away from the windows, and we all got picked up from school early. I spent the rest of the day chilling, happy birthday to me.

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Then there was the time I went to Arizona right in the middle of monsoon season. The rainstorms don’t last long, but they are extremely powerful and crazy. And of course because this happens only one week out of the year, they don’t build the buildings with the capacity to handle such storms, i.e no rain gutters to catch the rain or storm drains. There was water coming from everywhere. It was like Jumanji.

At one point my sister and I were running to our hotel room (in our shorts and tank tops as it was too hot for either of us to bring a coat or sweater) and when we almost reached it, we were hit by a waterfall of water streaming off outdoor walkway. We both were totally soaked.

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Then there was that time during my freshman year in school were we had crazy rainstorms up until the beginning of May. Things were so bad that one week (right before finals) they canceled classes that met in the lower floors of the buildings and were all issued a flood warning. In fact it got so bad they had to sandbag some of the buildings, as the nearby river began to overflow.

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Then there was Wyoming. Now that rain is tough. It doesn’t pour down on you, but the wind moves so fast that it knocks the rain drops into your body and face, making you feel as if you are being punched by a million tiny fists.

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The wind completely tore my umbrella, in fact it wasn’t until a second storm weeks later that I was able to find all the pieces of it.

I’m telling you, those Wyoming storms are crazy. I could barely find my way home, and was completely soaked from every inch.

Sadface Batman

But the worst storm happened last Sunday. I woke up, planning on getting ready for church when I looked outside to see water just pouring down from the skies. It was as if a faucet had been turned on full blast. Just gallons of water everywhere! Like you needed an ark to maneuver out of there.

There was no way I was going to drive in that!

Ahhh!

Ahhh!

So I waited until there was a break, but then I had the worst luck ever! As I was driving, the street that goes across one of the freeways’ light was broken!

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It was totally scary! Cars were just crossing all over the place, barely managing to dodge each other. I swear I saw like ten near accidents as I sat waiting for my turn.

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I had to wait at least 20 mins, using a car making a left turn as a shield and praying that no one hit me.

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Then later as I was driving, I noticed that on the one way road I was going down, there was a section completely filled with water.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

There was nothing I could do but go forward. Praying again, but this time that my car wouldn’t get stuck in the water.

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I was somehow able to push through, and get to church.

Finally something GOOD!

Of course being California, two hours later the rain had stopped, the sun was out, and the only markers of the deluge were a few puddles.

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Well that’s life in the golden state.

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For more adventures in the rain, go to It’s Raining, It’s Pouring

For more on living in California, go to England Dreamin’ On Such a Summer’s Day

For more adventures from my everyday life, go to A Baker’s Four Dozen

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Now for today’s Christmas Carol, I have chosen When Christmas Comes to Town from The Polar Express. 

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I think it is a cute song and my favorite from the film. I thought it was just so beautiful; the lyrics and the very talented voices.

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For more on The Polar Express, go to 25 More Films of Christmas

For more Christmas Carols, go to God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

 

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O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

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So I don’t know about you all but my family actually cuts down our Christmas Tree. We always go the day after Thanksgiving to the black friday sales, and then a few hours to the forest to cut down our tree.

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Now some of you may wonder why we would go through so much trouble? Why not buy a fake one? Well I’ll tell you why:

1) The permit to cut down a tree only costs $10. That means you can get as big a tree you want for only ten bucks! For instance we got a 12 foot tree for 5% of the cost of  buying one from a lot.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow

2) Cutting down your Christmas tree is very good for the environment.

Say What

 I know many of you have just read that and are probably saying to yourselves this girl is stupid, but just hear me out. You see trees grow in clumps and while that is a great thing as they share resources, protect each other, pollinate each other, etc. However, at times this can be bad. Sometimes trees grow too close together that they are unable to get their share. Often times one, or all, the trees will die as there isn’t enough to go around. Cutting down your own Christmas tree from one of the clumps means that one side might be a little thinner (you just aim that side in the corner) and it helps the other trees grow big and strong. Also periodically clearing out sections of trees protects them in the summer when there are threats of forest fires. And of course, this cutting isn’t a free for all. You can only cut from certain sections, therefore protecting a wider majority of trees. You also have restrictions on the tree size. Your trunk can only have a diameter of 6 inches and there is a restriction of high the stump can be. These regulations keep older trees protected, along with making sure people are not cutting off the tops and leaving the rest of the tree.

That's a lot!

That’s a lot!

3) Cutting your own tree means that it will last longer. You see one of the biggest problems with tree lots is that these trees are cut at the end of November, shipped over to the city they will be sold, and hanging around on pavement until they are sold. They are not getting the same TLC or water and a lot of them die really early, shedding tons of pine needles along the way. Now when you cut your own tree, it is nice and fresh and lasts much, much longer. As I said we always get our tree at the end of November and take it down at the end of January. We could keep it up longer, but usually by February we are packing up our Christmas stuff. Besides longevity, it also smells absolutely wonderful.

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And with cutting down your tree there are always adventures. Three years ago I went with my parents and we brought my two nieces, my nephew, and our dog. We hiked all over the area in the snow looking for the perfect tree.

We finally found it and my dad cut it down using a manpowered saw rather than a chainsaw. I tried to help him but it was hard work and both of us were pooped. He was really tired so I had him rest and had to carry that tree on my own. Let me say, I’m never doing that again. It was sooo heavy! I don’t know how I was able to carry it even for a minute.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow

After my dad’s rest we finished moving the tree to the truck. After that I had to carry the three kids as the snow embankments had grown larger, and they wouldn’t be able to make it out. Yep, every time I feel like something is too hard, difficult, or heavy, I just remind myself that I carried a tree down a mountainside. I rule!

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And this year wasn’t any duller. There was no snow as we’ve been suffering some strong dry spells, but we still had a lot of fun hiking up and down the mountainside for that perfect tree. When we found it we cut it down (using a chainsaw this time) and started to head down the mountainside. Now, we’ve been doing this since I was like 13, but this year something happened that had never happened before.

As we started down the hill trying to bring the tree to the truck, my dad yelled at us to turn the tree as he wanted the weaker side pointed to the ground as that side was to lay in the flatbed. As we turned the tree, BAM! SMACK!

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The tree branches kept smacking me in the face. And when I mean kept, I meant it didn’t stop. I guess it was the section of the tree I was in, but I couldn’t see a thing, just branches and branches smacking me in the face.

I felt as if it was like in The Wizard of Oz when the trees come to life and start smacking Dorothy.

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It was almost like it was mad at me for me cutting it down.

When we got home we got it out of the truck and was taking it into the house and had to turn the tree again. Now this time I had stood on the opposite side of the tree, hoping that would keep it from hitting me, but now once again tree slap.

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Hair everywhere, I can’t see a thing, I’m afraid my glasses might get knocked off and go flying, and I am praying so hard that I do not fall in our pool.

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Luckily we get it in the stand and straighten it out. And boy does it look lovely. It kind of makes up for the abuse it gave me.

Now my abuse from the tree branches doesn’t end there. Oh, no! You see after I graduated and interned this summer; I moved back home. I’ve been trying to find a job, but this is pretty much what it is like.

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So to fill the time until I am hopefully hired, I am volunteering at quite a few places. One of which is my local museum. So last week I headed down there as it was my turn to work the desk. I brought with me some pine clippings from our tree as the museum was decorating for Christmas. Well it turned out that they didn’t have as many volunteers as they hoped, so they asked me to help with the decorating. I thought okay, it will be fun.

