About Me

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I started this blog as I entered my 40th year, and now firmly in my 40s, I continue to learn so much about life. I'm learning that life rarely goes according to plan and that there's something new to learn every single day, be it a subtle nudge or a smack in the face.... This is my blog about muddling through my 40s-working hard, writing a book, being an ammateur photographer, trying to exercise and eat well, endeavouring to be the world's best aunt, as well as having fun and laughing out loud every single day.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

#56 April, the month of the A-Z Blog Challenge


If you were following me this time last year, you would have already experienced the mania of the A to Z Blog Challenge.

This is where, for 26 days in April (we get Sundays off), blog writers around the world, write a post a day, starting with each of the letters of the alphabet.

Rocky & I have decided to continue with our movie reviews for Dear Rocky, Dear Jodie: The Actor and The Psychologist At The Movies, but instead of random movies, they will begin with each letter of the alphabet.

For example, I can tell you that 'C' is for Casablanca!

Hope you join in and enjoy or take on 26 movies in the month of April!  See the calendar below.



Sunday, March 16, 2014

#55 Dear Rocky - My review of Gravity

Sandra Bullock - Gravity
Read Rocky's review here!

Dear Rocky,

Finally, a film I can rave about!  Gravity = 80 minutes of perfection.  Who would have thought a movie set in space, with only two characters (one of whom is absent for most of it) could keep my interest for every second.

Gravity certainly did that for me.

Sandra Bullock and George Clooney are clearly Box Office gold, but even they deserve the recognition of the tough job they had making this movie what it was. 

One of the stand out components for me was the movement.  Bullock moved with the grace and precision of a ballet dancer and as a former Pilates instructor, I watched in awe at her divine muscle sequencing and core stability.  As I searched for an image for this post, I noticed that much of it was filmed under water.  How awesome is that?!

George was perfect, as always.  I loved the touch of his radio/music - so cool.  I also adored how he was not our hero in this movie....although he kind of was.... this was a story about a strong and intelligent woman.  So proud.

I wondered how I would have reacted emotionally had I been in the position of our two characters and I'm sure I would not have been anywhere near as calm.  But hey, you never really know, do you?

I also wasn't sure why they had to have Sandra's daughter die?  Couldn't she have been waiting on Earth?  That's my only gripe....

I give this film a 9.5/10 as well.  Loved it.

My little space story, which does not compete at all with yours (!), is that in Prep, first year of primary school, we used to play a game where we pretended Skylab was falling!  When I visited Washington D.C. in 2012 and saw the replica of Skylab it brought back so many fond memories - that must be odd to read when talking of a major space incident, but it was a part of my childhood.

Read about Skylab falling here.

Okay, well, I'm getting ready to tackle our A-Z Challenge.  You may not hear from me again until April 1st!  There are a lot of movies to watch between now and then.



Sunday, March 9, 2014

#54 Dear Rocky - American Psycho

Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman.  Sorry.  Couldn't resist.
Hi Rocky, 
Brent recommended American Psycho to us.  Brent, you owe me an hour of my life back!!  Why only an hour?  Well, because that's all I watched.  I literally sat there watching it resenting the time it was sapping from my life.  The rest of the time I spent trying to diagnose Patrick.
Was he a narcissist and a sociopath?  Did he have anti-social personality disorder or was he just a psychopath?  What happened to him as a child?  Did he meet criteria for autism spectrum disorder because of the attention to detail and routine nature of his functioning?
Problem was, even that didn't entertain me enough.  Initially, I thought I would love it.  It seemed over the top funny and I loved the 80s soundtrack.  I must admit, watching Christian Bale naked most of the time was not too hard to take!  Then, American Psycho just became bizarre.  I didn't get it either.
Is it true that this 'cult film' is also a musical stage production?  Honestly, who would waste their time?  
I read somewhere that our favourite Leo DiCaprio was cast in the role of Patrick. Hmmm.  Dodged a bullet there Leo!
Having read your review, I see I must have missed the most action-packed 30 minutes of the movie.  Will I regret my decision to stop watching?  I don't think so.
I give it a 2/10.  Sorry America.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

#53 The Glamorous Cancer

Some people refer to breast cancer as the 'glamorous' cancer.  When you think about it, it makes sense.  It's all pink and feathers and receives a lot of attention.  In October, Breast Cancer Awareness month, everything turns pink!  Buildings, water.... even Tim Tams.

Ironically enough, breast cancer is anything but glamorous. 

When I was diagnosed four years ago, I was lucky enough to have a fabulous 'mentor' Fi.  Fi had been where I was about to go, two years earlier.  She knew what was coming.  Fortunately, I didn't.  Otherwise I wouldn't have shown up for treatment.

After each cycle, Fi turned up with something different.  Lip balm, just as my lips were drying out.... how did she know?  Ginger tea, just as I felt nauseated..... but, how did she know?  Flowers, just as I couldn't see any colour in my day.....how did she know I'd be feeling that way?

I've come to learn that this is the way breast cancer works.  Now it's my turn to pay the universe back for giving me Fi.  I'm currently in a position to show that level of care and compassion for someone else about to begin their treatment journey.

