Movie Review: The Art of Racing in the Rain

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Tuesday, August 27, 2019


I'm not a big fan of dog or animal movies, and I'll definitely never be into cat movies. Cats sense my fear I think. I wish you could see how I react when a cat is nearby, especially within closed quarters like a house! My entire body tenses up! I am not an animal person really. I've had a few dogs when I was younger and I got really attached to them, and then when they died it was horrible so I just prefer having no animals. My thinking is if you cannot properly take care of your animal(s) please don't have any, thank you.
Anyway...
My friend Aimee is very much an animal person - she first rescued a squirrel named Raffael (who is adorable!) and just recently, rescued/adopted another named Jane (Rafael and Jane, think Jane the Virgin lol!). She 'convinced' me to look at The Art of Racing in the Rain with Milo Ventimiglia. I hadn't even heard of the movie or seen advertisements or the trailer or anything. But if you know me you know I love the movie theatre, so it doesn't take much to convince me. I saw A Dog's Purpose a couple years ago and it was ok so I wasn't expecting much but I was thoroughly surprised with this one. I am not a big fan of Milo (only the drink, #lamejoke) but he did a good job. I was drawn in from the start. 
First off, it was funny. The story was narrated by the cute doggy, named Enzo. He was very opinionated and it was hilarious! He called his owner's (Denny) in-laws 'twins', he was clever in getting revenge when someone scolded him so the carpet wouldn't get messy - he pooped on it but made it seem as though it wasn't his fault, in a way it wasn't LOL (you have to see it to understand). His initial behaviour when Denny got a girl, lol, was so territorial! His remarks throughout the movie provided humour which was appreciated. 
It was simply heart-warming. Denny and Enzo loved each other. It was very evident, they made me believe it. I felt their connection and love for one another through the screen. They would do anything for each other. The process of Enzo having Denny all to himself, then learning to love Denny's girlfriend/wife and family was special. There was a part in the movie that was sad and I wanted to yell at Denny's wife so bad (I'm purposefully leaving out names so that I wouldn't give anything away and ruin it for you!). I couldn't believe someone could be so careless. I was happy with how Denny dealt with it though.. well somewhat. 
It was inspirational and thought provoking. I would really love to know what dogs think.. do dogs really think the way this movie portrayed? I mean, he was like a legit person who just couldn't literally talk it seemed. He knew things, he felt things, he had opinions too, and the great thing is it made sense. Knowing how dogs behave in real, or when they bark or react shows that they do understand a lot more than we think. I mean, in the movie, Enzo saved Denny from making a huge mistake. Denny's friend even said that he needed to get a dog. I thought the same thing! Another great point in this movie was the fact that in life everyone goes through hard times, where you can't possibly see how things could get better... but that's not the truth. It may be a fact for a season but seasons change. And situations change. The clouds disappear and the light shines on you again. 
This movie was surely a surprise and I really loved it! However, it's not one that I can watch multiple times by choice, so I'll give it a 6.5 
If you watch it let me know what you think!

Book/Movie Review: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

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Thursday, August 15, 2019

Before I begin let me say this: I'm no literary expert. I have no formal education in literature and such. I just love reading - all different types of genres: fiction, spiritual/faith-based, self-help, autobiography, mostly everything except horror! I love how you can escape to a new world through a book or movie. I love the inspiration I feel - that I can hope for such experiences of the characters or restore belief that I can do anything or become anyone I want to be. 

I’ve read hundreds of books and after reading the really good ones, I’d sometimes call a friend and go on and on about how great it was.. this next book and movie (so glad they made it into a movie!) were one of those so I thought I’d share it with you. However, I’m not into longggg reviews, so expect all of mine to be short (and hopefully great)!

So the book/movie I want to talk about today is The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie SocietyI absolutely loved both the movie and the book. I found the movie first and fell I love with it, then I watched the movie again and after that I had some free time (no school!) so I read the book! The entire book was about letters that were exchanged among the characters, and from that the story was told! Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows (the authors) did an amazing job! I found it informative, charming and inspiring.

Informative because I learned a bit of the German occupation on the island. Everyone knows about Hitler and the German war, and I have read a tiny bit about it but it was eye-opening to fall in love with characters amid their hardship of the war and how it affected them and their families well after it was over. 