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So I thought decorating meant we were going to hang ornaments on the tree.

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We were making these giant wreaths.

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So I was paired with one of the volunteers and let me just stop and share something with you. Most of the volunteers at the museum are older, like 60+. So the woman I had wasn’t the most helpful. You see you take branches of the tree and put them on a plastic doughnut, tying them down with string or wire as you go along. Adding more and more branches until it is filled. However, that’s not what happened here. My helper laid tons of branches down and then sat down as she couldn’t tie them on. I tried to tie the branches down, but the wreath slipped and they all went crashing to the floor.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Yep, I had to do everything over, but this time I did it right. As I continued, more people came and helped out which was nice. It was a really hard process though as it had rained for the past three days, and all their tree clippings were soaked, making the already hard job of trying to tie them down even harder!

Replace Rothbart with wreath

Replace Rothbart with wreath

Finally we had completed it and I was tired. It’s a lot of bending over and being pricked/stabbed by the wire and tree branches. I sat down for a bit but then had to move on to making garland.

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OMG it was so hard. You have a piece of rope and have to twist tie the branch to the rope. Yep, those flimsy little twisty ties. IT TAKES FOREVER! You keep placing branches over and over each other to make it fuller and until you cover the rope. This is extremely hard. At times I was trying to use one of those flimsy things to tie three branches together! And because a lot of people had to leave, I had to do it all on my own. By one fourth of the way I wanted to burn the thing.

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We had a time limit to this as at noon the county was sending over free labor and the right machine to hang this things high up on the walls. So when every team completed theirs and saw I wasn’t even at the halfway point they all descended on me to help out.

Now you think this would have been nice, and it would have if it was one or two, but there were like five trying to take over the tying or telling me what to do. It made me feel kind of surly:

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But I just kept to myself, trying to be professional.

After that my shift was over and I headed home, bearing more battle wounds that those brought on by the slapping tree. My hands were covered in cuts and they hurt sooo bad, my back was aching from bending over, my feet were sore from standing, etc. But hey beauty is pain, and the place sure did look amazing!

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Merry Christmas!

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For more on Christmas trees, go to On the  7th Day ‘Til Christmas

For more on Christmas, go to the 25 Films of Christmas

For more moments of my every day life, go to How Can This Be?

For more on the Wizard of Oz, go to My Favorite Movie Lines

For more of my favorite songs, go to Fantastic Fantasies

For more of my favorite quotes, go to When in Doubt

Even a Man Pure of Heart: The Wolf Man (1941)

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“Even a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers by night, may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright.” 

This is such an amazing film as the story is excellent, the acting superb (Lon Chaney Jr. + Claude Rains). It is also a member of Universal’s Classic Monster Movie Collection, its buddies being The Phantom of the OperaFrankenstein,  The Bride of FrankensteinThe MummyDracula, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, etc. And this post means that I have finally, finally finished the list I set out to complete two years ago.

But what really makes this a spectacular film is that many of the modern myths of werewolves were originated in this film: such as a person becoming a werewolf through a bite; the only way to kill a werewolf is with a silver bullet; and changing into one during a full moon. These are all original concepts created by writer Curt Siodmak. Isn’t that amazing! Like The Mummy and The Creature from the Black Lagoon this film isn’t based on a book or any specific resource, which allowed the writers a lot of leeway in their work and creations.

So this isn’t the first werewolf film, as that was The Werewolf of London, which actually did rather poorly in theaters. This was the second werewolf horror film to be made and become the most famous. All the later depictions such as: The Howling, An American Werewolf in London, I Was a Teenage Werewolf, Van Helsing, The Wolfman (2010), etc.looked to it in creating their stories.

So the film was originally written for Boris Karloff, but he turned it down. And although I love that man [read my The Mummy (1932), Frankensteinor The Bride of Frankenstein post] I can’t imagine this film being as amazing with him as the title role. Lon Chaney Jr. was just superb. Lon Chaney Jr, was the son of the famous Lon Chaney (who I talk about in my Phantom of the Opera post) and interestingly the set that was used to film this movie was the same used for The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923) which starred Lon Chaney Jr.’s  father, Lon Chaney.

Unlike other films, The Wolf Man is the only Universal monster to be played by the same actor in all his 1940s film appearances; Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943), House of Frankenstein (1944), House of Dracula (1945), and  Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948).

Now I love this movie and story but it is soooo sad as well. Here is a wonderful man pure of heart, who has the unfortunate luck of being bitten by a werewolf and can’t do anything to stop it. Unlike modern movies where the person can control it, change at will, etc; in the original when the man transformed into a wolf he literally transformed into becoming a beast and losing all his humanistic thought, reasoning, etc.

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So the film starts out with Lon Chaney Jr. as Lawrence Talbot returning home.

Look at this sweetheart

Look at this sweetheart

His older brother has died, and as he is the second son he will now inherit everything–money, title, family home, etc. More importantly, after the realization that his brother is no longer, Lawrence AKA Larry, is eager to rebuild his relationship with his father. They had previously parted on not the best terms (he wanted to be an engineer his father wanted him to be something else. He decided to run away to California, against his father’s wishes).

Larry reacquaints himself with the village, taking a deep interest in a particular shopkeeper, Gwen Conliffe, who is unfortunately engaged. However, she is equally interested and as Larry buys a silver-wolf handled cane the two make a date to meet up later that night and visit the gypsies that are camping nearby.

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  That night Larry meets up with Gwen and her friend Jenny. The three make off to the gypsies passing some wolfsbane along the way. Both girls repeat the old gypsy folklore about wolfsbane:

Even a man who is pure in heart

and says his prayers by night

may become a wolf when the wolfsbane blooms

and the autumn moon is bright

Now what is really interesting about this old piece of folklore is that it isn’t that old. This quote has been thought to be an Eastern European folk saying, but Siodmak admits that he was the one who made it up. Even though that might be true, it went  down in film history becoming a part of almost every future Werewolf film and recited in every future Universal film appearance of the Wolf Man. [It is quoted by Van Helsing, but one of the lines was changed to “The moon is shining bright” instead of “The autumn moon is bright“]

Meanwhile, in the gypsy camp one of them has a terrible secret. Bela, played by Bela Lugosi, is actually a werewolf and hiding it from everyone.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow

When the group gets to the gypsy camp and have their fortunes read, Bela sees the pentagram on Jenny’s hand and knows that she’s next for death.

Ahhh!

Ahhh!

 

Bela runs off and the trio start walking home. Soon Jenny is attacked by a wolf and Larry tries to save her. He wrestles with the wolf and kills it by braining it with his cane. (It being silver can kill it) Unfortunately, he couldn’t save Jenny and during the battle, he ended up getting bit…

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Making him the next werewolf.

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The next day the constable comes to visit, causing Larry to second guess himself as they found a dead Bela instead of a wolf!

Say What

They found Bela beat in the head, and Larry’s silver cane matches perfectly as the weapon.

Col. Paul Montford, chief constable: [showing Larry’s stick to him] Is this your walking stick?

Larry Talbot: Why, yes. That’s the stick I killed the wolf with.

[Sir John Talbot and Col. Montford look at Larry with great concern]

Sir John Talbot: Larry, Bela the gypsy was killed last night. Your walking stick was found next to the body.

Larry Talbot: You mean, Bela the fortune teller? But… I only saw a wolf.

Larry is completely confused as he knows that it was a wolf. And how does that explain the murder of Jenny? Which was done by a wolf? The constable tells him he is still investigating as he really doesn’t want to arrest the Lord’s son, especially since there are so many questions. He ultimately deems the incident an accident.

