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Book to Movie Abortions

First and foremost, I wish you all a happy Easter holiday! Enjoy, eat lots of food, and have a great time. I’ll be uploading pictures from the Easter weekend pretty soon. Today we celebrate Easter Saturday with my Dad’s side of the family & tomorrow (Sunday) we celebrate with my Mom’s side of the family. It’s a weekend full of Easter festivities, and lots of candy too. And what goes better with candy than a rant?

Choke was a fabulous book. To give you a short synopsis it’s a book about a sec addict who pretends to choke on food to get money from people who save him and end up pitying him. He uses said money to pay for his mother’s care in an old folk’s home/mental hospital. Storyline, graphic details, and hilarious Palahniuk humor was there…but then the media got involved. The movie left out so much! The very last scene (and most important in my opinion) was left out of the movie! You’ll have to go into the deleted scenes to watch it. The movie was funny, and Denny (Victor, the main character’s best friend) was portrayed perfectly by Brad William Henke, but there were some major plot holes. You never see the people who give him the money, and you never learn any more about his reasons for playing on people’s sympathies. Ms. Gallo gives this movie a C+.

Tucker Max’s I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell was one of the funniest books I’ve read in a long time. I fell in love with Slingblade, his woman hating best friend, and could not put this book down. When I heard they were making a movie for the book I was pumped! I thought to myself, “this is going to be great! I’m ready!” Why did I have such high expectations? An avid reader should know better. The movie centered around one major story from the book. The actual book has tons of stories from Max’s drunken sexcapades. The movie was built around El Bingeroso’s wedding to his cutesy blonde fiance and was completed with a chick flick happy ending. I give the movie credit for including the pink boxer scene (hilarious), but I was disappointed in the chick flick undertone. Ms. Gallo gives this book to movie abortion a D+.

Alice Sebolds The Lovely Bones was one of the best books I have ever read. I read this book because my Mom wanted to see the movie with me. Me being me, I couldn’t go and see the movie without reading the book first. I finished it in less than three days and fell in love with Susie Salmon and Ray Singh. This book made me cry, laugh, smile, and get extremely angry all at once. I have never had such an intense emotional reaction to the book since The Perks of Being a Wallflower. When it came to the movie I was only sad that it was not longer. So this movie does not get the title “Abortion.” Also, parts were cut out…MAJOR PLOT POINTS!! Peter Jackson did redeem himself with the visuals of Heaven and the “In Between”. In my opinion his portrayal of the afterlife reminded me a lot of his old work such as “Dead Alive” and “Meet The Feebles.” There was some extra creepiness that was oddly appealing. Ms. Gallo gives this movie a B for effort & the fact that Susan Sarandon was fabulous. If it were about 2 hours longer I’d give it an A. And yes, I would have sat through 2 more hours.

Now, I’m 120% aware that the movie is never as good as the book. I can accept that, but these three are the book/movie relationships that have made the most impact on me. Have you seen these movies or read these books? What did you think?

Magazines I Love!

You all know that I am an avid reader. I love books, have too many books, and am always reading a book (and lately…more than one)! I think that reading is one of the most fun things to do, but I’m also a big fan of glossies. Here are some of my favorite magazines and why you should give them a try too.

I mention Body + Soul Magazine first because I just recently started reading it. A few months ago, my Mom picked one up for me at the grocery store. This magazine is a Martha Stewart production which packs tons of articles on health, wellness, and green living into a portable companion. I was attracted to “50 Tips For Staying Healthy.” Some of the tips I did not know about and was pleasantly surprised to learn that by drinking certain teas, and incorporating different herbs and spices into your diet (licorice, anyone?) that you can improve your overall health. I’m usually not a fan of medication, so I like knowing about foods that can help your body naturally. As I’m also a beauty junkie, Body + Soul also has a beauty section which boasts a bunch of natural and green beauty products. My favorite ideas from them? A gratitude journal. This will be one of my next projects!

For me, I love reading about high fashion that I dream of owning–but knowing where to get similar designs without breaking my college student budget. Glamour Magazine does this! I like knowing how to re-work my closet and my outfits with a few key, classic pieces. I also love the fact that Glamour celebrates women. I’ve been reading this magazine for years and have noticed how diverse they have gotten. I’m not just talking about skin color either. I’m talking about body type, socioeconomic status, and culture. Their worldly articles let me know some of the biggest issues women around the globe face on a daily basis, as well as how I can help. I also love their annual “Man Issue” and their “Women of The Year” issue. I love Glamour because it combines fashion, beauty, news, and health all in one magazine. I also love their sub heading for their health section, “How to Protect the Body That You Love.” Shouldn’t we all give ourselves a bit more love?