Charming because I wish I could visit and smell the fresh air atop the mountains and see the bright green landscape (because I saw the movie  I have to admit that it helped with imagining the island of Guernsey, although the book did a good job). It seems cosy and secluded and peaceful. Somewhere to recuperate and refocus, to dream and inspire oneself. And best of all it's a British film! How I love the British accent! (My close friends know that I'm British inside.. LOL)

Inspiring because like the main character Juliet Ashton, I love writing. In the book/movie she was having somewhat of a hard time figuring out what she should write of next. She had trouble getting an idea for her next book. I identified with her because I love writing but these days I'm not sure what to write about. I completely believe that the right idea is everything, but it isn't coming at the moment. So just to read of that was encouraging because writers everywhere go through this at some point or the other (yea I just called myself a 'writer', why is it so hard?), thus rendering me completely normal.. I think. 

I greatly recommend this book and movie. I've seen the movie about 3 or 4 times already, and I'm certain it's one of those that I will continue to watch! It's one I get lost in..

Now for my ratings: I'd give it an 8/10!

If you read the book or watch the movie please let me know what you think! Do you have any recommendations for me? Please let me know!

SIX WEEKS, SIX SENSES: {WEEK 6}

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Saturday, September 08, 2018

The sixth and final piece for this challenge! It's been great! I love writing so much but never had formal training or took any courses so I thought it wasn't something I could do. If you've read my "about" section you would know I struggle a lot with confidence in my writing. Now I'm a little more brave with sharing (thank you God!). I have so much to learn but I know if I practice more I can do better. 

As far back as I could remember I've loved rhyming words and making up poems. So for this final week I decided to rhyme away! This week's theme/sense: magic.

Here are the photos and my poem:

 

She held me tightly,
She played with me,
She treated me like
One of her family

Bright pink hair,
Dramatic winged eyes,
Sparkly lips,
And a really big smile.

We danced at Kamp ,
She flipped me in the air,
I looked at her lovingly,
Forever the same stare

She mimicked me often, while
Swaying me to and fro
The kids laughed and cheered
Asking, “Is he Pinnochio?”

She said, “This is my friend Tommy”
“My name is Jill”
“We’re from a land faraway”
“Over the sky and under the hill”

“There are rainbow skies”
“And cotton candy trees”
“Fruit laden rivers”
“And friendly, talking bees”

“Would you like to come home with us”,
“and fly through the air?”
They replied, “Yes we would Ma’am!”
Then poof…
Kamp was clear.


SIX WEEKS, SIX SENSES: {WEEK 5}

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Thursday, September 06, 2018


I'm a bit late with this post... but it was never about sticking to the time frame as much as it was about actually having the courage to finish and not become fearful or doubtful. So here is the fifth post. For the previous four you can search my blog :) 

For the challenge Sarah encouraged us to set a timer, write free hand and not edit among other things. Here's a very short piece that I ended up writing to a specific audience (another first for me)  to which I would not divulge just for the fun of it :)

This week's sense is taste and here are the photos and my story:



Emmery had been a baker all her life. Since she was a little girl she begged her mum to help in the kitchen. Her most fond memories were helping with the dough or mixing the cake batter. Her mum would often let her lick the stirring spoon when they were finished; the gooey, chocolate sweetness was her favourite. Many people from their small town requested cakes from her mum for special occasions and as she grew older her mum would let her help even more.

Soon Emmery started baking on her own. She experimented with different flavours, tangy and sweet, fruity and savoury, she came up with new ways of mixing ingredients. At community gatherings she offered to bake cakes and cupcakes and not long after she began receiving orders like her mum. She was delighted!

Baking was her passion. She dreamed of one day owning her very own store and a few years later her dream came true! Emmery’s Bakery was her pride and joy.

Emmery then had a daughter of her own and nothing made her happier than baking together and having fun. Her daughter’s enthusiasm reminded her of when she was a little girl helping her mum in the kitchen. It filled her heart with so much joy.

Every morning she would walk her daughter to the school bus stop and every morning her daughter loved being surprised with a different baked treat.

As time passed traditions continued. Baking secrets were passed down from mother to daughter.
Emmery was so happy, she had a kitchen full of grand-kids and laughter, all mixed with the lovely fragrance of spices and chocolates but most of all, love.

SIX WEEKS, SIX SENSES: {WEEK 4}

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Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Hi hi!

I’m a bit behind with this challenge, but the important thing is to have fun with it (as Sarah says), so I’m just happy that I’m keeping with it.

This week’s sense was scent. I tried something different again, see the note after my story!

If you would like to know what challenge I’m doing click here! And for previous weeks click: week 1, week 2 and week 3!
P.S. Don’t forget to read the note at the end!

Here are this week's photos and my story:


  


There she is again, five days in a row.