Larry on the other hand is extremely puzzled. Could he have killed Bela? But he saw a wolf he was bit by one. Except the mark can not be found!

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Larry needs answers and decides he will go see the Gypsy woman and not only apologize for her son’s death but ask her what is going on! Gwen and her fiancé Frank go with him.

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The gypsy woman, Maleva reveals that he did kill a wolf–a werewolf. Her son Bela was a werewolf and the only thing that could kill him was silver, silver like the silver on his cane.

Maleva: You killed the wolf.

Larry Talbot: Well, there’s no crime in that is there?

Maleva: The wolf was Bela.

Larry Talbot: You think I don’t know the difference between a wolf and a man?

Maleva: Bela turned into a wolf and you killed him. A werewolf can only be killed by a silver bullet, or a silver knife…[looks down at Larry’s walking stick]…or a stick with a silver handle.

Larry Talbot: You’re insane! I tell you, I killed a wolf! A PLAIN, ORDINARY WOLF!!!

Maleva: Whoever is bitten by a werewolf and lives becomes a werewolf himself.

Larry Talbot: Ah, don’t hand me that. You’re just wasting your time.

Maleva: The wolf bit you, didn’t he?

Larry Talbot: Yeah. Yeah he did!

Maleva: [Larry shows Maleva his chest wound concealed under his shirt] Go now – and heaven help you!”

 

Larry of course doesn’t believe her and leaves. That night he transforms into the WEREWOLF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now the transformation was laborious. The makeup took six hours and was the design by  Jack Pierce  for Henry Hull in Werewolf of London Hull had rejected it as he didn’t like how long the process would be to apply it. Chaney Jr. claimed he had to sit motionless for hours as the scenes were shot frame by frame. Pierce used grease paint, a rubber snout, wigs, and glued layers of yak hair to Chaney Jr.’s face. Larry’s dissolve transformation on screen only took seconds, while in actuality it took almost ten hours as they had to keep reapplying layers for the changing fur.

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That night the Wolf Man attacks a grave-digger, Richardson.

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The constable and the Doctor finds his ravaged body and wolf tracks.

Meanwhile, Larry finds himself in bed with wolf tracks all around and has finally decided that the gypsy women must be telling him the truth. He talks to his father who just thinks that he is in shock and doesn’t take any of the “werewolf nonsense” seriously. He even calls the doctor who deems it just a mild form of hysteria.

The Constable and doctor prepare the woods to catch the wolf so that it doesn’t kill another person. The nigh as Larry as the Wolf Man  steps in one of the traps and gets caught. Luckily the Gypsy woman frees him, as she had  felt sorry for his predicament.

Larry transforms back into a human and asks the Gypsy woman and for help. She gives him a charm that will protect him from turning into a werewolf and warns him not to give the charm to ANYONE ELSE AS IT WON’T WORK FOR ANYONE ELSE!

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He then runs off to see Gwen to tell her that he is leaving. He knows he has killed the others and doesn’t want to hurt anyone else.

“Larry Talbot: You wouldn’t wanna run away with a murderer wouldja?

Gwen Conliffe: Oh Larry, you’re not. You know you’re not.

Larry Talbot: I killed Bela. I killed Richardson. If I stay here any longer, you can’t tell who’ll be next.”

Gwen tries to get him to take her with him as she loves him, but Larry sees the mark of the pentagram on her hand and tells her he can’t. Instead he gives her the charm. YES THE CHARM  THAT IS ONLY SUPPOSED TO PROTECT HIM! Really Larry? REALLY??????!!!!!!

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YOU ARE MAKING THE  SAME FREAKIN’ MISTAKE THAT EVERY OTHER MONSTER FILM HERO DOES!

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DID YOU NOT HEAR THE WOMAN EARLIER? SHE SAID IT WILL WORK ONLY FOR YOU! ONLY FOR YOU!! ONLY YOU!!! YOU KEEP IT! What’s the point of going to a gypsy for help if you ARE NOT GOING TO LISTEN????!!!!!!! I mean this is such a classic mistake made by these men in these horror films. In Dracula, he gives the girl the cross charm that is supposed to protect only him, and then gets knocked out and is unable to keep her from being kidnapped. In The Mummy, he gives the girl the charm that is only supposed to protect him, and it doesn’t work for her. Instead Imohtep knocks him out and takes the girl anyway. MORAL OF THESE STORIES, KEEP THE DANG CHARM!!! DON’T GIVE IT AWAY!!! Alright! So if any of you are given a protective charm you freakin’ keep it!!! YOU HEAR ME????!!!!

And now that I got that little rant out of my system, let’s get back to the story.

So Larry goes to see his father and asks him to lock him up; tie him up in a chair, lock the door, etc and to go far, far, away as he doesn’t want him to be hurt. He also gives his father his silver cane as he knows that it will protect him.

Now this is why I hate modern interpretations of werewolves, except for The Wolfman (2010), as they never capture this aspect of the story. Here is a good man who has become evil, but he doesn’t want to be evil. It wasn’t like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in which Dr. Jekyll made a choice, or even The Phantom of the Opera where he suffered such horrible things and had a complete snap and broke down. This was a good man who wanted to fix bad things in his life but the timing was off and he too is caught up in the evil. Modern interpretations also never cover the heartbreaking scene as this with his dad. He knows he can’t control the evil and the last thing he does is try to protect the ones he loves, first Gwen and then his father. The most emotional is the scene with his father, as here is a man he has been fighting with, had a horrible relationship, but you see in this moment how much love he has for his father. He gives him the cane as he wants his father to be safe, no matter what. And you see how much his father loves him by taking the cane, even though he thinks Larry is delusional.

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Gwen is worried about Larry and goes looking for him, running into the woods even though the Gypsy warns her not to. I mean seriously, why don’t we listen to the Gypsies? They are gypsies, they know stuff.

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So Gwen runs out and into Larry, who has escaped from his room. But instead of the sweet, adorable, loving Larry we are confronted by the horrible beast.

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But before the werewolf can do anything, Sir John comes and hits him with the cane, killing him.

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The constable and doctor presume that Larry was killed trying to save Gwen, but Sir John knows the truth and now is left alone and has to bury his other son.

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Maleva: The way you walked was thorny though no fault of your own, but as the rain enters the soil, the river enters the sea, so tears run to a predestined end. Now you will have peace for eternity.”

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Yep. I have to say that this is one of my all-time favorite horror films. Although it makes me want to cry every time. 

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So that was our kick-off piece. Stay tuned for many more wonderful pieces to come!

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For more on The Wolf Man (1941), go to Pink Elephants

For more on werewolves, go to A Halloween Hello from the Austen Men

For more monster movies, go to They’re Coming to Get You Barbara

For more on Claude Rains, go to Universal’s Classic Monster Movies

For more on Bela Lugosi, go to I Bid You Welcome

For more films that spanned countless sequels and remakes, go to Everyones Entitled to One Good Scare

At the End of the Rainbow: 17 More Irish Heroes

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

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“Those Irish men and women…[who’s] rich vitality and culture they brought with them. Britain, the U.S. and many commonwealth countries are richer for their presence.”   –Tony Blair

So I picked seventeen of my favorite Irish characters from film, TV, and books. I had to get a little more creative as I used up a lot of my all time favs last year. Next year I might have to do only seven. So they mostly turned out to be cops, but I swear I didn’t plan that, it just kinda happened. Hope you enjoy! 🙂

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17) Irish National Quidditch Team from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Harry Potter is about to start his fourth year at Hogwarts, but before the term starts he will be joining the Weasleys and Hermione Granger at the Quidditch World Cup to see Ireland vs. Bulgaria. While there, Voldemort’s followers come and fire the Dark Mark into the sky, signaling that Voldemort will return soon. At Hogwarts, they are hosting the Triwizard Tournament, however, only those over 17 will be allowed to enter. The Goblet of Fire ends up choosing  Fleur DelacourViktor Krum, and Cedric Diggory to compete in the tournament. But to everyone’s surprise, the cup chooses a fourth name, Harry Potter. The four compete in many tasks, surmounting in the final course, conquering a maze. There they discover that the Champion cup is a Portkey that takes them to Voldemort and allows him to begin his evil plan.