So far, I have a pink box currently holding a pink journal to write her thoughts in, ginger snap biscuits to ease her nausea, ginger tea, a beautiful tea cup because I was given one by a special friend and I cherished it, gift vouchers for acupuncture donated by another special friend and fantastic acupuncturist Karen Greer, a heat pack to ease her pain, and lip balm for those dry lips.....

Is it paying it forward, or backward, I don't know.  I just feel blessed to be here in the position I am in.  I remember being back at the beginning, never truly believing I'd be able to one day look back and say, "Look how far I've come."

Sending all my love to everyone having treatment and living with cancer at the moment.  You are stronger than you know.


Monday, March 3, 2014

#52 The 86th Academy Awards - Fashion Edition

This year fashion at the Oscars did not disappoint.  As promised, I'd like to share my fashion highlights for the night! 

Number 10 -
The gorgeous, classic Jane Fonda, keeps getting better with age

Number 9 -
Naomi Watts, simple, yet elegant - love the red lips!

Number 8 -
Meryl Streep looks effortlessly stylish

Number 7 -
Kate Hudson has inherited her mother's old Hollywood style and charm

Number 6 -
Sandra Bullock never disappoints

Number 5 -
Young, vibrant and so very talented, Jennifer Lawrence

Number 4 -
First time Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o is flawless

Number 3 -
Camilla Alves has perfected red carpet style

Number 2 -
It never ceases to amaze me that Kelly Osborne has impeccable style

Number 1 -
Emma Watson is sheer perfection
Do you agree??
Here are some other photos I loved:
Amy Adams - classic and timeless

Bette Midler - stunning!

Our Cate - so proud!!

Not quite sure who this is but I love the dress!

Great photo!

Awesome hair Portia!

#51 Dear Rocky - The End of Eve by Ariel Gore

Dear Rocky,
I just finished reading my advanced copy of Ariel Gore’s The End of Eve: A Memoir.  I read it in three sittings and it only took that long because of things like work and sleep.  Three sittings may not sound that impressive to the avid reader, which I used to be, but considering I’ve finished an estimated total of three books in the past 18 months, three sittings is saying something.
One of the reviews of this book states that it is “damn near sublime” and I have to admit as I turned the second page I agreed and prepared myself for perfect word selection at every sentence.
We both share Ariel as a writing teacher.  The universe was certainly looking after me the day the Literary Kitchen was recommended to me for online writing classes.  I’ve not met Ariel face-to-face and therefore it is easy for me to create her as an enigma in my mind.
In my version of Ariel, she writes only one draft of everything and gets it right, off the bat.  She then walks down to her publisher who willingly accepts her latest masterpiece and returns home to begin her next best-seller.
Of course I know this is vastly romantacised on my behalf, especially since we were lucky enough to read drafts of Eve in our last class in the Kitchen.
Ariel writes the way I want to write – as if she is sitting and telling you the story.  She writes like she talks – at least, the way I assume she talks.
Our job is to review movies, not books, but before giving you my ideas about the movie version of The End of Eve, I’d like to make a few comments about this story about Ariel’s relationship with her mother Eve after Eve is diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer.
Ariel challenges my idealised and idolised image in my mind of herself throughout this story as she communicates a subtle vulnerability at various times in response to Eve’s outlandishness.  At times, her quiet reserve frustrated me as I cheered for her to stand up to Eve time and time again, yet at the end it was the integrity and the strong sense of calm and inner peace that directed Ariel’s choices and responses that made me respect her even more.  She is now a goddess in my imagination – sorry Ariel!
I’m unsure how she conveyed this in words.  Perhaps it was the duration of the story, all the pieces together, that helped deliver that image of her to me.
Throughout the book, Ariel also talks a lot about food and shopping for food, preparing and cooking food, sharing food with loved ones.  I have to admit, I felt guilt-ridden and envious of the exquisite organic diet Ariel has.I wonder if the food helped give some symbol of normalcy in an otherwise very unconventional situation in a really interesting setting.  The message that life goes on even when our mother is dying.There’s a part near the end when Ariel interacts with her mum for the first time after not having seen her for ten months and Ariel comments that in spite of everything, she’s always really liked Eve.  This for me is the crux of the book.Through life’s toughest lessons, we have a biological, human need to feel loved by our attachment figures.  Eve described it so well after reading a book Ariel loaned to her, unaware of the message inside about love.  Waiting for love.The messages Ariel takes from her journey with Eve to the end are life changing and not just for Ariel.  But for her readers as well. 
I am so impressed and in awe.
Back to the movie side of things, I believe that this book would make a wonderful movie and I have carefully considered my cast.  Check it out:

Ariel Gore           -              Julianna Margulies
Eve                         -              Jane Fonda
Maia                      -              Peyton List
Sol                          -              Michelle Rodriguez
Maxito                 -              Blake Garrett Rosenthal
The Chef              -              Olivia Wilde
Can’t wait to read your cast list!  
Any other characters you’d care to explore?

Read Rocky's review here!
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