I liked having the place to myself, now she is ruining it. What used to be a soup of car fumes, sweat and dog laced air was now also flavoured with a fruity, flowery smell of some sort that whirled through the stairs of the fire escape.



I noticed her coming out of the second floor window that first day as I relaxed one floor atop. I watched as she just sat there, staring into nothing. Her black hair was plaited in a single braid that reached the middle of her back, her pale complexion highlighted with rosy cheeks.

I observed her until that heavenly aroma made its way to my nostrils, tuna!

Every time I came back from dinner she would be gone. Today she came out a bit earlier. She looked exactly the same except this time she was wearing all black and there was something pretty and shiny around her neck. Something was different though.

I heard soft sniffles and ever so often her shoulders shook a bit. Sadness glided up toward me.
I got up and made my way down the first flight of stairs. She had no idea I was there. Moving quietly was a great skill of mine. As I reached midway down the second flight of stairs, where she was sitting on the last step, she turned around.

Her eyes were blue like the great, big covering above us. Kindness and sorrow stared back at me, but then she turned her face away. She acted as though I wasn’t there as her shoulders hunched forward and her whimpers became louder.

I moved closer to her side and looked at her. She raised her hand and clutched the shiny thing around her neck. I noticed how much it matched her eyes; I could tell it meant a great deal her.

Her head titled upward now and she cried, “God… I miss her so much!”

I needed to move closer to her. So I did. I rubbed my head on her legs and I heard her crying wane.
Do it again! I massaged my entire body against her legs and feet. She stopped and reached down to play with my head. Nothing ever felt so good.

“Hello Kitty, you wanna play don’t you?”

I looked up and saw her wipe away her tears as a green ball appeared from somewhere in her clothing.

Meowww!!

We were going to be great friends.

_______________

Writer's noteJ
For the challenge we’re encouraged to try different POVs so this time I wanted to try to write from an animal’s POV (yikes). However, if you know me you know I’m not fond of cats (and that’s being kind). I’m sorry if you’re a cat person, but I am not. I just have really bad gatophobia, which is why when I was writing this piece I was indeed surprised by how it turned out. I guess I can write about cats and look at cats from afar but I definitely won’t go near them. J J J

SIX WEEKS, SIX SENSES {WEEK 3}

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Tuesday, August 14, 2018


Hi there! Week 3 of the writing challenge is touch. I did something a bit different, I wrote in the POV of a child (Eeee/Ahh)! I heard it can be a bit difficult but I decided to give it a try. Tell me what you think! 

This challenge has been so great because it has really pushed me to use my creative writing side. I never (ever) thought I would be able to write or think up fiction but using the images each week has really helped.

It's not too late to join me! For week 1 and what the challenge is about click here. For week 2 click here.

Here are this week's images and my story:



 


"Mum where are we going?” I muster up the courage to ask my mum as she pulls me along the dark street.

 It feels like someone is spraying cold water on my face. My short hair is plastered to my cheeks like when I had face painting done last month at my seventh birthday party. 

"No questions Maggie. Walk faster."

We have been walking for a long time. Now my feet hurt and there is water in my shoes. My back pack keeps bouncing off my back as we hurry to wherever we're going. I didn't get to put much in my bag. Mum said we needed to be very quick. As soon as my dad left for work my mum made me grab some clothes and one book. I love all of my books. I always ask for books for my birthday and Christmas. It was hard to choose just one. Now that book was poking me as I walked.

I am so cold. I wish we would go back home and lie under the covers, drink hot chocolate and watch Frozen, but mum said we must hurry so I need to walk faster. She keeps looking up as she pulls me along. I know she's looking out for the giant bumblebees, that's what I call them. It's odd but when she sees one she stops and turns her face. Dad says it flies over the city all day and night to keep us safe. I remember when he told us he was in charge of them because he took us to my favourite ice-cream shop that night. We all laughed a lot.

I trip on a broken piece of the pavement and fall on my left knee, my right hand yanked away from the warm, comforting grip of my mum's hand and land on the concrete.

 "Ouccchhhhhhh. Mummm!" I say, as hot tears flood to my eyes. 

"Maggie! Are you okay sweetheart?!" Mum says as she bends to help me.

 I look at my hands, they are wet and grimy with small pebbles sticking out of my palms. My knee burns but there is no blood. I am happy my mum made me wear long jeans. 

 "Yes mum, I'm sorry."

 "There's no need to be sorry Maggie. I know you're tired but we just need to keep going a little while longer." 

Her hug is like medicine because I suddenly feel warmer and much better.