Why they are awesome:

First of all, let me just say that I LOVED this book. The movie was so-so, but the book was amazing. Anyways, so the Irish Quidditch team is super cool. They were up against Krum, who is pretty tough, the Bulgarian Veela and still managed to make it out on top. They didn’t catch the snitch but were able to still win with a score of  170-160. Pretty sweet.

For more on Harry Potter check out Even After All This Time

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16) Greta Conroy from  The Dead

The Dead is by James Joyce and about an Irish family and friends celebrating Epiphany. Three spinsters, Aunt Julia, Aunt Kate, and Mary Jane are hosting a party. Gabriel, the nephew and one of the main characters, attends the party with his wife Greta but rejects his Irishness, wanting to be more British and his ideas clash with the others at the party.

Why Greta is Awesome:

Greta is awesome because she has to put up with a lot having a husband like Gabriel. He doesn’t want to visit West Ireland were she is from, tries to force all these modern ideas upon her and the family; etc. But Greta, while she compromises at times, as that is crucial to every relationship, she doesn’t always give in. She sticks to her guns if it is something she really cares about. Greta also lost the boy she loved when she was young, and has persevered through that pain all the years. She married and move on with her life, no one ever knowing about the travesty in her past. A real warrior, she is.

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Freddy The Dead

15) Freddy Malins from  The Dead

The Dead is by James Joyce and about an Irish family and friends celebrating Epiphany. Three spinsters, Aunt Julia, Aunt Kate, and Mary Jane are hosting a party. Gabriel, the nephew and one of the main character, attends the party with his wife Greta but rejects his Irishness, wanting to be more British and his ideas clash with the others at the party.

Why Freddy is Awesome:

Now when we are first presented Freddy, he seems like the fullfillment of the Irish stereotype. He is slovenly and drunk, but as we see more of him, you find out that there is much more to him then meets the eye. (Plus his mom is always ragging on him and saying he is a horrible, stupid person. I think she would drive anyone to drink.) Joyce purposely had Freddy be the stereotype, so that when he revealed more of who he was it would make you refrain from making rash judgements and make his character of being kind and caring even more surprising. When Aunt Julia, retired singer, performs and doesn’t do that well, he immediately jumps up and compliments her. When everyone is saying bad things about the Irish opera singers and such, he pips up and not only praises them but the African-American singer. Kudos to Freddy always speaking his mind and being adorable.

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14) Gerald O’Hara from Gone With the Wind

Gone With the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell, is the story of a Southern family that goes through some 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.

Why Mr. O’Hara is awesome:

Now I know a lot of people hate this movie, but trust me the book is much better. You really get a better sense of the characters and really understand their motivations and what in the past made them who they are.

So in the movie we don’t get much of the dad. We see a bit of him in the beginning and then when he goes crazy from grief and loss of his wife. But in the book he was pretty cool. Back in Ireland he was a part of a Catholic Emancipation group, like the Ribbonmen or such. He has to flee Ireland because of his illegal activities. He comes over to America who works with his brother in his store, but decides that he wants to have more. He wants to be one of higher position and actually does it. Pretty sweet for any immigrant. He wins the plantation in a poker game and builds it up, creating a vast fortune. He tries to marry, but isn’t completely ingrained in Southern society. They like him but don’t “know his family”, you know how people were. So he goes back to his brother so that he can find someone, and falls for the beautiful Ellen, from a very old, established family. Everyone tells him he’s stupid for thinking that he could ever win her heart, but he does. (Her heart being broken from her cousin does help the situation). O’Hara is pretty cool; political activist sticking it to the man, self-made millionaire, and won the heart of the prom queen equivalent; daddy O’Hara is one amazing guy.

For more on Gone With the Wind, go to My Favorite Movie Lines

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Len Cariou 'Murder, She Wrote' (1985) 2.1

13) Michael Hagarty from “Widow, Weep for Me” Murder She Wrote

Jessica Fletcher goes undercover at a Caribbean resort to discover who murdered her friend. When she gets there she finds sand, sun, and plenty of suspects.

Why Michael is Awesome:

Michael is an ex-MI5 agent and has a colorful past. He is debonair, great in a crisis, handsome, and has an amazing accent. 🙂 He is a great character that helps Jessica catch the real killer. He’s the type of guy you’d always want on your side (crack shot, safe cracker, etc) and to date. It’s the accent and lethal skills. 😉

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12) Lily the maid from The Dead

The Dead is by James Joyce and about an Irish family and friends celebrating Epiphany. Three spinsters, Aunt Julia, Aunt Kate, and Mary Jane are hosting the party. Gabriel, the nephew and one of the main character, rejects his Irishness and clashes with others at the party.

Why Lily is Awesome:

We only get a small glimpse of Lily in the book and film, but what we see of her is awesome. Lily is a modern woman, not one to be subservient in spirit. The aunts are starting to dislike her as she is no longer as malleable as she was, but more opinionated. Besides, I love her snarky remark when Gabriel suggests that she will be marrying soon; “the men that is now is only all palaver and what they can get out of you.” Gabriel is shocked at her for saying such things, but Lily just tells it like it is.

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11) Connor McGuire from A Passion Most Pure

Connor McGuire is a total bad boy. After his father died, Connor turned away from the life he was living only focusing on himself and pleasure. He goes after Charity O’ Connor, but finds himself falling for her older sister Faith, even though he doesn’t agree with her faith. Connor finds his life being changed by the O’Connor clan, Faith and WWI.

Why Connor is awesome:

While originally Connor was a class A jerk, (on par with Glenn from The Wedding Singer) later on he changes his life and becomes an extremely endearing man. Faith and his war buddy Brady’s faith really infect Connor and makes him reevaluate his life. He becomes a better person, adding to his attractiveness. When he reenters Faith’s life, instead of trying to freak her out or hurt her, like before, he only cares about making her happy. He knows that she is getting married, and keeps his distance from her, only caring for her happiness. Of course, in the end, the two get together as they are perfect for each other.

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Shawn Spencer

10)Shawn Spencer from Psych

Shawn Spencer has been trained by his dad to cultivate his photographic memory to become super observant, analytical, etc; all in his efforts to create the perfect cop. However, Shawn  resists his father and rebels against him. Eventually to escape being imprisoned for knowing too much about recent crimes and figuring out who the perpetrator’s are, he lies to the Santa Barbara Police Department, saying he is a psychic. He then finds himself working alongside the cops; particularly head detective, Carlton Lassitar, and his partner Juliet O’Hara.