One of my best friends, Jess, got me into this magazine and I have been reading it ever since. It makes me sad that Bitch Magazine only comes out quarterly. (I have to wait for more feminist response to pop culture?!?! NOOOO!!!) I wish this magazine came out every month. I re-read so many of my issues and have many of them saved as well. My favorite issue to date is “Consumed” which came out in the Fall of 2009. 2009 was the year I first saw the Nathan’s hot dog eating contest–and the first time I saw a magazine cover said contest in such an amazing way. I also enjoy their book reviews which have added many more books to my “Buy ASAP” list. Did I mention they also rag on the Twilight Saga? The way to my heart is through the dismembering of the Twilight Saga.

Last, but certainly not least: US Weekly. I love US because it’s my weekly source for celebrity gossip. Don’t you want to know 25 random facts about Chef Ramsey? YOU BET YOU DO! I like being able to know that I have media ‘facts’ coming to me every Thursday, and also being able to read them before I go to sleep. Sometimes Dickens (ha!) and Hurston need to be put to the side for my sleepy-time reading. I like US for another reason aside from simple celebrity gossip. I love their buzz-o-meter. This fancy contraption is a short review of places, things, and people that celebs are going nuts for. I also love their fashion police sections. Who knew that people who have so much money could look so silly?

So, if you’re looking for some good reads give these glossies a try, and of course, let me know what magazines you love to read. I always like to have new reading material!

Gifts Under $20

It’s officially Christmas week. The holidays we have been waiting for are slowly creeping up on us. To me, it seems like Christmas is still weeks away because this is one of my favorite holidays of the year (and probably because all of my shopping & wrapping is done!), but for many the stress of finishing last minute gifts is setting in. So, for those of you who are still wondering what to get that special someone: here you go! Gifts that will make people smile for under 20 bucks!

For your chill married friends: Give your friends this awesome tea set for Christmas. Target offers you The Tea Spot Tea & Teacups Gift Set. At a modest price of only $19.99 it comes with two fancy mugs as well as two different types of tea; Meditative Mind Tea & Snowflakes Tea. If you want to bulk it up, you can add a tin of tea biscuits or pirouette cookies and make your own fancy gift basket for only a few dollars more.

For the beauty junkie who has “everything”: I’m a makeup junkie who people say has pretty much everything under the sun. But there is one thing I can never have enough of, and that is lip gloss. Give her the Sephora Brand Magic Lip Gloss Set. It comes with six glittery shades which are perfect for fancy holiday looks, and the colors are gorgeous. I especially like the Silver and Gold. It also comes with a cute lip gloss brush and is only $10.00. Also, with every Sephora order you are able to choose three free samples, they can be for you, or for that makeup addict on your list.

For your SO’s parents or in-laws: For me, shopping for Keith’s parents used to be scary. I never knew what to get them. Now I know a lot more about what they like, but if you’re celebrating Christmas with your SO’s parents for the first time, why not try a Harry & David Snackbox? I personally love H&D products, especially their amazing Moose Munch confection. This snack box comes packed with Cheddar Cheese, Sesame Toast, Smoked Sausage, Caramel Moose Munch, Mixed Nuts, and Honey Mustard. With all of the yummy snacks in this box, and for a price of only $19.95, it’s a perfect gift to share.

For your creative writer pal: Do you have a friend who never leaves home without a small notebook or her journal? Do you often find her writing in her journal when you had plans to leave the house an hour ago? Does she tell you that her writing is “almost done?” This year give her the best writing journals she can ask for! A pack of Moleskine Journals is an amazing gift for any writer. They now come in this fancy and pretty pink, but you can buy them in a range of colors. Barnes & Noble is offering this gift for a very fair price of only $12.00 when you order online.

And for those other giftees that you’re stumped on:
Your little cousin or close friends kid wants to be a chef: Betty Crocker’s Kids Cook is an awesome full color book that has kid friendly recipes for that aspiring chef to experiment with. A few of the recipes are: Squeeze and Scribble Pancakes, Whatever Pizza, and Puddle of Fudge Cake. ($17.95)

Your guy who smokes but hates cold hands: Gap Fingerless Gloves. They come in a cool red striped pattern. Functional and badass at the same time. ($14.50).