My mum is strong but sometimes she seems sad and frightened. My parents fight a lot but I have never heard my mum cry so much as she did last night when I heard a loud noise and something break. My dad yells at me a lot too but that's because I forget to put away my toys sometimes.

We continue walking but a bit slower and more careful now. We make a few more turns and come to an old brown door. My mum knocks a few times and the door swings open.

 There is an old lady standing there. She has grey hair, flowers on her long dress and a smile on her face. 

"Mary. Maggie. I've been waiting for you. Hurry, come in! Did anyone see you?" she asked as she shut the door behind us.



Six Weeks, Six Senses {Week 2}

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Friday, August 03, 2018

Hello! So I hesitated in posting week 2 of this writing challenge because I didn't give it proper attention at all and I know I could have done much much better. I started writing late and had so many things going on this week that I thought I wouldn't post anything. I really want to keep at it though so here's what I came up with for week 2 {please don't judge too harshly :)}

If you would like to read week 1 click here. This week's sense was sound and these are the images:





Sam jolted from his sleep as blares of siren filled the room. This was an unusual occurrence. Car alarms, ambulances, music, Sam was accustomed to it all. It was his very own sound machine and he liked it. Sam lived in the heart of the city and could normally sleep through anything. Noise was like the air he breathed, all around. Silence is what bothered him.

Sam grew up in the city with his parents and two sisters. His family moved to sunny coast when he was eighteen but he stayed. He could see himself nowhere else. That’s when he met Sebastian, who became his roommate. Sam worked at grocery and Sebastian worked at a high end clothing store. Sam liked that they were so different and their definition of fun couldn’t be more opposite, it’s what made them living together work. They did share a love for movies and would occasionally have ‘movie nights’.

The night before Sam agreed to attend a party with Sebastian. He wasn’t into partying but Sebastian had begged him for days. Sebastian’s gravelly voice pleading to him haunted his dreams so he gave in and accompanied Sebastian to an apartment building at the edge of the city. The party’s theme was glamorous.

“How do you define glamorous anyway?” Sam thought, as he had rummaged through his small, city-sized closet an hour before the party.

Choosing to wear a black pants and white dress shirt was as glamorous as Sam could afford. He hated the sound his best shoes made on almost every floor surface, as though they were tap shoes. He was sure someone two streets away could hear him coming. It made him cringe.

He grabbed a cab with Sebastian outside his building and stared out the window for the entire drive. He noticed how much quieter it got as they drove away from the heart of the city. It felt as though he was losing his hearing.

When they arrived Sam instantly noticed the long glass block three floors up that connected two buildings. It looked magical the way the lights bounced off the surface. As he followed Sebastian up three flights of stairs to the apartment he heard literal music to his ears and immediately he felt relaxed. The apartment was triple the size of his. The blinkers and disco ball filled the room perfectly. It seemed to dance in tune to the music that was bouncing off the walls. Props that looked like they belonged in the 1920s were placed around the rooms that connected to each other. Sam noticed how all the guests went all out on their attire, they definitely lived up to the theme. In that moment he regretted he came.

He followed Sebastian through two doorways to a makeshift bar. Sebastian got them drinks and introduced Sam to a few of his friends. As the night went on and as the drinks kept coming, it was hard for Sam to hear himself. His throat felt raw from straining to speak over the music. Sam had never had more than two drinks in one night, his tolerance for alcohol was low, but now he was on his sixth. A small part of him, which he never admitted to himself, wanted to fit in. So as someone offered him yet another drink, Sam took it without hesitation.

His ears were ringing now. He grasped his throbbing head as a siren echoed throughout the room and thought, a siren? What on earth is going on?

He jolted forward, sweat covering his face. Sam was on his bed in his apartment, his heart thumping loudly over the noise of life outside. He squeezed his forehead to ease the throbbing pain.
“What happened? How did I get home?” Sam thought. 

All Sam remembered was having a few drinks at the party. Sam lay back down with force and experienced a burning sensation on his left shoulder. He couldn’t see what it was but when he touched the area he felt something sticky. Letting out a sigh he got up slowly, the effects of the night before didn’t give him much of a choice. Looking into the mirror, he saw something black and glossy. He squinted, trying to manage the intensity of his headache and moved closer, focusing on the spot.

It was a word, written in a curly letters. It took him a minute to figure out what it spelt. L...Y... L…
His eyes opened as though it would pop out of its socket. The tattoo on his shoulder read “LYLA”! Last night’s memory came like lightning. A red sequinned dressed that jingled and sparkled in the night; short black hair. He remembered laughter and dancing. He remembered “her”.


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