Why Shawn is awesome:

Shawn can be a jerk, childish, selfish, and a bit whiney at times; but all in all he is one pretty cool guy. He may be a goofball, but he is also highly intelligent, passing the detective test 100% at age 15, often feeling that things are too easy for him. He has great taste in films and music, making all these references that I absolutely adore. While he often uses Gus; his money, car, etc; he cares for his friend and would do anything for him. He cares for all his friends helping Lassiter when he was in a crime-solving slump and thought to have committed murder, Chief Vick from being fired, etc.  As the series progresses, Shawn matures; refraining from his previous extreme narcissistic tendencies. He and Juliet start dating in the last few seasons, this relationship really changing his childish ways, but not too much, as Juliet’s level-head and stable life works really well with Shawn.

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Billy The_Departed_

9) Billy Costigan from The Departed

The Departed is a great film that gives a dual view of one main event. Colin Sullivan has been raised by mobster Frank Costello, and is a mole for him in the Massachusetts State Police’s organized crime unit. Billy Costigan comes from a criminal background, but instead of graduating from the academy and going into law enforcement he gets placed undercover to figure out who is the rat is and bring him down. The two start living similar lives as they both start a relationship with the same psychiatrist and both become heavily stressed as they get closer to finding out who the rats are.

Why Billy is awesome:

Billy sacrifices himself as a mole for the department. That’s a huge risk to take, working for the underlords, having to play a role 24/7, no one ever knowing who you are or the good you are doing, etc. Plus he really kicks butt when he takes out guys as his cover. I mean imagine the pressure he is under and how awful it would be. And he is so patriotic, how he gave his life over because he believed it was better to do it this way. Plus he tries to kill Matt Damon, and anyone who does that is AWESOME! I hate Matt Damon, go to number 3 to read why.

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8) Scarlett O’Hara from Gone With the Wind

Gone With the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell, is the story of a Southern family that goes through some radical changes from the Antebelluem 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.

Why Scarlett is awesome:

Okay so I know, I know people really hate her. She is horrible and does some horrifying things in the film, but the book is much, much, much, much, better. Trust me the book was awesome I recommend reading it. (Just FYI there will be posts on some of my favorite quotes from this book. I don’t know when, but they will be a-coming.)

So Scarlett has a bunch of bad qualities, yes its true. She is selfish, a man stealer, a horrible mother, cruel, and stuck in the past. She does ruin her relationship with Rhett because she is so hung up on stupid Ashley. I thoroughly recommend this book for anyone who just ended a relationship, as it shows you why you must move on!

However, she is a pretty cool character with a lot of good qualities. Okay so Scarlett is a Southern women in the Antebellum period and has very little schooling. In fact she has very little worth or path in life other than to marry and have children. But Scarlett doesn’t follow that path. She lives her own life and does her own thing, not because she wants to, but because there is no one else to; so takes it upon her self to get things done. She works the land, runs the plantation, pretty much becomes the head of the household. It’s all on her to make sure everyone has food. Then a Union deserter comes around and she takes him out. She uses the gun that Rhett gave her and makes sure that her family and womanhood is safe. She does steal her sister’s passive and simple beau, but whips him into shape, making him and her family sucessful. She also operates a lumber mill, while not being the most highly educated, still having a brain for numbers. Now everyone tells  her she isn’t being a lady, running businesses and doing better than her husband. Everyone tries to convince her to stop, but she keeps on doing it. Power to you!!! Here is a woman who is doing whatever she wants, what makes her feel strong; even it it means going against society. She continues to be this strong, forceful woman throughout the rest of the novel; even though she does make a lot of bad 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!

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Seamus McFly

7) Seamus McFly from Back to the Future: Part III

So 1985 Doc has been sent back to the Wild West, and its up to 1955 Doc to send Marty back so that he can save him. While there, Marty meets his newly immigrated family and discovers that Doc doesn’t want to return to the ’80s but enjoys living in the West. However, after discovering that Mad Dog Tannen (Biff’s grandfather) is out to kill him Doc agrees to return with Marty, that is until a pretty young teacher catches his eye. Then Mad Dog decides that he will switch his vendetta to Marty. Now both are in a dilemma.

 Why Seamus is awesome:

So this is the second year in which a Back to the Future character and a Michael J. Fox character has made it onto the Saint Patrick’s Day countdown. Let’s given them a big round of applause! Now back to business.

First of all he is played by Michael J. Fox. Instant Win. Anyways, Seamus is Marty’s great-great grandfather, newly Irish immigrants. He discovers Marty, after  he was chased by Native Americans and fell. Even though he doesn’t know him, and his wife says that he should’ve left him, Seamus helps him because he believes it is the right thing to do. Seamus is awesome, because even though he is bullied and harrassed by the Tannen’s he ignores it. Now that takes a lot of self-control and patience and fortitude to just ignore it and keep going. To be able to walk away from a fight because you know the issue is not that big a deal, that’d you’d rather not die over a silly argument. He became this way after his brother Martin, Marty’s namesake, was provoked and killed in a knife fight. His wisdom and positivity teaches Msarty to control himself as well, and helps make his future better.

For more on Back to the Future, go to The Clock is Ticking

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6) Maggie McKendrick from The Parent Trap (1961)

Sharon is traveling to camp from California. She meets Susan from Boston. This wouldn’t be unusual except for the fact that they look exactly alike. That’s right, Sharon and Susan are twins, separated after their parents divorced, each getting one to take home with them. The two become friends and decide to switch places in order to get to know the other parent and reunite their parents. Unfortunately, a lot has changed while Sharon was away. Her father met someone and is engaged! Now the girls are trying to reformulate their plan to break up her dad and his fiancé, and get the mom to CA and back with the dad.

Why Maggie is awesome:

So if you haven’t guessed this is the original, and while I like the remake, this one is just so amazing. First of all it has Maureen O’Hara. I just love her!

Anyways, Maggie is super cool. When Sharon (pretending to be Susan) comes home with pieced ears and short hair, she doesn’t freak out, or get angry, but instead praises her daughter and supports her decisions. Not only does she approve, but tells her she looks wonderful.  When she discovers that her ex-husband, and love, is going to throw his life away on a vapid, horrible, cruel gold-digger; she goes out there and fights for her daughters and her  man. And instead of being mean or bitter; she just acts her beautiful nice self; winning everyone over. The fam is going to go on a camping trip and Vicky gets jealous about Mitch and Maggie spending time together, Maggie steps aside; not only because she knows Vicky will reveal her true colors, but because she is the bigger person. She’s just a sweet, considerate, kind, and a bit edgy person; someone you can’t help but love.

For more on Maureen O”Hara, check out the 25 Films of Christmas

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5)Faith O’Connor from A Passion Most Pure (Different Synopsis from the one before)

Faith O’Connor has only ever loved one man, Connor McGuire, who after his father’s death drastically changed and is no longer the man he once was. Faith finds comfort in her faith, and keeps praying and loving him silently. Faith and her sister Charity have always been rivals and now Connor is courting her sister while at the same time making a play for Faith. This story spans from Boston to Europe as the beginning of WWI changes everything.

Why Faith is awesome:

Faith is amazing. She recovered from polio and her twin sister’s death. She has to contend with her younger sister being prettier and attracting all the beaus, with little Faithy always bullied and left in the dust. But even through all this she continues to pray and show her love for others. She is never mean, bitter, harsh, or cruel to anyone; even to her sister, who steals both of the men she loves; Conner and her fiancé, Mitch. Instead Faith just tries to be kind and care for everyone.

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4) Juliet “Jules” O’Hara from Psych

Psych is about a super observant man, Shawn Spencer, who pretends to be a psychic for the Santa Barbara Police Department. His pharmacist friend, Burton Guster, assists him and the two work with head detective Carlton Lassiter and his partner Juliet O’Hara.