Your college pal who likes planning and Harry Potter: Harry Potter 2010 Calendar. Awesome full color photos of your favorite witches and wizards. ($13.99)

While giving that perfect gift can be stressful, especially if you’re still shopping for it, I always remember Glamour’s advice from last Christmas. “You don’t have to be Ivana Trump to give an awesome gift.” I live by that. It’s always, ALWAYS, the thought that gets put behind the present you’re giving. Hope you all have a very happy holiday and a merry Christmas. Enjoy the festivities!

Things I Love: Wednesday

It’s the middle of the week, and though I began compiling this blog on the train ride home from NYC, I figured it was time to share with all of you the things that are keeping me cheerful this week.

Last Christmas was when I had the pleasure of trying out Philosophy’s bath and body products. My cousin got me Snowman Body Wash/Shampoo and it was great! This Christmas season they are featuring a “Recipe Box” including Red Velvet Cake and Sweet Creamy Frosting body washes/shampoos. The cool thing about Philosophy’s products is that you can wash your hair and your body at the same time. What a time saver! Plus these two products smell delicious. I purchased mine at Ulta for $18.00, and have been using them every day. My skin is soft, the lather is FABULOUS, and it feels like I’m bathing in cupcake batter. Definitely a great stocking stuffer or gift for your friends! It also comes with two real baking recipe cards!

Next up, Tom Perrotta! I was introduced to his books by my friend Kelly. She let me borrow a book called “Little Children” and I ended up buying it for myself and telling as many people as possible to read it. But this isn’t about “Little Children”, (though that’s a great read) this is about “The Abstinence Teacher.” This book kept me hooked from the beginning. One of the main characters is a teacher, and it just shows what teachers have to go through when the “man” steps into your classroom. The book also gives a look into the world of religion, and what happens when religion and public education mesh together. (It’s disastrous in my opinion–but that is a whole other blog post). To me, the characters were believable, and I loved the flashback style Perrotta used.

Going on with the book theme, my next obsession is Goodreads. I joined it because I’m currently compiling a reading portfolio/unit for a Sarah Dessen novel for my class. I was planning on creating a Goodreads project, but figured I should be familiar with HOW the site works, not just what I’ve heard from fellow bloggers. Needless to say, I’m hooked and I have tons of fun ideas for my future students to use and explore this website. You can add me and I would love that. I especially like the site’s trivia section. It’s infinite!

Finally, exchanging recipes is something else that I’ve recently gotten into. If you remember from Easter I received a recipe box and am currently working on filling it. At my Aunt’s house on Thanksgiving I planned to exchange recipes via snail mail with my cousin’s brother. I sent him a Manicotti recipe and my Taco Dip recipe. The art of letter writing is NOT dead. I love writing letters, and I love getting recipes. Do you have any favorite recipes?

The E-cigarette: What do you think?

I’m a smoker. A smoker of Marlboro Menthol Lights to be exact. I started on my Mom’s Merit Ultra Lights when I was 13, stealing a few from her pack when I was going to a local show or hanging out in our shopping plaza. I went to Kool Menthols, Newports, and have been seen smoking Salems when I want to feel fancy. I finally settled at home with Marlboro Menthols when I hit 16 and realized that they are the best menthol in my opinion.

As a smoker, I get the obvious questions from interesting people:

“Don’t you know that it’s dangerous?” – says the girl who gets piss drunk every weekend and brags about her memory loss.

“They give you cancer.” – from the overweight man who continues to munch his fries in front of me.

“They make you smell.” – from the hippie who refuses to use deodorant.

Am I used to hearing these questions and statements? Of course I am. Am I used to getting glares from 20 feet away because I’m smoking a cigarette? You betcha! But from everything I’ve experienced as a smoker, I’ve never heard of the E-cigarette until recently.

This new scientific revolution is an electronic cigarette, and it was on the front page of my USA Today. It comes complete with an indicator light, battery, atomizer, liquids cartiridge, and inhaler tip. These e-cigarettes emit a water vapor substance that contains nicotine, water, and chemicals. What are these chemicals? The article doesn’t say. What it DOES say is that the FDA has tested them and they still do contain carcinogens. The dangers are unknown so far, but further testing is being done on this new cigarette which people hope will help them quit.

As a smoker, I’m not sure about this. I have quit before using Nicotine gum, and the lozenges. Needless to say, I’m an addict! I like smoking, and when I want to quit I will do it, but I’m skeptical about these new “cigarettes.” So, I ask you, smoker or nonsmoker, what do you think about this new “cigarette?” Do you think it’s safer? Do you think it will put tobacco companies out of business? Or do you think it’s a crock? How about smoking something battery powered?

With its smokeless vapor I guess it’d be cool to “light up” in class. Ha!

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