Why Jules is awesome:

You might recognize her from the DCOM Model Behavior (one of two people on this list who have been in DCOMs). Jules is the young police officer who moves from Miami to Santa Barbara when Carlton Lassitar’s old partner is transferred. Jules may be a very pretty, bubbly, sweet, rainbow-sunshine kind of girl; but she is not just bubbles and fizz, but is a very deep and intelligent person. She has scored the highest on the detective test (second to photographic memory Shawn), beating Carlton Lassitar. She also is fluent in Spanish, due to her time in Miami. While she is gentle and sweet, she can be gruff and unmoving when she needs to be; holding her own and not allowing anyone to walk over her. She and Shawn Spencer end up getting together and her stability and his goofiness work well together.

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Staff Sergeant Dignam The Departed

3) Staff Sergeant Dignam from The Departed

Mark Wahlberg is the second person on this list to make a return from last year, read it to see my thoughts on The Fighter.

The Departed is a great film that gives a dual view of one main event. Colin Sullivan has been raised by mobster Frank Costello, and is a mole for him in the Massachusetts State Police’s  organized crime unit. Billy Costigan comes from a criminal background, but instead of graduating from the academy and going into law enforcement, he gets placed undercover to figure out who is the rat is and bring him down. The two start living similar lives as they both start a relationship with the same psychiatrist and both become heavily stressed as they get closer to finding out who the rats are.

Why Staff Sgt. Dignam is awesome:

Like I mentioned in A Horse’s Tale, I can tolerate very few Matt Damon films. However, I absolutely love Mark Wahlberg, he’s just so attractive! Anyways, Mark Dignam is the one in charge of the undercover unit, and one of two who knows that Billy is the department’s rat. He is a great cop who really cares about ending the crime in the area, and about the people in his unit. When Colin starts messing with his investigation and wants names, instead of giving in Dignam just takes a leave of absence, disappearing rather than reveal who his person is. However, the best thing about Dignam, besides the fact that he is Mark Wahlberg, he takes out Matt Damon! 😀

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2)Kevin “Corky” Corcoran from Copper

Copper is about the NYPD in the mid 19th century. New York is a crazy place with the Civil War  going on bringing tension between Southerners and Northerners; the racial clashes between “Americans”, “White” Europeans, Irish, and African-Americans. Corky is one of the “coppers” trying to keep the notorious Five Points in line with its murders, thievery, prostitution, opium trade, etc.

Why Corky is awesome:

Now Corky isn’t perfect, but he is one pretty awesome (and Hot!) guy. Corky, while having faults and vices, is one pretty honorable person who tries to be just and fair, caring for all in his community. He tries to save a child prostitute from her slavery; love and be true to his wife, even when she cheated on him and killed their child; one of the few men who is not a racist, not only respecting Dr. Freeman, but becoming really good friends with him. He makes sure prostitutes are not mistreated, people are not unjustly thrown in prison, women are not accosted by their landlords, and those that break the law, hurt others, molest/rape children get what’s coming to them. That’s another thing that makes Corky so amazing (and sexy!) is that he not only a honorable man, but one of action who goes out and takes care of things.

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1) Carlton “Lassie” Lassiter from Psych

Psych is about a super observant man, Shawn Spencer, who pretends to be a psychic for the Santa Barbara Police Department. His pharmacist friend, Burton Guster, assists him and the two work with head detective Carlton Lassiter and his partner Juliet O’Hara.

Why Lassie is awesome:

Now I have a huge TV crush on Carlton Lassiter, its a little hard not to. He is pretty awesome (although tightly wound). Now some of you may recognize him as the evil leprechaun from the DCOM Luck of the Irish, for more on that check out last year’s post. However, as Lassie, Carlton is far from evil. Carlton is a strictly by the book kind of guy; SB law, the Constitution, NRA, etc. He is a great cop, a bit old fashioned, but stubborn, persistent, etc. While he can be pigheaded, truth be told it would be hard dealing with Shawn all the time. He is a huge Clint Eastwood fan, wishing he could be Dirty Harry or Tom Highway. He also loves Westerns and wants to be a modern day cowboy. He is a huge Civil War history buff and takes part in reenactments. He knows how to shot like every type of gun and has built up a immunity to chloroform. However, the best thing about him is how strongly he throws himself into relationships. He does everything he can to try and work things out with his ex-wife (really not wanting to get a divorce). True he did cheat on her with his old partner, but they had been separated for quite some time and she was porking around with someone else. (Doesn’t make it right but it is understandable). However, the best thing was when his gf was arrested and imprisoned (she stole blood from a blood bank for her sick brother), he went and visited her every time he was allowed to. Nothing kept him from being there or true to her. He also did everything he could to free her from the jail. So sweet! 🙂

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So Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! I know I’ll be wearing green, just so no stupid  kids try and pinch me. And watching this movie like I do every year.

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But I hope you all have a wonderful day in however you celebrate it.

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Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

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I’ll Give You the Moon: It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)

Romantic Moment #12

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It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)

So exactly one year ago I did another It’s A Wonderful Life post for the Valentine’s Day countdown. I swear I didn’t plan this, I only got the idea for it when I was doing my The Notebook post as Noah wanting to redo a house made me think of how Mary loved that old house and she and George renovate it for their family.

Now this movie holds a special and dear place in my heart. Even though it is now considered a Christmas movie, it is one of my favorites to watch anytime because of the great message. Here is one man who helps and touches so many others, without even realizing the affect he has on everyone. He may not be a famous or a millionaire; but in his kind and quiet way is helping everyone in the town. I also love it because Jimmy Stewart is in it, and he’s my favorite actor. Plus the film is directed by the amazing Frank Capra. He is my second favorite director and I simply adore practically every film he has made.

We start off It’s a Wonderful Life, with all these people praying for George Bailey, (Jimmy Stewart); for God to please help him in his time of need. God decides to send in an angel to help him. We hear all this from Joseph, an angel overseer, who selects Clarence for the job. Joseph fills Clarence in on George’s backstory so he will know what lead George up to this point in his life.

From a young age George was a leader and eager to travel the world. When he was 12, he saved his brother from hypothermia, rescuing him when he fell into some icy water and sacrificing his ear. He works at a pharmacy and saves Mr. Gower, the pharmacist, from jail time when he points out that Mr. Gower accidentaly messed up the dosage on account of him being distraught over his own son’s death. We are also introduced to Mary, a girl a few years younger than George, who declares she will marry him and love him forever.

Fast forward the years and George is now 22, and eager to go off into the world. He was working for his father at the family’s Building, Saving, & Loan; until his brother graduated, and now he is going to use all the money he put aside and go off for college. That night he goes to Harry’s grad party and hijinks ensue. He and Mary fall into the pool and enjoy a romantic moon-filled night.  But unfortunately as George and Mary are getting closer together; George’s father becomes ill and dies. The only way to keep the family business going and save people from evil Mr. Potter is to stay. So George does for another four years, sending Harry off to college instead.

Fast forwarding again, and Harry, George’s brother, is back from college. But instead of staying, he is going to work for his wife’s father. George is distraught at having to stay in the town longer, but after finally admitting his feelings for Mary, is happily and ready to start a life with her.

It is after George and Mary’s wedding, and the two are excited to leave the town for their honeymoon.Once again as George is preparing to leave the town, something happens to get him to stay. (The man just can’t get a break.) There is a run on the bank and to calm everyone down, George and Mary sacrifice all of their honeymoon trip money. That night he goes home, and Mary has taken an old abandoned house and made it their home.

Potter becomes worried about George’s affordable housing project, and tries to hire him, but is turned down by George’s morals. He and Mary start a family.

WWII comes and George still can’t leave, his ear keeps him from enlisting, but Harry makes all kinds of victories and earns all kinds of medals.

On Christmas Eve, the Bailey’s are preparing for a Christmas welcome for Harry. Sadly, forgetful Uncle Billy loses the money is supposed to withdraw. Potter calls in an audit and sicks him on George, hoping to get the Savings and Loan. George looks everywhere but can’t find the money. He even goes to Potter (who secretly has the money) sends the cops over to arrest him for bank fraud.

George is desperate and when Clarence comes he wishes he was never born. Clarence grants his wish and he sees without him, the affordable housing project, and all the things he does to help the people; the town is now full of sleazy nightclubs, stripper joints, bars, pawn shops, etc. Without him Mr. Gower was sent to prison for poisoning the child, as there was no George to stop him. Martini does not own the bar, as he was never granted a loan by George. George’s friend Violet Bick is a stripper and gets arrested as a pickpocket; as George wasn’t around to help her out and she had no other alternative. Ernie is helplessly poor, with his family having forsaken him. Uncle Billy has been in an insane asylum for many years since he lost his brother and the family business. Harry is dead as a result of George not being there to save him from drowning, and the servicemen he would have saved also died. George’s mother is a bitter widow, and Mary is a shy, single, librarian. Clarence then explains how George single-highhandedly prevented this dire fate. He, and he alone, kept Potter in check, preventing the town from descending into squalor and vice.

George wishes to live again and Clarence grants it. He runs home to face the bank examiner, the auditor, and the police. He doesn’t care as he is with his family. Everyone he knows brings money to help pay the $25,000. His brother Harry skips dinner with the President to be home and support George.

Most Romantic Moment:

So this year’s most romantic moment comes right after George had visited Harry’s graduation party. There he ran into his best friend’s sister, Mary, who had also just graduated. Mary has always had a crush on George and he has realized that she is no longer a little girl. The two dance the night away, falling into the pool and getting wet.

George is walking Mary home and throws a rock at an old house (something everyone does in the town). If you hit a window, then your wish will come true. George throws the rock and hits the window. When Mary asks about his wish, George tells Mary about how he wants to leave Bedford Falls. Mary listens, picks up a rock and throws it herself, hitting the window. George tries to get her to tell her what the wish was, but she won’t say anything. George tries to get more out of her asking what she wants.

George Bailey: What is it you want, Mary? What do you want? You want the moon? Just say the word and I’ll throw a lasso around it and pull it down.

It is sooooo romantic!!!! Here he is telling Mary that anything she wants he will try and get for her. That nothing is too much for her, even the moon is not too far out of reach! Anything is possible when they are together. He would do anything for her, anything.  I would love it if a guy said that to me. Class A pick up line! 🙂

For more on It’s a Wonderful Life check out the 25 Films of Christmas

Bringing the World to Your Backyard: It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

Romantic Moment #12

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It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

Now this movie holds a special and dear place in my heart. Even though it is now considered a Christmas movie, it is one of my favorites to watch anytime because of the great message. Here is one man who helps and touches so many others, without even realizing the affect he has on everyone. He may not be a famous or a millionaire; but in his kind and quiet way is helping everyone in the town. I also love it because Jimmy Stewart is in it, and he’s my favorite actor. Plus we also have the film directed by the amazing Frank Capra. He is my second favorite director and I simply adore practically every film he has made.

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Now this may come as quite a shock, but I am not choosing the “Lasso the Moon” scene as my romantic moment. I know, I know; it’s a great scene and I absolutely love it, as I do every scene, but I thought I’d move us into a different direction.

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We start off It’s a Wonderful Life, with all these people praying for George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart); for God to please help him in his time of need. God decides to send in an angel to help him. We hear all this from Joseph, an angel overseer, who selects Clarence for the job. Joseph fills Clarence in on George’s backstory so he will know what lead George up to this point in his life.

Flashback

Flashback

From a young age George was a leader and eager to travel the world. When he was 12, he saved his brother from hypothermia, rescuing him when he fell into some icy water and sacrificing his ear. He works at a pharmacy and saves Mr. Gower, the pharmacist, from jail time when he points out that Mr. Gower accidentally messed up the dosage in  draught on account of him being distraught over his own son’s death. We are also introduced to Mary, a girl a few years younger than George, who declares she will marry him and love him forever.

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Fast forward the years and George is now 22, and eager to go off into the world. He was working for his father at the family’s Building, Saving, & Loan; until his brother graduated, and now he is going to use all the money he put aside and go off for college. That night he goes to Harry’s grad party and hijinks ensue. This is where we have the famous pool scene and moon scene. Both are awesome! But unfortunately as George and Mary are getting closer together; George’s father becomes ill and dies. The only way to keep the family business going and save people from evil Mr. Potter is to stay. So George does for another four years.

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Fast forwarding again, and Harry, George’s brother, is back from college. But instead of staying, he is going to work for his wife’s father. George is distraught at having to stay in the town longer, but after finally admitting his feelings for Mary, is happily ready to start a life together.

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Yes every time George tries to leave the town forever, he is just sucked back in. He doesn’t even get to go off in WWII on account of his ear. But he enjoys his life with his growing family. However, everything goes sour when an account of money is misplaced. If George doesn’t have it soon, then he will go to jail and they will lose everything. As he starts contemplating suicide, Clarence comes and stops him.

No killing yourself on my watch

No killing yourself on my watch

George then wishes he was never born, and sets off to see what the town and people would look like without him. Will they be better? Or worse?

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Most Romantic Moment: I Want You to “See” the World

It is after George and Mary’s wedding, and the two are excited to leave the town for their honeymoon. Once again as George is preparing to leave the town, something happens to get him to stay. (The man just can’t get a break.) There is a run on the bank and to calm everyone down, George and Mary sacrifice all of their honeymoon trip money.

Here’s the romantic part!

George was so busy trying to help everyone that he hasn’t even realized Mary left the building. He gets a call from Mrs. Bailey (Mary)  who asks him to come home. George doesn’t know what home she is speaking of, but heads off to the address she provided him. When he gets there, it turns out to be the old house on the block, the one that everyone throws rocks at to “get wishes”. Mary has fixed up the whole place with posters of far away places, she has a record playing tropical music, and a chicken rotissering over the fire.

It’s so romantic because Mary knows how much George has longed to leave Bedford Falls, and how many chances he has sacrificed for others. While she can’t take him around the world, she decides to bring those far off places he loves and dreams of, here. She even has Bert and Ernie, the cop and cabdriver (not muppets), serenade them. How romantic is that?

 

So romantic

So romantic

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To start Romance is in the Air from the beginning, go to Boom Box of Love: Say Anything (1989)

For the previous post, go to I’m Sorry Sounds Better in a Song: Music and Lyrics (2007)

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For more on It’s A Wonderful Life, go to 25 Films of Christmas

For more on Mary Bailey, go to I’ll Give You the Moon: It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)

For more George Bailey, go to 25 Films of Christmas

For more Jimmy Stewart, go to Hunk-a-Thon

On the 9th Day ‘Til Christmas: Borrowed Hearts (1997)

On the 9th day ’til Christmas my blogger gave to me

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Borrowed Hearts (1997)

This movie is one of my all-time favorite romance films. I remember every Valentine’s Day they used to show this on WE or Lifetime, even though it is a Christmas movie. I was in love with Eric McCormack, thought Roma Downey was extremely pretty, and envied the little girl’s room and toys.

So the film is about businessman Sam Field, Eric McCormack, who is trying to negotiate the biggest deal of his life. Javier Del Campo, played by the wonderful Hector Elizondo, is fully prepared to sign the papers after he spends some time with Sam and his family. The only problem is Sam doesn’t have any family. He is a confirmed bachelor and hates the idea of becoming a father or having children. His friend and spokesperson lied to Del Campo, and now Sam is stuck trying to find someone to pretend to be his family.

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Enter Kathleen, Roma Downey,  a single mom who works in Sam’s plant. She has been trying to save up money for a house for her and her rambunctious daughter Zooey. Zooey is a real handful as she doesn’t like to listen and has a habit of running away and climbing trees when she hears something she doesn’t like. Zooey’s dad left a while ago, because he didn’t want to deal with his responsibilities of being a father. However, Zooey is hoping and praying that he comes back. She wishes to have her dad for Christmas along with getting a house just like her dollhouse. I was very jealous of this dollhouse when I was young. I loved it and wanted it sooo badly. She prays that an angel will come down from heaven and make this happen for her and her mom.

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(Sorry for all the random cat pics, it appears the internet is lacking in Borrowed Heart pics. I will try my best though)

So one day as the two are driving and looking at Christmas lights on the big mansions in town, Zooey spots one that looks exactly like her dollhouse.

Sorry its the only pic of the house I could find

Sorry its the only pic of the house I could find

Zooey yells at her mom to stop and runs into the house, claiming that it is hers because she asked the angel for it. Now this kid needs some discipline. She should not think it is okay to run into a stranger’s house.

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Anyways, Sam was just discussing the problem of his “missing family” with his friend Dave. Did Dave think that the perfect people would just walk right through the door? Enter Zooey and Kathleen.

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So Kathleen and Sam strike up a deal for three days of services. To Sam’s dislike Kathleen gives the house a complete make-over adding all these homey touches. She also is given a wardrobe to die for, and Zooey has a room filled with toys. You totally start coveting their stuff.

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Javier Del Campo arrives on the scene and whenever he is around Zooey hears music although none is playing. This was something she was told that happens whenever an angel is around. She starts to suspect Del Campo of being more than what he seems.

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Everything seems to be running just fine. They had a few glitches, but they’ve managed to pass over every one swimmingly. They do run into a problem when Del Campo asks for the story of how they met. As they both haven’t planned out a story, neither wants to say.

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Everyone is saved when Zooey speaks up. She tells a cute story of an angel bringing the two together (*wink, wink foreshadowing). Afterwards everyone is off to bed but Sam and Kathleen realize that they have to share a room or raise Del Campo’s suspicions. They both sleep in Sam’s room, with Sam being sent to the closet, while Kathleen gets the bed. I always thought that was mean as Sam doesn’t even get a real blanket, instead he has to use one of his coats. 😦 This is a scenario that is played out in many films, but all stemming from the film It Happened One Night.

While Sam  was originally seen cold-hearted jerk, we get to see a softer side of him as he is around Kathleen and Zooey. He starts talking to the two and building a meaningful relationship. He and Kathleen start to heat up as a Twister game brings them much closer together.

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Del Campo decides to stay longer, causing the marriage to continue. While things go well not everything is perfect, as Zooey’s lack of discipline causes her to mess up Sam’s office and Sam to lose his temper. While Kathleen hates to hear any criticism, she grabs Zooey and walks out. After a heart-to-heart and two apologies, Sam is able to convince the two to return to his home.

The next day they all go ice-skating and Sam and Zooey have the cutest bonding moment. Sam is afraid he will fall, and Zooey promises that everything will be okay because she is there to catch him.

So sweet!

So sweet!

Afterwards, Zooey skates off and Sam gets hit on by a blonde bimbo. He quickly takes off his glove to show he is a “married man”, but Kathleen is comes over to talk to him and makes him feel very awkward.

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We also learn more about Kathleen’s issues and how she doesn’t trust anyone after what her husband did. Although, it appears some walls seem to be breaking down.

Just as things are getting good again, the bad also rises. Kathleen’s ex comes into to town and threatens to tell Del Campo everything, unless Sam ponies up and pays him. Sam agrees to the blackmail, only if the ex promises not to contact Kathleen or Zooey until after Christmas. Kathleen also finds out that this “great deal” that Sam is trying to do, will cause a lot of employees to lose their jobs. She decides to ambush Sam with a Christmas party at work, having all the employees share how thankful they are to Sam for the job he has given them. The whole party is extremely awkward for Sam.

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However the bonds between Sam and Zooey are growing even stronger. As Zooey tells Sam of her father issues, Sam begins to open up with all the issues he has with his father. He tells her of a time that the two were supposed to play catch, but Sam kept failing to get the ball because his glove was too big. The way his father treats him, just brings tears to your eyes. Sam never felt as if he measured up or was the son his father wanted. He always felt worthless.

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As things with Zooey are going great, Kathleen and Sam are building a better understanding and growing closer than ever. While Kathleen and him are wrapping presents, they have a moment where they might kiss, but are interrupted by Zooey having a nightmare.

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It is Christmas! And the gift giving brings many precious moments. Del Campo signs the papers as his gift, but Sam declines his signature saying he never does business at Christmas. At first Zooey is sad that her real father isn’t there, but quickly perks up as she gives Sam his gift. Zooey has given Sam a baseball glove. She borrowed one of his regular gloves to make sure it fit perfectly. This scene is so aw-worthy as Sam declares it the nicest gift he was ever given.

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Sam has another aw-worthy moment when Kathleen opens her present from him. It is a set of brushes and paints. Sam got it for her after hearing her old dream of becoming an artist in Paris. Sam encourages her to not give up on the dream, but to keep trying. As the two finish talking, Del Campo makes them aware of the fact that they are under a rather large thing of mistletoe.

I found this a little odd that no one has managed to come under it until this moment? Sounds like the angel made it grow out of the ceiling. After all how many people in that house were expected to fall under it? Anyways the two share their first kiss, both enjoying it.

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Zooey however, is not happy. She is still hoping for the chance that her parents will get back together. Sam realizes this and goes to get her father, bringing him to his home. The ruse falls apart, and Sam explains everything to Del Campo. Del Campo is a little miffed, but concludes that Sam already has his signature and he intends to not fight it. Sam decides to not go through with the merger, sacrificing his “big deal” for Kathleen. Kathleen’s ex-husband leaves, and Zooey becomes heartbroken at being abanded that she runs outside and climbs a tree. However, as these are not her usual trees, the branches don’t support her. They sap under her weight, and she finds herself hanging high up.

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Kathleen and Sam are freaking out. Sam calls up to her and tells her to jump into his arms, that he promises to catch her. Zooey is too scared that he won’t and she’ll fall, that she continues to cling to the tree. Sam echos what she said at the skating rink, promising that he will catch her, that he won’t let her fall. Zooey lets go, and Sam catches her. He holds her and promises that everything will be ok.

The film ends with us knowing for sure Del Campo is an angel, with his wings worn “on the inside” to give the appearance of being a human. Sam, Kathleen, and Zooey are all becoming a family; everything ending happily for all!

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Merry Christmas!

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To start the 12 Posts of Christmas from the beginning, go to On the 12th Day ’til Christmas: The 12 Men of Christmas

To go to the previous post, go to On the 10th Day ’til Christmas: Merry Christmas from the Austen Novels

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For more on pretending to be married, go to Being Friends is Good Enough

For more on two who hate each other falling in love, go to I Don’t Want the Money